Internship – Week 7

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!

October 5 – 9

Monday, October 5th (3 hours):
Today I worked for a while as reading room reference assistant. There’s an undergrad class coming in throughout the next two weeks to look at primary materials for a project; I’m there to help get the materials and assistant the regular reading room attendant. I will be teaching a treasures class on Wednesday so the majority of my time was spent creating a “cheat sheet” of notes. I know some of the treasures, but not all 15. Creating this document was more a matter of looking at past class notes and copy/pasting into a new document. Not too difficult, but very time consuming.

Wednesday, October 7th (3 hours):
I taught another class! Today was a class introducing the Lilly to some students, so we shared some of our treasures with the group.The class was supposed to be 50 minutes, but they showed up a little late so I only had ~30 minutes to explain 15 items. This class was much easier to teach because a)I’ve seen these materials before b)it wasn’t purely academic. This was “showing off,” in a way. It’s much easier to excited over materials that you’ve seen before. I still had my notes to remind me dates and a few other particulars, but on the whole I could just talk. I related how this primary sources can be used in everyday studies – I wanted to make these rare and precious treasures feel more accessible. We are a library(!) – the materials should be accessible. A few visitors wandered in at the end of class and I told them about the materials too. They just happened to catch me before I put away these great objects and got to hear about them all in one place. Hopefully, I left a good impression of the Lilly in their minds! Lastly, I worked on reference questions: one about correspondence in the Orson Welles collection with Duke Ellington.

Poe first editions from the Lilly Library (@IULillyLibrary tweet)
Poe first editions from the Lilly Library (@IULillyLibrary tweet)

Bonus: On this day in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died… and James Whitcomb Riley was born!

Friday, October 9th (4 hours):
I spent the early part of this shift compiling a list of works for a Lutheran Bible study group. I want to get experience selecting materials and researching them; get the entire teaching experience. We have some very cool religious materials here at the Lilly and I’m excited to compile a new list. Rebecca even said that some of the materials could be used for a school group attending later in the semester. Rebecca and I met to have a mid-term discussion. We basically just reviewed the jobs that I have been doing, removed some jobs from our original goal’s list, and discussed what we want to do for the rest of the semester. I’ll probably upload that information to the Intern website this weekend. I spent some time as the Reading Room attendant, wearing the pager, retrieving materials. I routed some of the books from the Alice in Wonderland exhibit; and finally I helped shelve some materials in the vault.

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