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Archive | Continuing Education

Students Share Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) eInternship Experiences

This post is a follow-up to our previous post about the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) eInternship. Previous participants have been kind enough to write blog posts about the work they did and the value of the eInternship as a professionalizing experience.

If you are interested in participating in the VSFS eInternship next year, we will post that information to the DMIL website and share with our SLA Student Group contacts next year. Be on the lookout June 2015.

I. Amanda F. Thompson, MLIS Candidate

Amanda F. Thompson
Personal Website:
Internship Website: 

Late last fall, I sat down at my computer one night, bound and determined to find “it” –the perfect internship. Earlier that night, it hit me hard that night that I had one more year of library school left. While I learned many skills through my coursework, I wanted a chance or two to really apply my newly gained knowledge and skills in a work setting. I wanted to stand out, to have something more on my resume to offer my future employers. That’s when I saw “it”-the perfect internship for Army Research Laboratory Technical Library (ARL).

ARL caught my eye for many reasons. First and foremost, it was a virtual internship. I have family and work obligations, so it was important to me to be able to have flexibility with time, and a virtual internship certainly offers that. Doing a virtual internship also shows potential employers that I can work well and efficiently without direct supervision. Virtual internships also let you keep up with new communication technologies, which is something that will help you stay ahead of the curve when it comes time to send out resumes.

I also selected ARL because I wanted to take a position outside of the traditional library setting. ARL was different because it was a military library, not a public or academic library that I was used to. The work we were being asked to do was specifically for Army scientists, which was new territory for me. I got to learn new tools- such as Web of Science, InCites, and EndNotes, and directly apply them to the work I was doing.

Interning for ARL was a win-win situation. I got to do the things I love most- doing research and learning about new countries. The internship offered enough flexibility that I was able to complete my work while keeping up with work, school, and family obligations. But even more than that, my internship made a difference- the ARL scientists used the data the other interns and I gathered and interpreted and formed 15 international partnerships. I’m proud to have taken part of that.

This internship also brought me other opportunities and results above and beyond my expectations. Through this internship, the other interns and I have been invited to give talks and create a webinar. I’ve also had the chance to network with other federal librarians and learn about other opportunities within the federal government. I learned new, solid and sellable skills that I can use on my resume and in future jobs. The doors that a federal internship can open are many. I would highly recommend students to investigate this type of internship-with the skills and knowledge I learned from this, the possibilities are endless.

II. Cory Laurence, MLIS Candidate

Cory Laurence
San Jose State University iSchool

I interned virtually this summer with Nancy Faget, a librarian at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. She is located in Maryland, while I am in California. The original plan was for me to work with a group of interns, but at the last minute it ended up just being me. The good thing about this was that the end product was really something that I created myself and could take full credit for, and I really felt that I was getting one-on-one support from Nancy. Even so, I was a little bit disappointed that I was on my own because I actually like group work for the camaraderie, increased motivation, and for having someone to bounce ideas off. Still, I had a productive summer and feel that I learned a lot.

The internship was an intern-driven research project about research trends in the European Union. Nancy provided the parameters and gave suggestions and training, but I was in charge of content, presentation mediums, motivation, scheduling, and promotion.   We decided to focus on research trends in Germany for the summer (because I have some rudimentary German language skills). Nancy gave me four topics to research (quantum computing, mulit-agent network control, nanomaterials, and metamaterials), and I ran searches and analyzed results in Web of Science in order to determine who was publishing the most articles on each topic in Germany. I identified some top authors and institutions and did some background research on the R&D environment in Germany. My next step was to decide how I wanted to present my information. I decided to create a website using Weebly, as well as a screencast to accompany the website. So by doing the internship, I was able to enhance my skills in the areas of web design, research, analysis, instruction, and organization, among others.

I have quite a few takeaways from the internship which I will take with me to my next project. The biggest obstacle I faced was one of motivation. It was summer, I had my kids home from school, we went on a trip, I was working on my own – everything conspired against me to make it as hard a possible to stay motivated! As a student in an online program, I’m used to dealing with this, but summers present a particular challenge. A lack of routine and consistency really exacerbate the usual problems with motivation. So, I found that I needed to find ways to deal with it. In the beginning of the summer I asked Nancy if we could schedule a weekly ‘check-in’ meeting. I’ve done this with past virtual internships, and it helps to have that accountability and connection on a regular basis. Even if we couldn’t meet by phone or web conference, I sent a weekly status update and Nancy replied with feedback. I made sure that I kept a daily log of my activities so I could have a tangible record of what I accomplished each day (this helped when writing the three log reports I had to submit to my school). I tried to plan to work at specific times on my internship, so that I wasn’t always trying to decide when I was going to get work done (and so that I didn’t feel that I had to be on the computer all the time). I did my best to set specific goals for myself before beginning each work session. In online classes, motivation is slightly easier since I have specific assignments and readings to complete. With this internship, the schedule was mostly up to me (with some guidance from Nancy), so I could really waste a lot of time if I wasn’t focused. I found that starting my session with a plan – a list of tasks to complete – helped keep me moving and focused. And to really keep my on track, I muted my phone and clicked “do not disturb” on my Facebook and email notifications on the computer!I have found that using Evernote is a great way to keep myself organized. I created a folder in Evernote just for this internship, and I kept everything related to the internship there. I saved emails, to-do lists, my daily internship log, notes, and I ‘clipped’ websites and documents that I found during my research. This combined with Google docs to keep track of the authors and institutions that I researched proved to be a very handy way to keep everything straight.

