For student Michelle Chimento, a virtual internship at San José State University’s King Library helped boost her experience as she prepares for a career involving information literacy instruction.
During her virtual internship, Chimento created content for the Open Source for Student Learning initiative. The initiative is part of the university’s Affordable Learning Solutions project, which aims to provide students with free or low-cost digital access to course content in lieu of buying costly textbooks.
Chimento’s duties included collaborating with librarians and other faculty to organize and facilitate access to open-source digital content. She also produced multimedia tutorials to explain access and use of the content, and she developed Web pages.
The internship applied directly to her goal of following the MLIS program’s Information Intermediation and Instruction career pathway, she said. For example, editing a research guide, or LibGuide, and creating multimedia tutorials strengthened skills she learned in her coursework. It also gave her valuable experience in problem solving and working independently.
In one of the most challenging and rewarding projects in her internship, Chimento used Google Analytics to evaluate Web pages. She then created a PowToon presentation (rather than a traditional written report or PowerPoint presentation) to produce a compelling visualization of website metrics.
“I was given total control of my time and method of working,” Chimento said. “The result was that I felt valued as someone who knew what was best for my projects. Weekly check-ins with my site supervisor helped ensure I was on track.”
Like most SLIS students, Chimento does not live near campus and could not have done an on-site internship at the King Library. The virtual internship made it possible for her to work from her home in San Francisco, which is an hour away from San José. She occasionally attended on-site faculty workshops and professional development events.
For current students who are considering an internship, she advises them to research the institution that’s hosting the internship and the internship position so they can craft a focused cover letter and resume. Chimento feels her own focused application won her an interview and ultimately the intern position, which she completed during her final semester in the MLIS program.
Chimento earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology/education at Rowan University in New Jersey, and a library technician certificate from City College of San Francisco.
LIBR 244 Online Searching – “I learned the importance of understanding advanced search phrasing and that efficient searches have basic concepts in common.”
LIBR 298 Special Studies – “I introduced first-year SLIS students to the Blackboard Collaborate Web-conferencing platform. Later in the semester, I served as a Collaborate faculty aide.”
LIBR 210 Reference and Information Services – “I gained practice using LibGuides during this class.”