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DESCRIPTIONInternships that go the distance: A how-to-do-it (and how-not-to-do-it) guide to online internships. Presented at the Fall 2011 MARAC meeting in Bethlehem, PA.
Internships that go the distance:A how-to-do-it (and how-not-to-do-it) guide to online internships Rebecca GoldmanConnelly Library, La Salle University(formerly of the Drexel University Archives)October 22, 2011Photo credit: Sideonecincy http://www.flickr.com/photos/sideonecincy/5882191626
Lets get some things straightAngry cat by CiCCio.ithttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ciccioit/221427543 INTERNSHIPSUR DOIN IT WRONG
Internships are NOT free laborGood internships require an initial time investment for planning and an ongoing time commitment from internship supervisors for training and guidanceDont expect your interns to do the work of professional archivists If you want someone whos done it before, hire a professional
Student + archives = internship? Just because a grad student is doing the work, Just because the work is happening in an archives,Just because your archives really needs that work done,
doesnt make it an internship.
Student + archives + learning = internship!Interns should be able to demonstrate by the end of the internship that they have learned new skills or improved existing skillsIdeally, an internship culminates with a tangible end product, like a finding aid, an exhibit, or a report
Internships are about more than official responsibilitiesInterns should feel like valued members of your staffInterns should get a sense of what life is like for archivistsSometimes internships make students realize they dont want to be archivists anymoreand thats okay!
Interns are like puppiesPhoto credits: @craudma, @jenlrile, and @reality4check
Incorporating all of these things into an online internship is HARDHow do you provide a realistic work experience in an online environment?How do you keep track of your interns progress and check in with them if you dont work the same hours? How do you socialize your interns and show them what its like to be an archivist if theyre never around other archivists?If your repository cant handle an on-site intern, you definitely arent ready for a remote intern
Butonline internships have some pretty sweet advantagesStudents who dont live near archives can get experienceStudents who work during the day can get experienceDigital projects are great for sharing with prospective employersSome archives tasks work just as well online
An experimentBreaking Out of the Facility by Shuttermoth http://www.flickr.com/photos/shuttermoth/100644472
Our subjectScreenshot by Megan Atkinson, with a guest appearance by Grrr!.
Internship componentsDevelop a metadata policy for archived websites and create metadata for some of those sitesProvide metadata for a collection of digitized photographs
Archive-ItSubscription service from the Internet Archive for archiving websitesDecide which sites you want captured, when to capture them, and how you want to describe themTotally web-based
Describing websites in Archive-It
Does Archive-It work well for an online internship?Yes! ItsNaturalistic: the same work an intern would do if she were on siteFlexible: the intern can create metadata anytime, and the archivist can review it anytimeShareable: the intern can share links to archived websites with metadata that she created
Our digital asset management system
Dont try this at home
Metadata for digital images could be a good internship ifYou have a web-based system for storing images and creating metadata, and you already know how to use itThe images dont require inside knowledge of your institution
How Dickinson States Theodore Roosevelt Center made it workTask: catalog documents in a digital library and write blog posts about the documentsThe digital library isnt live yet, but check out the blog posts from summer 2011 at http://www.blogtrc.org Basecamp site with message boards, file sharing and writeboards for sharing controlled vocabulary termsVirtual office hours in SkypeThey pay their interns
Remote metadata creation that worksImages from Krystal Thomas, Theodore Roosevelt Center
One internship, two perspectives
Happy intern Unhappy intern I would characterize this experience as being very independently driven. This is something I am fine with
While I would have appreciated a more thorough orientation for my internship, I have not had any major problems with it.
I am satisfied with the work Im doing. I feel like I am contributing to [Archives], and also gaining skills that are critical to my future archives career. The instruction [Archivist] mentioned in an initial email never came, and I was quite unclear what my internship entails until recently.
Common sense would dictate that you would give the interns an overview of what they were doing I am always on my own and feel like a slave.
Overall this is the worst internship I have been a part of - I'm not sure if it even qualifies as an internship sincethe only educational experience I am receiving is from my own self-study.
General advice for online supervisorsBe clear about goals and expectationsHave multiple channels of communicationBe familiar with your interns grad school programAllow time for trainingCheck in with your interns regularlyRemember that interns are people too
General advice for online internsMake sure you have time!Make sure you manage your time wellKnow your work habits and what you need to succeedDont be afraid to ask for thingsYou cant get all the archives experience you need from online internships
Online interns are like digital puppiesPhoto credit: jdruschke http://www.flickr.com/photos/jilldruschke/2232374988
Further readingOnline Archives Internship: Megans (heavily edited) article in Archival Outlook May/June 2011 Archival Internships: A Guide for Faculty, Supervisors, and Students by Jeannette Bastian and Donna WebberSJSU internship guide: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/classes/294/ libr294guide.htm
Thank you!Megan Atkinson, for being an awesome online internLori Lindberg of SJSU SLIS, for sharing internship advice and (anonymized!) internship reportsKrystal Thomas of the Theodore Roosevelt Center, who supervised 22(!) online interns this summer, for sharing info and screenshots from the TRCs online internship project
Contact meRebecca [email protected]
This presentation is available from http://www.slideshare.net/rebgold Photo: State Library and Archives of Florida http://www.flickr.com/photos/floridamemory/3251651362
*So Im going to talk about an online internship that I helped design and supervise when I was at the Drexel University Archives. It didnt go as well as I would have liked, so I also talked to other archivists who have made online internships work.*So, before I get into online internships, I want to talk about internships in general, and what counts as an internshipGood internships require an initial time investment for planning and an ongoing time commitment from internship supervisors for training and guidanceDont expect your interns to do the work of professional archivists If you want someone whos done it before, hire a professional
Internships are only free labor if you dont include the cost of your own time to design the internship and to train and supervise your intern. If your intern doesnt need any training or supervision, you probably didnt pick a good project for their internship**So, just because you have a student working in your archives, thats not necessarily an internship. Take, for example, data entry. Im sure most of us come from repositories with some sort of data entry work waiting to be done. And hey, it could maybe even be done remotely. But students arent going to learn anything about archives from doing hours of data entry, even if theyre sitting in an archives while they do it.
So, you have a grad student, and you have an archives. What else do you need to make it an internship?Learning! Interns should be able to demonstrate by the end of the internship that they have learned new skills or improved existing skills. Ideally, an internship culminates with a tangible end product, like a finding aid, an exhibit, or a report. These products are all things interns can point to as proof that theyve learned a new skill.**The best internships make interns feel welcome at their host institutions. Invite your interns to social events within your organization. Introduce them to other staff in your organization. And if interns are learning new skills and meeting other archivists AND you provided a good work environment, and they decide after their internships that they dont want to be archivists anymorethats a good thing, and you didnt do anything wrong.
*Interns are like puppies. It takes a lot of work to train them and make them feel like theyre part of your family, but if you do it right theyll love you foreverSo, I talked about all the things that make a good internship, but incorporating all of them into an online internship is hard. How do you provide a realistic work experience in an online environment? How do you keep track of your interns progress and check in with them if you dont work the same hours? How do you socialize your interns and show them what its like to be an archivist if theyre never around other archivists? If your repository cant handle an on-site intern, you definitely arent ready for a remote intern
*Butonline internships have some pretty sweet advantages. Students who dont live near archives can get experienceStudents who work during the day can get experience. How many of you come from archives that are open outside typical 9-5 hours? More than 10 hours a w