The great thing about this internship, besides all the valuable skills that I developed, was the support I received from Nancy. We didn’t talk often (our weekly check-in was often the only contact we had), but we did communicate over email and she assured me that she was always available to me. Nancy is very supportive of my career development, encouraging me to investigate Federal librarianship as a career option. I have to admit that it is not a career path I originally envisioned for myself, but she has encouraged me to conduct informational interviews and to visit libraries in the area that interest me. I will have to do the work and figure out who I want to talk to and where I’m interested in going, but Nancy will be available to me if I need her. Having her support will make the process a lot less overwhelming for me. Overall, I’m very glad that I chose to do this internship.

III. Aryn Dagirmanjian interned for the Army Research Laboratories in 2014 and is currently a Library and Information Science Masters Student at San Jose State University’s iSchool.

For the first three months of 2014, I was a virtual intern for the Army Research Laboratories in Adelphi, MD. I also live in Maryland, a little less than an hour away. It wouldn’t have been the worst commute in the world. What would have been difficult is working in office hours and commuter time around my full-time work schedule that included mornings, nights, and weekends. Virtual internships are fantastic for all the reasons you would assume, but even beyond that, my internship was a perfect match for me– because I helped create it.

I met my soon-to-be site supervisor Nancy Faget at San Jose State University’s Libraries 2.013 last October. I mentioned that I was a student and was on the lookout for an internship that spring. I mentioned my public library and research experience, especially in technology education, but it was my experience working in Japan that really grabbed her attention.

After the conference, Nancy made an offer. Would I like to intern at ARL researching science and technology trends in East Asia? I immediately responded yes.

Throughout the course of the internship I was able to use my Japanese language skills and cultural knowledge to hone in on the data I needed and connect with institutions overseas such as the Japan’s National Diet Library. I learned about the new technologies being studied and, when we shifted from Japan to Italy halfway through the semester, I already had the experience with the research tools I needed to perform.

The great thing about a federal virtual internship is that there really are so many different projects to choose from and so many great people willing to help you find the right one. Not only are virtual internships easier on a schedule, but a person can connect with different people across the world. It was a great opportunity for me and I believe there are many more opportunities yet to come for future students.

IV. Elizabeth Rapp, MLIS

I interned at ARL for a few months in the beginning of 2014 as part of my graduate school coursework. One of the opportunities that this internship gave me was the chance to attend a professional event at the Library of Congress. My internship was virtual so I was glad to be able to go to an event and meet my site supervisor, Nancy Faget, as well as other information professionals.

The Library of Congress event featured several speakers from different organizations who spoke on the different aspects of technology forecasting, such as research methods, use of technologies, and performance analysis. Some of the information presented was over my head, but there were a few lectures that dealt directly to what I was working on in my internship- mainly research methods and problems that researchers had to overcome. Some of the problems mentioned by the lecturers were similar to the issues that the other interns and I had experienced in our own research for ARL.

It was great to be able to connect a professional event to the work that I was doing in my internship. Virtual internships can make you feel a little bit isolated so being able to attend an event was an unexpected bonus. Experiences like this helped me connect a virtual experience to one where I was an active member in the library community.

Posted in Continuing Education, Guest Posts, Students0 Comments

Buzz e-learning – RUSA & ASCLA online courses incl Business & Geo-Spatial

Buzz e-learning

Featuring upcoming online courses from



Online Courses

**Going to Jail: How Juvenile Books Portray the Prison Experience New!

October 20 – November 23, 2014, (Five live course chat meetings Thursdays 1:00 – 2:00pm CST)

This five week course will explore portrayals of the incarceration experience in juvenile and young adult literature. Read more.

Register now!**CEUs are available for this course! 


Portal, Platform, Public Option: An introduction and overview of the Digital Public Library of America, (DPLA) New!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 2:00 p.m. CST

This presentation explores how we view the DPLA: as a portal, a technical platform, and an advocate for the public good. Read more. Register now!

