Student Jan Oliver Expands Library's Online Resources during Virtual Internship

Student Jan Oliver completed a virtual internship at the Marin County Free Library during the Spring 2012 semester. As an electronic services intern, Oliver enhanced web resources for the library’s summer reading program, revamped social media tutorials for library staff, and helped migrate content to the county’s new intranet site.

Using her extensive computer background, Oliver was able to update the look of the library’s summer reading program web pages. Her edits to the program pages for adults, teens and children provide a more aesthetically pleasing entryway to the program for summer reading enthusiasts. Oliver enjoyed being able to use her HTML and CSS experience, as well as having the chance to enhance her image editing skills in this creative endeavor.

In addition to her work on the summer reading program web pages, Oliver revamped social media tutorials for the Marin County Free Library staff. Oliver went over the tool kits and tips sheets for programs such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and HootSuite to update links and verify step-by-step directions. Her updates to these documents have enhanced valuable tutorials for library staff involved in maintaining the library’s web presence.

When Oliver wasn’t developing the summer reading program websites and the social media tutorials, she was busy helping the library migrate content to their new intranet site. Her attention to detail was imperative as she edited each file according to the new site standards and worked to tag and classify the new pages. Oliver’s internship supervisor was thrilled to have her expertise during this hectic time at the library.

Although Oliver’s internship was a virtual one, she was able to enjoy the library’s location in an historic Frank Lloyd Wright building by going to on-site meetings each month. “The building is really beautiful and I thought it would be really neat to work there,” Oliver said. The combination of virtual and on-site work was the perfect fit for Oliver. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to go in for meetings, but I also really like that I can determine my own hours. The virtual setting has allowed me to get more done without having to spend time commuting.”

Oliver enrolled in the MLIS program in Fall 2010 and planned to follow the Information Intermediation and Instruction career pathway. After learning more about library trends and the future of the profession, she re-evaluated and began taking classes related to Digital Services. She hoped that her virtual internship with Marin County Free Library would help confirm that her switch to a more digitally oriented track was the right choice. Her experience did just that, and she is looking forward to completing her degree in Spring 2013. After graduation, Oliver’s dream job would allow her to combine her love of reference and digital services at a small library where she could have multiple responsibilities.