Internship – Week 5

As part of the coursework, interns have to keep a weekly journal of our experiences. Blog entries are acceptable and I thought this would be a great way to keep everyone updated on my library activities at the Lilly Library!

September 21 – September 25

Monday, September 21st (3 hours):
I began this shift by setting up my first Lilly Library blog post in the WordPress dashboard. It was published on Tuesday and you can see it by clicking here! Hobbit Day was/is September 22nd and the Lilly has a great copy of The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was quirky and not too serious, though interesting information is passed on in the blog. I then spent some time updating a Social Media calendar that I created. It’ll give anyone the chance to look at it and potentially post something via the Lilly’s Twitter account (coming soon!). One of the staff members asked for me to put all of the US presidents’ birth and death dates on the calendar; he wants to tweet presidential information in the year leading up to the US presidential election (November 2016). Perhaps, something like this:

William Henry Harrison (Lilly Library images)
William Henry Harrison (Courtesy the Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana)

I put away some manuscripts and worked on the next blog post about ALA’s Banned Books Week. I also answered a reference email question: she was looking for an article in a manuscript collection stored off-site at the ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility). I ordered the box and responded that I was working on her question!

Wednesday, September 23rd (3 hours):
There will be a follow up post to “Happy Birthday, Bilbo Baggins!” that shows the Denham Tracts pamphlet where “hobbit” is first mentioned as a creature. Several years ago the Oxford English Dictionary contacted the Lilly Library looking for an original of this pamphlet; that’s how I found the information in the librarian’s class notes. I called up the bound volume, marked the page, and will have it in a blog post soon. I helped put away comic books from a class and then answered a reference email concerning the Philippine manuscript collection. At this point, I learned that the Philippine mss. can only be accessed with the help of an in-house guide. Every library is going to have little quirks that only the experienced librarians will know about; it’s definitely beneficial to ask questions.

Friday, September 25th (5 hours):
I started the day by learning the materials for a class I will be teaching twice next week. It’s Hispanic culture items for an undergraduate course and contains some really awesome materials! Rebecca, my adviser, has been teaching this class for the past several years and knows it very well. This recitation of materials may prompt my memory for Monday and Tuesday…

-We start out with some basic Spanish history: there’s a Quran, which shows the Arabic influence on Spain; a facsimile of a 12th century games book; a Spanish Missal; and a letter from Queen Isabel.
-Next is the New World: a print of a Christopher Columbus letter; books by Spanish conquistadors; maps of Mexico; and European propaganda on American natives.
-Finally, there’s some materials that are just pretty: Cervantes Don Quixote and a beautifully illuminated family document book.

I’ll let you know how the classes go next week!

Later I assisted Rebecca giving a library tour, worked on exhibition labels/bibliographic citations for the Hispanic culture class, registered some new patrons in the Reading Room, and wrote more blog posts. I’m finding that I want my Lilly Library blog posts to be concise. I’m taking a vlogbrothers view, in that I want the information to be bite-sized and easily consumable (unlike these Internship posts). People in today’s society don’t want to sit there and read a long blog post or watch a long video; they don’t have the time. These posts are more of an introduction or appetizer; if readers want to know more, they can do personal research or contact us directly. This up-and-coming Lilly Twitter account  should be similar, though that forces us to keep tweets under a certain amount of characters.

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