Intern’s Perspective | Christiana Manthei

October 6, 2017

Liberal Arts majors aren’t very common on most campuses, and probably not many of you really know what a Liberal Arts major studies. In short, we study everything. Why would someone want to be a Liberal Arts major instead of focusing on the one area they want to work in? Because we are interested in lots of different things and want to learn how to think well about every area of life instead of just one or two. I also get to do some really cool things that other majors don’t allow time for, such as learning German, studying abroad at Oxford University, and taking music lessons. Some of us have specific career paths in mind, but I don’t. I am thinking about doing many different things once I graduate such as marketing, teaching English, and working in a library.

Library work hasn’t always been on my radar, but this past year I decided to apply for the library internship here at Cedarville, and I got it. Over the past month and a half I have been learning about different library careers and opportunities, some of which sound interesting and others that don’t. Some of my favorite activities thus far have been going through gift books, writing reviews of children’s books, and preparing for a book display.

One afternoon my professor and the Director of Library Collection Services, Julie Deardorff, wheeled in a cart with about 15 books on it into the intern office. My agenda for the day said “Sierra overview & gifts;” I was kind of confused because I thought she was giving the interns gifts. It turns out that the gifts were the books on the cart, and I was not getting them, the library was. I was really interested in how the library decides which books to add to the collection and which books get added to the book sale. Our librarians look at not only the books we have here at Cedarville, but also the books available through OhioLink and SeachOhio because they are extensions of the Cedarville collection. They also have to decide whether the book will be of use to the Cedarville students and faculty. Of the books that I went through with Julie, only 1 got added to the collection. The others were duplicates or did not pertain to a university setting, so they got added to the book sale.

How often in the past 3 years have I gotten a chance to read children’s books? Maybe once or twice while I was babysitting. How often have I read children’s books for a class assignment? Only during my library internship! All of the interns met with Sharon Kerestes, the CMC Librarian, and she tasked us with writing reviews of picture books. Before beginning our assignment, we played with some puppets. It was really fun to read the picture books with all sorts of topics and illustrations. Then, we had to think critically about the message the book sent and how a teacher or parent might use that book with children. I found some really wonderful books, such as Daylight Starlight Wildlife and Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-The-Pooh, which I will probably read to my niece soon.

Centennial Library interns usually get the chance to create a book display for the entrance of the library on a topic of their choice. Because of my love for music, theater, and literature, I decided to combine all three and do a book display on Broadway musicals and the books, movies, and soundtracks that go with them. So far I have found materials for Hamilton!, Beauty and the Beast, and Les Miserables, but I plan on adding Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, and Wicked if I can. I hope to engage the students using the library to look beyond what books and articles the library can provide to help with classwork. The CMC, Media Resources, and book collection have resources for movie nights, theater and music lovers, and the inspiration behind some of the most popular productions of our time.

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