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NDIIPP Junior Fellows on the Job

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The following is a guest post by Gloria Gonzalez, a 2011 Junior Fellow working with NDIIPP.

The conclusion of May marked a significant event here at the Library of Congress—the arrival of the 2011 Junior Fellow interns. This year there are forty-one Junior Fellows; we spent the past week learning the history of the Library and how to navigate our way around what seems to be a labyrinth of offices. After our basic orientation, we settled into our assigned departments.

From left: Gloria Gonzalez, Kristin Snawder, Cristina Bilmanis and Victoria Priester
From left: Gloria Gonzalez, Kristin Snawder, Cristina Bilmanis and Victoria Priester

NDIIPP selected four Junior Fellows—Kristin Snawder, Victoria Priester, Cristina Bilmanis and myself—to work in their department. We come from a variety of educational backgrounds, which means we will be able to assist the program in an assortment of ways while working together to provide NDIIPP with a well-rounded team of interns.

Kristin is a graduate student at Indiana University, where she is working on a dual master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Digital Libraries. Her interests, which include digital humanities and preservation, motivated her to apply for the program.

“I’ve always been interested in being a part of the Junior Fellows program at the Library of Congress, and I wanted to do something related to digital preservation and digital humanities that would make a difference in my future,” she said. “I’m interested in building tools to help researchers and the public understand information better and see all the different ways collections can be viewed and used. I’m still learning about what I want to do after I finish school and I want to utilize this internship to work on the things I know I’m interested in and discover my specific interests.”

Victoria just finished her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Flagler College in Florida. She’s a congressional appointee of the Junior Fellows program, recommended by Congressman Ander Crenshaw. When asked how her interest in the Junior Fellows program developed, Victoria said, “After further looking into the internship, I realized how multifaceted the departments are and decided that I wanted to be a part of the Office of Strategic Initiatives because it provides the opportunity to keep up with new technologies.”

NDIIPP fits well with Victoria’s interests in online communications and public relations, and will allow her to reach her goal of acquiring a new skill set in digital preservation. She explained, “Eventually I want to go into online campaigning, and there’s no better way to learn how execute an online campaign then to study previous campaigns like the ones preserved by the Web Archiving Team. Also, this internship will help me develop a sense of professionalism because you are held to the same standards as other employees, which is important to personal development.”

Cristina applied for this internship because she was seeking an opportunity to incorporate her graphic design skills with her love of history. She recently graduated from the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College with an Associate of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.

Sign Welcoming the 2011 Junior Fellows
Welcoming the 2011 Junior Fellows

When asked about what she wants to learn this summer Cristina said, “I hope to be able to learn more about the background of how NDIIPP started and developed, which I will be able to do while working on these projects.” Her other interests include digital media and web design. “I’m excited about being able to interact with people who have had a part in the many digital initiatives within the Library of Congress because it will give me a chance to explore different ways to apply what I’ve learned in school,” she said.

I applied for the Junior Fellows program because I wanted to expand my library experience before beginning graduate school at UCLA in the fall. I’m going to get my master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in archives, so what I learn while working with NDIIPP will be very useful to my education and career.  I just finished my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Mississippi, and I think the Junior Fellows program will serve as a bridge between my undergraduate and graduate studies.

My interests in digital preservation, digital archives, and the ethics of digitization are what specifically led me to NDIIPP. As a Junior Fellow, I will be able to learn about aspects of librarianship that cannot be taught in the classroom, which is why I look forward to being surrounded by professionals who work in the field that I plan on joining once I finish school.

We will spend the next nine weeks working on an array of projects, each tailored to our particular skills and interests. At the end of the summer, we’ll present the projects we consider most significant in order to demonstrate what we’ve learned. During our time here, we will be able to develop a sense of professionalism and fine-tune our interests while contributing to NDIIPP.

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