To gain experience in a public library and prepare for a possible future in the virtual workforce, student Christopher Zeidel served as an Electronic Services Intern during a Fall 2012 virtual internship at the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) in California. With a focus on social media, Zeidel supported staff and served the public throughout the semester.
To support the staff, Zeidel maintained pre-existing staff training materials regarding social media usage and policies, and developed new ones. “Since social media sites change over time, my assignment was to report any recent changes in how these social media sites work,” Zeidel said.
Additionally, Zeidel researched best practices for new technologies like Axis 360 and 3M Cloud Library to help MCFL better gauge their approach in this form of community outreach. Towards the end of the semester, Zeidel created design proposals via Mockingbird wireframes for new MCFL webpages that would showcase library E-book collections.
To serve MCFL patrons, Zeidel created blog posts to promote library programs and services. “I promoted the library's Science Month project, including lectures and discussions about mammals, humans, and the local area,” Zeidel said. “I also promoted story times for children, Spanish Language courses, art related events, and many other events.” In addition, he created two new subject guides accessible on the Research & Learning webpage, which he considered some of his biggest accomplishments: “Social Media” and “Social Media for Parents.”
“I chose the Electronic Services Department to learn how libraries work in the virtual environment,” he shared. By completing an internship virtually, Zeidel got his first practical look at the virtual work environment of public libraries, which he may pursue in the future.
After earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History, Zeidel discovered through years spent utilizing libraries that his heart and personality felt more suited to the LIS field. He enrolled in our School’s MLIS program in 2009 and plans to graduate in Spring 2013. His virtual internship made a lasting impression as he hopes to work in electronic services for a public library one day.