Castro Valley Library

SJSU Intern Serenity Dean by deniseqbaker
Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Libraries


serenity-dean.jpgSerenity Dean has been an intern here at the Castro Valley Library for the past four months, getting an opportunity to see what librarians really do before she graduates from Library School. She has been an invaluable help at the children’s reference desk, especially with our instant messaging online questions, and assisting with tasks and ideas for our many projects. Here is Serernity’s take on the experience!



My Internship at Castro Valley Library


As a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, one of the class options is an internship.  Since most traditional classes offer lots of theory and discussion but not much hands-on experience, internships are an excellent way to learn the real ins and outs of the library profession.  Students are responsible for defining their own learning objectives and setting up their internships based on those objectives.  A supervisor at the chosen location is required to help guide the student and report on his or her progress.


I was lucky enough to set up a 180 hour internship with Denise Baker, the Children’s Librarian at Castro Valley Library.  Denise has been a great mentor, allowing me to have a part in all aspects of her job.  Some of the things I’ve done include answering questions at the reference desk, supervising the volunteer-staffed Homework Center, helping with special programs, and providing reference services online through the “Ask Us!” feature on the library’s website. I have also spent lots of time weeding the worn and outdated items from the collection and reviewing new items for purchase.  I’ve attended lots of meetings for Children’s Services, Teen Services, and the Summer Reading Game Committee.  I even attended a Performer’s Showcase where magicians, clowns, storytellers, and other performers audition for spots in the summer event lineup at Alameda County libraries. 


I began my experience in January, and am now entering the home stretch of my time at Castro Valley, having clocked 165 hours to date.  I can’t say enough about how helpful this experience has been.  My other classes have taught me the ideas, ethics, and skills of librarianship, but my internship has helped solidify all that into real life experience.  I graduate in just two weeks, so keep an eye out for me – someday I might be your librarian!

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