A library is a good place to study, conduct research and hold study sessions with friends over endless cups of coffee during finals week. However, Falvey Memorial Library, apart from being a great resource for faculty, students and the University community, hosts various internship opportunities that offer in-depth practical work experience to Villanova University graduate students as well as to individuals from the outside community.
The Events and Publications teams offer a shared year-long paid internship to a graduate assistant with the communication department. This intern’s duties are divided between these two teams and include “working with students, staff, faculty and guests while maintaining a regular flow of feature articles and blog entries that meet exacting editorial standards,” explains Darren Poley, Outreach librarian.
Through this experience, the intern will achieve a level of mastery with event planning and management and gain the ability to work with a diverse group of people. “The intern would, it is hoped, benefit from learning about team efforts and resources for organizing and documenting library intellectual programming,” says Poley.
“The intern should be a good writer and interested in developing communications skills, which is one reason that the communication department has been interested in placing their interns with us,” says Judith Olsen, Publications and Communications librarian.
The hiring process entails the graduate studies in communication committee making recommendations to Poley and Olsen for potential interns who go through an interview process before a selection is made.
The Events and Outreach team also employs several undergraduate student employees to work on events and outreach initiatives on an hourly basis. Applications specific to this team are made through the Office of the Library Director. Students interested in working with library cultural programs, displays or the community bibliography project should contact Darren Poley .
In addition, Special Collections and the Digital Library offer the Thomas C. Middleton Villanova Digital Library and Archives Internship. The position is a part-time temporary staff position offered during the fall and spring semesters.
The applicant is expected to possess experience in the digital library field and should be familiar with general library activities, cataloging procedures and historic artifacts. Given the qualifications for the position and that it is specifically geared to pre-professionals specializing in this area, this position is open to library and information science students from other universities.
The Middleton intern is trained to “scan items, handle books, perform meta-data, undertake cataloging and description of items, provide marketing and support for digital items and write articles for blogs. The intern will be expected to complete projects such as creating exhibits, processing digital library material and creating a finding aid,” explains Michael Foight, Special and Digital Collections librarian.
The position, which will appeal to students from a history, library sciences, archival studies or digital library background, is advertised through a pre-professional posting board and various listservs throughout the Delaware Valley.
The Middleton internship was the first internship created by Falvey. “Our first intern was unpaid and she did such a great job that we thought we could attract additional talented individuals as well as share our experience with new professionals, so we could give back to the profession and help train the next generation of librarians and also pay them for their services,” explains Foight.
The position received its name in memory of Father Middleton, who was both the founder of the American Catholic Historical Society (ACHS) and former president of Villanova University. He was also one of the librarians who dramatically increased the number of rare books in the Falvey collection. Foight, who named the internship, says “Our first partnership in the Digital Library was and continues to be with the ACHS, so it is important to create a link with them as well as to remind us of our primary responsibility. In that regard, Father Middleton symbolizes all of the Augustinians who have devoted their lives to education and to the preservation of the collective Catholic heritage.” Since its inception two years ago, three individuals have served as Middleton interns.
Foight can be contacted for more information on this position.
Last semester, the Special Collections department, under the supervision of Bente Polites, Special Collections librarian, offered a semester-long internship. That intern was primarily involved with working on projects pertaining to Special Collections and assisted with “managing papers for archival descriptions,” says Polites.
In general, through the Falvey Memorial Library internship experience, interns “will have the opportunity to learn and write about many aspects of what happens within the walls of the library: meet and interview scholars from many disciplines, work with rare books librarians and instruction librarians, contribute to digitization projects and learn how to work within an evolving web environment, to name a few aspects of the Falvey experience,” explains Olsen. The goal is for interns to leave with practical knowledge in event planning, outreach, public relations, web development, library science and collaborative experiences in an academic setting.
Falvey also benefits from these positions. “These internships provide us with a ‘renewable’ supply of energy, talent and insight, allowing us to advance the mission of the library while also providing support and learning opportunities for skilled graduate students from Villanova University and beyond,” says Joe Lucia, University librarian.