Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I have arrived!

I made it!  I'm in New York City.  Whoa.  My flight was so short!  Only two and a half hours - all of the flights that I remember taking have been to Europe and thus much longer.  And I survived the taxi, yay!  I got to my dorm as well.  Not much to say about it - it's a dorm.  I've been walking around the city a bit with my roommate Genevieve and we made a point to swing by Kmart for a fan as our dorm is not air-conditioned.  It is helping immensely.  And as we were walking around, we passed Zach Braff and Nick Zinner, the guitarist for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (ok, I only know this because Genevieve said so after we passed him).  Not a bad start, huh?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Packing, packing, packing

I think that I have now managed to fit an entire summer's worth of stuff into one large rolling suitcase, one duffel bag, and one only half-full carry-on.  I was able to whittle my shoes collection down the a necessary 7 pairs, no small feat, mind you.  Perhaps the most challenging thing about packing was that all of my stuff was already packed up from when I moved home a couple of weeks ago. 

But alas, soon I will be in New York City and packing will be nothing more than a faded memory.  My flight is tomorrow (Tuesday, May 31st) at 1pm, out of the Jacksonville airport.  I will land at 3:30pm and my adventure will begin - if you know me, you know that I use the term "adventure" slightly euphemistically as I am in fact quite nervous about the whole ordeal.  Now if I can just make it to my dorm tomorrow, all will be well....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last day at ALF

Today was my last day at my job at UF's Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF).  I have really had a great time working there and love all of my co-workers.  I do so very much hope to come back to my job with Team Dedup after my internship.  I don't think that I ever once in the 4 and a half months that I have worked there not wanted to go in to work and that's got to say something.  After some bad job experiences, I have most definitely learned to appreciate a good one and this has been one of them.  I learned a ton, made new friends, and felt like I belonged there.  (For more photos of my last day fun, go here.)

But alas, I mustn't dwell on what I will miss but on what lies ahead.  And what lies ahead is the Guggenheim and New York City.  Whoa.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Journal Entry #1

My internship at the Guggenheim Museum does not begin until June 2nd so at this point, I am still preparing for my trip. My flight to New York City is May 31st and it is coming up very quickly. I have secured housing in Manhattan in the New York University dorms. Most of the time, I will not be at the actual Guggenheim Museum as the library is housed in an office building downtown. This is actually quite convenient for me as it is only about a mile from my dorm. The dorm is pretty ideal except for the fact that it has no air conditioning which, though I am prepared for the intense heat and humidity of summer (being from Florida), no a/c will be challenging as there is a/c everywhere in Florida. 

I have already befriended a few of my fellow Guggenheim interns. One girl is staying in the same dorm as me which is neat. Also, there is another girl who is coming from Gainesville, like me. I have also been in contact with the internship coordinator for the Guggenheim as well as my site supervisor about various details. The internship coordinator has emailed us about a couple of outside events that we might like to attend. One of these was a collaborative exhibition called stillspotting nyc and the other was a free program and reception for summer interns at the Sotheby's Institute of Art

Up until this point, I have been nothing but excited for my trip but I am beginning to get nervous. I am from Gainesville, Florida which is a relatively small city, especially compared to Manhattan. I am very glad that I participated in the study abroad program in London last summer as I feel more comfortable about going to New York City after having lived in another big city, even if for only three weeks. I also intend to blog about my experience this summer like I did for my London study abroad trip

As far as what I will actually be doing in my internship, I am not sure. In my phone interview, my supervisor mentioned a backlog of items that needed to be cataloged. One thing I am sure of is the museum culture seminars held on Fridays for the Guggenheim interns. These seminars will take us on field trips to art galleries and other cultural centers in New York City where we will learn about the various career opportunities in museums. No matter what I will be doing, I will be completing my MLIS in New York City, interning at the Guggeneheim - it is practically impossible to be anything less than an amazingly valuable and exciting experience.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Learning Objectives

In order to receive credit for my internship, I have a few assignments that I must complete that I intend to post here as I complete them.  The first of these was to create learning objectives for my internship experience.  This is what I came up with:

1. The Guggenheim Museum sets this learning objective for its Intern Program: “To provide practical hands-on museum training for students and professionals pursuing museum careers by immersing interns in the daily operations of the museum.” Having never worked in a museum or a museum library before, I believe this will be a valuable experience for me. While I could certainly take museum studies classes to learn about work in that field, immersion in the actual work is the best way to really learn about the museum world. In particular, working in a library that specializes in art, particularly art in relation to the Guggenheim Museum itself, will be an experience tailored to my interests and career goals.

2. The second goal set forth by the Guggenheim Intern Program is “To facilitate educational dialogue and exposure to the arts and cultural sector in New York through weekly Museum Culture Seminars, comprising of site visits, lectures, seminars and field trips.” While not necessarily hands-on experience, this portion of the internship will be an informative way to learn about various career opportunities in museums as well as current projects in the cultural sector. This will also widen the focus of my internship by offering the opportunity to learn about all aspects of museum work in addition to that of the library’s place with respect to the Guggenheim. In addition, the Museum Culture Seminars will be an chance for me to network with both fellow interns and professionals in the field.

3. Specifically related to the library, this internship will help me to understand the information needs of museum professionals and art scholars. The Guggenheim Library primarily serves the staff of the museum so this will be the main focus of information services. However, the library does allow qualified scholars to use their resources by appointment; the potential to aid in research in the field of museums and art history is certainly a highlighted opportunity for this internship. Furthermore, hands-on experience with the information services provided to this community will be enlightening and will help to expand my understanding of information services overall.

4. The Guggenheim Library uses Koha as its integrated library system (ILS). This is an open source ILS and, as was suggested in my phone interview, this has its benefits and its challenges. In addition to gaining experience in another ILS (I have previously worked with SirsiDynix’s Unicorn and Symphony as well as Aleph from Ex Libris), being exposed to an open source ILS will be educational. Learning more about open source software in general as well as its application to the library will be beneficial. Also, I look forward to better understanding the pros and cons of using an open source ILS (as an information professional) as well as the choice to use such and ILS in a library in general.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My last semester

Yesterday, I applied for graduation at the end of the summer.  Today I sent in what could possibly be my last tuition check ever.  I am about to embark on my last semester of school.  And this won't just be any last semester.  It's a summer-internship-at-the-Guggenheim last semester.  I'm going out with a bang I suppose.  And then having a quarter-life crisis.