ASCLA represents librarians serving special populations; independent librarians and consultants; state library agencies; and library networks, cooperatives and consortia. Check out the division’s upcoming activities and important, ongoing work in the library community at

Online Courses

Access free and archived webinars here.

Business Reference 101  New!

September 22 – October 17, 2014

Feel more confident when faced with a business reference question and demystify SIC and NAICS codes, ROI and 10k’s!

Read more.  Register now!

Reference Interview New!

September 22 – October 31, 2014

This course focuses on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. Read more. Register now!

Introduction to Economic Data on the Web New!

October 6 – November 2, 2014

Students will be given background information on economic concepts and terms essential to understanding economic reference questions. Read moreRegister now!

Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping New!

October 6 – 26, 2014

This three week course will introduce students and library staff to a variety of mapping tools and GIS technologies that are of interest to both public and academic library users. Read more. Register now!

Readers’ Advisory 101 New!

October 13 – November 30, 2014 (Chats on Thursdays, Time 3 p.m. CST)

Be more comfortable using readers’ advisory services. RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal, and experiment with methods to offer RA services. Read more. Register now!

Genealogy 101 New!

October 27 – November 30, 2014

An introduction to American genealogy reference service, the class will give students confidence and skills in assisting family history researchers.

Read more. Registration now!

**Reaching Every Patron New! 

October 6 – November 2, 2014

This course will include introductions and discussions about assessing which population your library wants to create inclusive and accessible programming. Read moreRegistration now! **CEUs are available for this course! 

Xtreme Bibliographic Searching for Interlibrary Loan & Reference New!

Fall (TBD), 2014 (Live Sessions on Thursdays, Time 1 p.m. CST)

This four-week class, will take you from Mansel Pre 56 to Digital Repositories, DOAJ to Trove to HathiTrust. Don’t know those terms, then this course is for you!

Read more. Registration not open yet.

Free and archived webinars are available here!

RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Check out the division’s upcoming activities and important, ongoing work in the library community at


Copyright © 2014 ASCLA and RUSA, divisions of the American Library Association, All rights reserved.

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ALCTS Webinar: RFID: Considerations for Implementation

ALCTS Webinar: RFID: Considerations for Implementation 

Wednesday, August 27 , 2014

 Sessions begin at 11 am Pacific | 12 Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern and last about an hour.

While much has been published on how RFID technology works and its uses for libraries, there has been limited public discussion of factors that should be considered in deciding whether to move forward with implementation or the specifics of planning and decision-making involved should a library decide to implement. This webinar will inform and equip librarians to handle this still relatively new territory. Presenter will give a brief overview of the history, the technology, and library uses of RFID, and factors to consider including financial, time, technical, consortium/community, and educational

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will be more informed and better equipped to handle decision-making related to RFID.

Who Should Attend? 

Librarians whose libraries are currently considering whether to implement RFID, those in the process of implementing it, and those interested in learning what the technology can do.

Course Level & Prerequisites

Beginner level; no prerequisites


Stephanie Handy is Technical Services & Research Librarian at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. Handy has worked in a wide variety of libraries, including academic, legal, public and corporate, and currently serves at Northrop Grumman’s Information Research Center. She has also worked for many years providing freelance services such as editing, indexing, eBook design, research, and fact-checking. She has survived one RFID implementation.


  • ALCTS Member (individual) . . . $43
  • Nonmember (individual) . . . $59
  • International (individual) . . . $43


Groups: (Applies to a group of people who will watch the webinar together from one access point.)

  •  Member group . . . $99
  • Nonmember group . . . $129

All webinars are recorded and the one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording. All registered attendees will receive the link to the recorded session, so if you are unable to attend the webinar at the time it is presented, you will have the opportunity to listen to the recording at your convenience.

How to Register

To register, complete the online registration form or register by mail for the session you would like to attend.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager, at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034  or

Posted on behalf of the ALCTS Continuing Education Committee.


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Virtual Presentation – Writing Your Federal Resume

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in working for the Federal Government. The event is this Saturday, Aug. 16th, so the clock is ticking. – Travis

Virtual Presentation – Writing Your Federal Resume

Writing Your Federal Resume: This virtual presentation will explain each section of the job opportunity announcement (JOA) in an effort to better inform applicants and to assist them in selecting the right job.  The presentation will highlight a 3 part process to assist applicants in writing their Federal resume.  Attendees will be shown a real JOA and walked through a process that helps them review the JOA to determine qualifications and interest, identify the important requirements and then they will be taught how to tailor their resumes with the JOA.  Lastly, we will provide a quick overview of the resume builder on USAJOBS.

Join us on Saturday, August 16th @ 1:303:00pm (EDT)

This is an online virtual presentation only.  After registering for the presentation, a confirmation email will be sent to your email address.  This confirmation email will contain the link to the presentation on August 16th.  We will not have a physical location for this session.

