Three people standing in front of the front desk at Van Pelt Library.
Caitlyn Stewart, Emmett Booth, and Matthew Symes, three of this spring's library science interns

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This semester, the Penn Libraries has been lucky enough to host seven interns who are currently working on or have recently completed degrees in Information and Library Science. As students at Drexel, San Francisco State, and the University of North Texas, they have studied topics like digital stewardship, records management, and archival ethics, and hope to turn their degrees into careers in special collections, cataloging, access services, and more. For now, they are getting hands-on experience working in libraries while helping Penn’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and answering questions that range from “Where is the bathroom?” to “How do I get books if I can’t find them in the catalog?” 

Just in time for National Library Week, we sat down with them to learn about their backgrounds, their experiences working at the information desk in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, and what they think every Penn student should know about using the Penn Libraries. Next time you’re visiting Van Pelt, stop by and say hello! 

Emmett Booth: Buffalo, New York 

What are you hoping to do with your library science degree?
I’m currently focused on digital preservation and database management, but I’m interested in learning about all aspects of academic librarianship. 

What is one book, movie, or TV show that you would recommend to everyone?
Book: Annihilation
Movie: Under the Silver Lake
Show: Hannibal 
What’s one thing you think all Penn students should know about using the library?
Subject librarians can greatly assist in your research; drop them an email or schedule time in their calendar.
Follow Emmett on Twitter @PoorQuentyn. 

 

Alec Smith: Cape May, New Jersey 

What are you hoping to do with your library science degree?
I’m currently torn between two paths. My studies at Drexel have sparked an interest in Archives and Special Collections, a fascinating field that seeks ways to best steward unique records for continual use. However, interacting with the Penn community has reminded me how much I enjoy helping students, so working in access services at an academic library is equally alluring. 
Do you have a favorite spot in Van Pelt Library?
Lately I’ve been enjoying the Class of 2003 Parents Study Lounge on the 4th floor due to its proximity to the Bs (Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion), Hs (Social Sciences), and print journals. 
What’s one thing you think all Penn students should know about using the library?
If we don’t have the book or journal article you are looking for, in the vast majority of cases we can quickly get it for you through Interlibrary Loan
What is one book, movie, or TV show that you would recommend to everyone?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 

 

Lexi Slobodnik: Marlton, NJ 

Do you have a favorite spot in Van Pelt Library?
The Furness Shakespeare Library on the 6th floor. 
What is one book, movie, or TV show that you would recommend to everyone?
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. 
What are you hoping to do with your library science degree?
I’m hoping to work in a special collections archive, or work on cataloging. 
What’s one thing you think all Penn students should know about using the library?
You can borrow more than books! The Vitale Digital Media Center lends out equipment such as projectors, sound equipment, cameras, etc. 
Follow Lexi on LinkedIn.

 

Caitlyn Stewart: Wilmington, DE 

What is one book, movie, or TV show that you would recommend to everyone?
The Ritual by Adam Nevill. If you liked the movie from Netflix the book is a hundred times better! 
Do you have a favorite spot in Van Pelt Library?
I’ve been loving the Moelis Family Grand Reading Room! The artwork on the wall is amazing and the windows give such great natural lighting during the day. 
What are you hoping to do with your library science degree?
I’m hoping to go into preservation librarianship, archives, or be a rare books librarian. This degree really opens up so many exciting opportunities that it’s hard to try and stick to just one thing. 
What’s one thing you think all Penn students should know about using the library?
The staff wants to help! The library offers amazing physical and digital resources that not many people know about, so be sure to explore or ask about things that you might be interested in! 

 

Matthew Symes: Middletown, DE 

What are you hoping to do with your library science degree?
I’d love to work with public libraries or rare and unique collections – something like the material’s library at Fisher Fine Arts which I've grown to love. 
Do you have a favorite spot in Van Pelt Library?
The 6th Floor, the lounge area has a great view of campus. 
What is one book, movie, or TV show that you would recommend to everyone?
Grasshopper Jungle – one of the weirdest, funniest books I’ve ever read. 
What’s one thing you think all Penn students should know about using the library?
There are so many resources and experts – if you need info just ask and we can find the right person for you.