Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Journal Entry #2

Today was an odd mix of really normal and quite stressful.  Began the day with a bit of a banking crisis (do not fret, dear reader, my banking woes appear to have ended...for now at least), did a little bit of cataloging, and went out for a tad bit of shopping in Soho (Today's lesson, by the way, is that Old Navy is always the answer.).  Oh and you remember how last week, there was a heat advisory here?  Today was like a mild winter day in Florida.  The rain didn't help either and indeed made me miss my car, Henry.  But I must clarify: I am NOT complaining.  I will take this weather all summer long over the miserable heat and humidity. 

But this is not why you have come here today, for this blog was originally intended to follow my internship experiences.  Tomorrow my second journal entry is due for my internship class (through FSU) and I will share that with you now (if you have been following my blog, you have probably already read most of it):

I have finally begun my internship and through I have not even been working two weeks, I have already learned a lot.  At the orientation for Guggenheim interns, we were introduced to the various policies and procedures as they related to us.  We were also briefed on the upcoming events and programs that were both scheduled specifically for interns as well as those of the museum in general.  Orientation was slightly overwhelming, as most are, in part because my internship is far more related to library work than museum happenings.  I did learn, however, that in addition to the museum culture seminars for interns, we can also use our Guggenheim ID to gain access to any museum in the city - and many nationwide, as well - for free.  We can also attend many of the Guggenheim events and exhibits for free.  This is very exciting, especially in New York City where there are so many great museums to see.  I have already seen the stillspotting (brooklyn) nyc and The Hugo Boss Prize 2010:Hans-Peter Feldmann, both Guggenheim exhibitions, as part of the museum culture seminars.  In addition, many of my co-interns and I went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition at TheMetropolitan Museum of Art together.

Once I got to the Guggenheim library, I felt much more at home.  The library is very small but it seems to serve its purpose quite well: provide library materials and services for the Guggenheim staff and (sometimes) outside researchers.  My primary duty here looks like it will be cataloging the backlog of materials in the basement as well as maintaining the daily goings-on of the library (circulation, shelving, etc.).  I have never done any cataloging myself before so that has been a new experience.  I am learning more about MARC as well as the software programs that the library uses (BookWhere, MARC notepad, and Koha).  Another project that I may be taking on soon is the de-duplication of the library.  The shelves are very tight and will only get tighter as we catalog more of the backlog of items, thus a weeding project is needed and the most obvious first step is to weed the duplicate copies of items (for complete withdraw or move to an off-site location).  Interestingly enough, de-duplication was my exact job for the four and a half months that I was working at University of Florida before I came here.  I am quite familiar with de-duplication procedures as well as US copyright laws and digital library databases, should the Guggenheim library like to link to an online copy of their materials in order to make more space.  Indeed, I mentioned this and the fact that if the items in the small rare books collection were digitized, this could cut down on circulation and improve preservation.  My supervisor had not even considered that as an option and seemed to like the idea very much. 

I am in a unique position in my internship as many of the interns - and staff - go through me to access and check out library materials.  It makes me feel important.  In fact, there is an upcoming museum culture seminar dedicated to introducing the interns to the library.  It also gives me a chance to meet more of the interns and staff than I would otherwise be able to, especially those who frequent the library for research. 

In addition to my directly internship-related experience, I am also getting adjusted to life in New York City.  I have been keeping a log of how many miles I walk everyday (usually at least two miles).  Indeed, just to go to work, I walk a mile there and another mile home.  I am continuing to blog about both my internship and my experience in New York and plan to do so throughout the summer.

Today's mileage: 3.12 mi

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