Registration will be limited to 1500 attendees.  Once we reach this number, registration will be closed.

Additional dates will be available and posted on USAJOBS in the near future.

Click this link to register for the event:

Travis A. Ferrell, MLIS

DMIL Student Liaison Coordinator

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UBuffalo (State University of New York) : Online library 1-credit graduate courses

SUNY Buffalo Library School is offering a couple of online 1-credit courses
and they are offering scholarships; apparently a lot of them.  The only cost
is a $35 registration fee per course.  Don’t delay.  Deadline is Aug. 22.
They might be cancelling the LIS 701 course if they don’t get a few more

UB’s Graduate School of Education is offering several one-credit hour online
professional development<> courses aimed
to support library and information specialists in our schools and
communities. In-state tuition scholarships that cover the cost of one,
one-credit course are available on a first come first
serve<> basis. The only out of
pocket cost is a $35.00 application fee for a 1-credit graduate course. The
full course list is available here<>, but
specifically we think these course may be of interest:
LIS 701 Opportunity Knocks: The School Librarian and the Common Core

School librarians have a critical role in the implementation of the Common
Core State Standards (CCSS). It is important to look at how the school
librarian’s role will change because of the 12 instructional shifts embodied
in the CCSS. A careful analysis of resources that are being published to
help define the school librarian’s role is needed to help provide
librarian’s with a cohesive vision of their place in this educational
paradigm shift. Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of
The School Librarian Action Brief and AASL Crosswalks, an alignment of AASL
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and the Common Core State Standards,
are a couple of the resources that will be analyzed. School librarians will
develop an action plan for their educational situation that they can employ
to become crucial participant in supporting teachers and students in the
implementation of the CCSS.

Date/Time: August 25 – October 10
Location: ONLINE
Course Number: 24268

Instructor: Susan Allen, Director of Libraries and Academic Technology at
the Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. Susan is an adjunct for the Department of
Library and Information Science at SUNY @ Buffalo and at Clarion University
in PA. She is a 2001 American Memory Fellow, as well as a Mentor/Advisor of
the Library of Congress conducting research on using primary resources in
the k-12 classroom. Susan is also a national PBS Teacherline facilitator and
works with the local PBS station on various teacher resource projects.

LIS 702 Inquiry learning and the Common Core through School Librarian and
Teacher Collaboration

School librarians and teachers can help themselves and others deal with the
very hard shifts in teaching that come with the Common Core State Standards
(CCSS). Schools are embracing inquiry-based learning and eschewing the “sage
on the stage” method of teaching. This change is not easy for teachers and
librarians. There are many strategies for co-teaching inquiry-based learning
that can help students achieve the higher level CCSS learning goals. In
looking at inquiry-based learning and strategies for co- and collaborative
teaching school librarians and teachers will develop a model of co-teaching
inquiry-based lessons with colleagues within their specific learning

Date/Time: October 13 – November 28
Location: ONLINE
Course Number: 24270

Instructor: Susan Allen, Director of Libraries and Academic Technology at
the Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. Susan is an adjunct for the Department of
Library and Information Science at SUNY @ Buffalo and at Clarion University
in PA. She is a 2001 American Memory Fellow, as well as a Mentor/Advisor of
the Library of Congress conducting research on using primary resources in
the k-12 classroom. Susan is also a national PBS Teacherline facilitator and
works with the local PBS station on various teacher resource projects.

Steps to Register and Get Enrolled

1)            Visit the CCPE Registration page at

2)            Fill out the application, submit for formal review, and pay
the $35.00 application fee (this is the only out-of-pocket cost).

3)            The GSE admissions office will review and process the
application, ensuring that you are eligible for the in-state tuition and fee
scholarship(eligible individuals are those who are not currently UB
students, and are NYS residents – this allows us to award you a scholarship
to cover the full cost). If you are not a NYS resident, our scholarship
would cover the in-state tuition and fees, but you would be responsible for
paying the remainder of about $400. More information about tuition and fees
can be found here:

4)            Ryan (me) in the GSE Admissions office will email you a formal
acceptance to the course.

5)            You will sign, scan, and return the scholarship acceptance
document, and follow the steps on the New Student Roadmap so that you can
access your online UB identity and the UBLearns (Blackboard) course
management system.

6)            The GSE Office of Admissions will enroll you in the course.
From here, you will communicate with the professor of your course about
updates, syllabi, etc.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Ryan Taughrin at 716-645-2110 or
by email at<>.

Ryan Taughrin
Admissions & Student Services Coordinator

Office of Graduate Admissions & Student Services Graduate School of
Education University at Buffalo
366 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: 716-645-2110
GSE Facebook<>

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