Student Laura Warren Makes the Most of Virtual Internship Opportunities

Student Laura Warren is exploring information instruction and online collaboration in two very different virtual internship environments.

As the first SJSU SLIS student to work with Credo Reference’s Libraries Thriving Internship Program, Warren collaborates with librarians and other educators to facilitate discussions about new e-resource applications. Meanwhile, her research and resource development for the Dubai Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates is supporting information literacy instruction for students more than 7,000 miles away.

Both virtual opportunities are providing Warren with essential experience in the library and information science field. Her Summer 2011 internship with Credo Reference led to a part-time job with the company and a chance to present at a regional conference.

“I’m amazed at the opportunities I’ve had,” Warren said. “My number-one piece of advice for fellow students is to build skills and professional relationships by taking advantage of internships.”

Warren’s responsibilities as a Libraries Thriving Intern included moderating the community’s discussion forum posts, reaching out to professional listserv groups, promoting events, and planning online seminar series. She recently took on the additional role of developing information literacy materials for Credo’s reference resources.

Information literacy is also the focus of Warren’s Fall 2011 virtual internship at the Dubai Women’s College (DWC), where she is currently researching learning theories and assessment tools and creating library instruction PowerPoint presentations. DWC librarians will use the presentations during face-to-face instruction sessions with students and faculty.

Warren enrolled at our School’s MLIS program in Fall 2010, after completing her undergraduate degrees in English and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She says her decision to earn an MLIS is continually reaffirmed as she spends more time in the field. “Focusing on library and information science is a way for me to be able to educate people, help people, and keep learning something new every day,” Warren said.

An East Coast resident, Warren finds that our School’s online program provides a great deal of flexibility in her studies, along with training in a variety of virtual communication tools for professional work.

A Summer 2011 course in information literacy with Dr. Michelle Holschuh Simmons also helped Warren hone her professional skills. “The course directly applied to what I’m doing now, as I’m creating instruction materials for the Dubai Women’s College,” she said. “I was hanging on the edge of my seat while I learned about all the different learning styles and theories!”

Warren is working for Credo Reference while interning at DWC during the Fall 2011 semester. She will also be co-presenting a session with one of her Libraries Thriving colleagues at the Charleston Conference on Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition. Her presentation will focus on using collaborative online communities as a resource for meeting common library challenges.

Warren learned about the virtual internship opportunities at the Dubai Women’s College and at Credo Reference through the SJSU SLIS Internship Sites Database. She plans to graduate from SJSU SLIS in May 2012.