My Junior Fellow Summer

The following is a guest post by Madeline Sheldon, former Junior Fellow with NDIIPP

With Congressman Dingell of Michigan (photo from the Office of Congressman Dingell.)

The Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program, at the Library of Congress, provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to work on special projects and collections within the world-renowned institution. The Library selects students with various educational backgrounds and specializations, including libraries, archives, humanities and sciences.

During the 10 week internship, individuals pair with a supervisor, who guides the fellow as they work through their assignments, often acting as professional mentors in the process. Junior Fellow Program coordinators also arrange a series of special tours, meetings, and discussions around Washington, D.C., a special incentive, while working at the Library.

As a Junior Fellow, I had the privilege of working with William LeFurgy, Acting Director NDIIPP Program Management, in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, who encouraged me to attend several meetings, and allowed me to take on multiple projects during my tenure.

  • At one of the first meetings organized for the Junior Fellows, Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress, and Roberta Shaffer, Associate Librarian for Library Services, spoke to us about their positions within the Library, as well as answered questions from the audience. I sat on the front row, literally feet away from these esteemed professionals: a memorable experience I will never forget.
  • I also met with United States Senator, Debbie Stabenow, and Congressman John Dingell, who both took time out of their busy schedules to take a photograph with me, a new Michigander.
  • In previous blog posts, I discussed my attendance at a talk, given by Courtney Johnston, Director of Dowse Art Museum, and summarized my experience spent at a symposium, which focused on conservation practices for time-based media within museums. Both presentations provided me with helpful information and strategies, which I used while researching digital preservation policy planning within cultural heritage organizations.
  • While I spent a majority of my time researching and writing, I also had an opportunity to produce a video, based on Tess Webre’s blog post, titled Snow Byte and The Seven Formats: A Digital Preservation Fairytale. I helped with script development and designed a storyboard for the video, which outlined specific instructions for the visual, music, and audio/narration transitions. The video is currently going through a final stage of edits, but should debut shortly.
  • During my final weeks, I participated in two events – the Junior Fellow Display and the NDIIPP annual meeting, Digital Preservation 2013, where I presented a poster, which outlined the research I conducted while working with NDIIPP.
The Junior Fellow Display. (Photo credit: Carlos Martinez III)

The Junior Fellow Display. (Photo credit: Carlos Martinez III)

I am very proud of the work I’ve done, but also thankful for all of the help and advice I have received along the way from fellow interns, Junior Fellow coordinators and OSI staff. The employees I’ve met, and collaborated with, have been so welcoming, thoughtful and encouraging; I value each and every experience shared with them.

While I am sad to leave the Library of Congress, I know that my time spent here has been such a fulfilling, professional opportunity. I feel so honored and fortunate to have served my country in this way, and hope the Library continues to offer such a valuable program.

Update, 8/9 – corrected URLs