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June 13, 2012 / Christian M.

A Recap of My Spring Internship

A night view of the library.

This past spring semester I completed an internship for course credit at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. HS/HSL serves the University of Maryland Medical Center, and the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work. This library is also the Regional Medical Library for the Southeastern/Atlantic region of the National Library of Medicine’s National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

My projects included:

  • Maryland Health Careers LibGuide:I researched and selected fifteen health careers that are projected to have the most job openings over the next ten years. For each career I included a brief description, education requirements, expected salaries, professional organizations, and training programs in Maryland. No other resource like this currently exists for the state of Maryland. It is the goal for the library staff (or future interns) to continue to add more health careers and update the content as needed. [6/22/12  Edited to add that the guide is online now!]
    • I created a document with instructions on maintaining the LibGuide. I included my information sources, identified data that will need updating along with a schedule of when this should be done, and some suggestions for user groups that would benefit from this guide.
    • My last week I gave a 30-minute presentation about the LibGuide to the faculty librarians (including the director!). I explained my methodology for creating this guide, provided a brief overview of its contents and answered any questions they had. I was complimented on being professional, authoritative, and calm. I was nervous (of course) but apparently it didn’t show. Everyone said I did a good job with the guide and the presentation.
  • Flyer promoting Presentation Practice Studio: The library provides a studio for students, faculty and staff to practice and record presentations. I designed a handout to publicize the studio at the university’s annual Graduate Research Day event. The librarians plan to also use this handout at the reference desk and for other outreach activities.

The Presentation Studio flyer. (Click for larger image.)

  • LibAnswers: The librarians use the LibAnswers reference tool to create a knowledge base of questions from library patrons. The “Ask Us” page on the HS/HSL website lists all the questions & answers, and patrons can search them or ask a new question. The librarians may also link to these questions on their LibGuides.  I assisted the liaison librarian for the school of dentistry with adding a couple of new questions (you can see them here and here), and then I created a box for her LibGuide that highlighted ten common questions she receives with links to the answers.
  • Other Activities: I shadowed my supervisor on the reference desk, participated in staff meetings in preparation for Graduate Research Day, attended a webinar on emerging technology in higher education (2012 Horizon Report), and attended a seminar on using apps on tablets and smartphones. I also had one-on-one meetings with M.J. Tooey, the executive director of HS/HSL and Dale Prince, the executive director of the Southeastern/Atlantic Regional Medical Library.

A view of Baltimore from the library’s third floor.

Reflections

When I initially chose to pursue health sciences librarianship, I was very fixated on hospital libraries. I never really considered the academic environment. However, because of this internship experience, I am leaning more towards academia. I am especially intrigued by the liaison librarian role. I enjoy teaching, and the liaison role includes a lot of teaching through classes, workshops, and one-on-one consultations. There is also such a variety of different tasks involved with liaison and outreach services. I prefer having a job with variety that provides opportunities for me to continually acquire new skills or knowledge. This internship has further confirmed my interest in health sciences, and I am looking forward to seeing what type of opportunities will be available when I graduate next year.

Other posts about my internship:

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Evelyn N. Alfred / Jun 24 2012 6:56 am

    Yes, you worked this internship! On #libchat last week someone asked if internships were worth getting. Reading this, I’d say they certainly are valuable.

    • LibGirl09 / Jun 24 2012 3:19 pm

      They definitely kept me busy! lol Just like with the library school experience, internships are what you make of them. They are valuable when you are doing professional-level work and have clear goals for what you will accomplish or which skills you want to develop. I had a great supervisor who checked-in with me as we went along to make sure I was still enjoying my work and that the experience was meeting my expectations. As a result of these conversations, some small adjustments were made (for example, more time on the reference desk).

      Side note, I keep forgetting about #libchat. *puts reminder in phone*

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