TRL’s newly redesigned internship program launched in June 2017. At the halfway point, we thought we’d let them share their thoughts and experiences on the past 6 months. In this 6-part series, each TRL intern will provide their reflections on their work thus far at the Penn Libraries.

What is your name and title?

Amanda McCollom, Digital Media and Design Intern

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What interested you about being an intern at the Penn Libraries?  

I liked the variety and specificity of the TRL internships. While so many of them sounded interesting, I had never seen a library internship that focused on digital media and design, and that drew me in right away. Library & Information Science programs don’t always focus on the role that consuming and creating digital media plays in academic libraries, so this is a great opportunity to gain experience in an area in which I’d like to work.

What has been a highlight of your experience so far?

One of the highlights has been having a cohort of interns with whom I can share this experience. We got to know each other over the month of June, while learning how to handle the variety of issues that come up at the information desk. Since I take all of my classes in Library & Information Science online, this was my first opportunity to meet others who are also in graduate school and have similar interests and goals. Since I’ve started working here, I’ve met a number of people in my program at Drexel!

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I’ve also had fun learning about and playing with new immersive technologies through PennImmersive, a yearlong initiative to explore how virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D modeling can play a role in teaching, research, and learning. I took a workshop on Zappar, an augmented reality app, and learned how to create my own AR content.  We used Zappar to build a self-guided tour of the library for the Penn Libraries Showcase during New Student Orientation.

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What are you looking forward to learning and/or working on in the next 6 months?  

I’m excited to learn more about creating and editing videos. We are thinking about ways we can use videos to promote Penn Libraries’ collections, spaces, and services.

What is a little known secret about the Penn Libraries that you’ve discovered and think others should know about? 

There are over 9,000 films and TV shows behind the circulation desk just waiting to be checked out! Students, faculty and staff can borrow four films at a time for up to six weeks. If Penn doesn’t have the film you want, try Interlibrary Loan to see if you can get it from another school, or place a purchase request. Films are great educational resources, but also an excellent form of entertainment and relaxation!

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Lynda.com is also a fantastic resource that everyone should use if they want to learn a new skill! I’ve explored some courses on Adobe InDesign for design and layout, and Adobe Premier Pro for video editing. Courses cover everything from Microsoft Office to programming to project management.

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What is the most interesting question so far that you’ve received at the Information Desk?

It’s always interesting to get a research question on a subject related to my background and interests. At a previous internship, I wrote a blog post about a ten-cent handbook from 1882 titled, How to become beautiful; or, Secrets of the toilet and health. It required some research into gender dynamics, beauty standards, and the cult of domesticity in the late 19th century. So, I was delighted when a student came up to the information desk inquiring about historical periodicals geared towards women on issues of hygiene, waste, and domesticity. While we are always happy to help anyone and put them in touch with their subject liaison librarian, there is something very satisfying about having experience with the topic and the resources needed to get the research started. Whether it’s a simple directional question or a complex research question, I try to make sure that everyone I work with at the information desk feels understood and helped.

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