UK Students Take Spring Break at Library of Congress

Five University of Kentucky graduate students from the College of Communications and Information Studies' School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), recently participated in the Library of Congress Alternative Spring Break program in Washington, D.C. UK students Sara Wood, Jessicah Cheyenne Hohman, Meredith Nelson, Emily Pike and Emily Aldridge worked in different areas of the library.

Wood, from Lexington, said the program was set up to allow five graduate students from SLIS to participate in a week-long internship. The internship focused on the completion of a short project under the direction of a Library of Congress (LOC) librarian.

"Once we were selected based on our resumes and letters of interest, we were specifically matched to a project conducive to our experience and interests," Wood said.

Wood worked with processing materials for an African pamphlet collection, which included pamphlets, textiles, artwork and other collections. More specifically, she discerned the subject matter of a variety of materials that had recently been acquired from Uganda and inventoried, organized and placed the materials accordingly on shelves.

Cheyenne Hohman, from Louisville, worked with the Digital Reference Division at the LOC. Her project was to create a Web guide to e-books, which required much research, Web design knowledge and writing.

"In addition to the project itself, I gained insight into the inner workings of the LOC, what issues it faces, and was given an opportunity to be immersed in an environment where I was surrounded by amazingly helpful and eager professionals," Hohman said. In addition to graduate school work, Hohman works for the College of Arts & Sciences creating podcasts and also helps oversee social media.

Lexington native Meredith Nelson worked in the Serial and Government Publications Division. This division incorporated the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. Her project required her to build topics pages for the Chronicling America project, which is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

"I've said it several times now, but it was a wonderful feeling to have done so much classwork and to get to use it in practice," Nelson said. "All of the theory I've learned, all of the class exercises I've completed —it all paid off."

Lexington's Emily Pike worked in the LOC's Prints and Photographs Division. Her job was to assign subject headings to photos, so people browsing online can search by subject.

"I highly recommend this program to aspiring librarians," Pike said. "Having the chance to get an inside look at the largest library in the world is priceless."

Emily Aldridge of Bowling Green worked in the LOC's European Division, specifically with a collection called the Rubinov papers. Her job was to consolidate and verify all of the citations and previous notes regarding the collection.

"This internship gave me a great deal of confidence, to know that the classes I am taking here at UK are really doing an excellent job of preparing me for my future career," she said.




Library of Congress Alternative Spring Break participants included (clockwise from top left) Jessicah Cheyenne Hohman, Emily Aldridge, Meredith Nelson, Sarah Wood and Emily Pike.

Article Date: 4/27/2011
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