Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest post from Rachel Wedeward, Bernice Wells Carlson Intern 2011-12

I applied for the Bernice Wells Carlson in hopes of seeing what working in a library would be like. Even from my interview with Carl, I knew I would enjoy working here at Lane Library. I have been interested in working in a library as far back as junior or senior year of high school. However, opportunities for library positions in my hometown of Madison were always taken right away. 

My luck changed in April 2011, when I was awarded the Bernice Wells Carlson award at the annual Awards Convocation. The Bernice Wells Carlson award is a yearlong paid internship shadowing librarians in their respective departments.  For example, when I worked in the archives department, I researched what Ripon College was like during the Cold War and made a display in West Hall. Also, when I worked in government documents, I created an interactive pathfinder, a list of resources for students to go to, that would help students find government documents. 

Along the way, I saw what I liked and didn’t like about working in a library; however, I can definitely say I have NEVER had a bad day working here. I think a lot of it has to do with the many bosses I’ve had. I see their passion and excitement for their jobs and for helping students, and it only makes me want to be a librarian, just that much more. What I thought was going to be a silly campus job, with some sort of possibility of seeing if librarianship was right for me, turned into something that I plan on pursuing as a lifelong career. I always wanted a career where I was helping others, benefitting them in some way, and librarianship offers that. 

As a result of this internship, I was awarded the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries (WAAL) scholarship to attend their annual conference. Despite being the only undergraduate there, it was a wonderful opportunity to network and meet other librarians across Wisconsin. 

It saddens me to be ending my time as the Bernice Wells Carlson intern, but I’ve learned so much, and hope others even slightly interested in librarianship will take this golden opportunity.   

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