Summer Internships

The field of library and information science offers numerous opportunities for experience in the workplace. LIS students can and should take continued advantage of the learning opportunities available to them through participation at local libraries, archives, museums, galleries and other information organizations.

Tess & Sean share their summer internship experiences
Tess & Sean share their summer internship experiences

Tess Colwell

Tess worked on a digitization project in the archives of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP Archives contains the historical records documenting the development and operation of water supply and distribution in New York City. Tess was instructed to scan thousands of engineering contract drawings related to the water supply system in New York City. She also cooperated with another intern to apply metadata about the scanned drawings to a spreadsheet.

Of the experience, Tess says “I even had the opportunity to give a presentation to other interns about the project. It was a really unique and exciting experience for me because I knew nothing about the water supply or water treatment system and had no previous experience working with engineering drawings. It was amazing to see the hand drawn –and very artistic –engineering drawings in the late 1800s. There also used to be a reservoir where the great lawn in Central Park is—there are still remnants of that reservoir in the park today!”

Sean O’Donnell

Sean had an opportunity to work with the NYPD Video Production Unit at the New York City Police Academy this summer. Sean was given tasks that were to aid the collection inventory necessary for an upcoming grant. In an email response, Sean writes about his day-to-day tasks, project goals and department needs he assessed during the internship:

“The department was in need of an archivist, but my role was more that of a cataloger. There were hundreds of 16MM reel films in need of cataloging. After revising the elements catalogued to include subject headings, relations and alternate titles, I set to work watching and cataloging what films were not already in the database. The next phase of the internship involved setting up a similar database for the department’s VHS collection. As it turned out, this summer was fraught with controversies involving police both in NYC and across the country. Video records were regularly used; highlighting the necessity of collection catalogues and organized digital collections. I like to think that my efforts are helping the department better serve the needs of the NYPD.”

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