Fall 2023 Blog Post 1

What are some highlights of your work in RADS so far? What have you learned that has surprised you? What have you learned that confirms what you previously knew? What are you hoping to learn more about in RADS during the rest of the term?

The last five weeks working with RADS have been a blast. A lot of my work thus far has been interviews with the various staff around the department and around the library, learning about what everyone does and how their work contributes to the library. I have absolutely loved these interviews, gaining snapshots into the lives of the important professionals propping up the Libe. Going into this internship, I anticipated not being able to understand much of what was going on in the RADS department, so it came as a pleasant surprise that the interviews have been very accessible and more conversation than lecture.

It’s been very illuminating to learn about the backend processes of the library’s vast physical collections. As I suspected, lots of care goes into picking out resources to purchase and handling them once they arrive, not to mention the never-ending job of cataloging and metadata maintenance! One thing that came as a surprise to me was the sheer difference between e-resource acquisition and physical item acquisition; even with how large our physical collection is, the bulk of acquisition is of digital resources.

I remember during one of my first weeks at Carleton, I took some time walking up and down the stacks in all four floors of the Libe, and I remember feeling a kind of amazement I had never before felt. I could spend my whole life in here, I thought to myself, and never finish reading all this. And now, because of this internship, I’ve come to understand the wonderful people and processes that make it all possible.