By Amanda Hargett-Granato | Reporter
Continuing a tradition begun in 2010, Baylor Libraries will accept summer interns to work with the special collections housed on campus. The five internship positions are available to both graduate and undergraduate applicants from a variety of disciplines. The positions are paid, and applications are due by April 7.
Kathy Hillman, the director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society, has coordinated the internship program since its beginning. Hillman said the summer internship program gives students opportunities they would otherwise not get in work-study jobs at the libraries.
“It’s one of those win-win kind of situations,” Hillman said. “The libraries get wonderful interns, and the students get invaluable experience.”
Internship roles are dependent upon the special collection the intern is assigned to, but interns can be tasked with anything from processing, transcribing and digitizing documents to planning and setting up exhibits for the library for the Sue Margaret Hughes Endowed Internship. The internship positions, Hillman said, will help prepare students for the future regardless of their field of study.
“These internships are very competitive, so future employers know that the position was earned and that we demanded a very high standard,” Hillman said.
In addition to the internship program, the libraries are also continuing their summer teaching fellowships. Library teaching fellows will spend one week during the summer paired with a librarian at one of the special collections to develop a curriculum that employs the collection’s materials.
The fellowships are open to faculty and graduate students who are teachers of record, and applications for the fellowship program are due April 7. Jennifer Borderud, interim director of Armstrong Browning Library, said she hopes the fellowship program encourages students and faculty to spend more time engaging with the rare artifacts housed at Baylor.
“The libraries have these great special collections with materials that are underutilized,” Borderud said. “Part of the program was to remind people that we have these great resources here that are available to them and that we want students in here utilizing these materials.”
Although each library has a focus, Borderud said applicants of any field are welcome. During the first year of the program, computer science professor Dr. Matthew Fendt’s fellowship at the Armstrong Browning Library resulted in two students developing a video game based on the love story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. Borderud said she enjoys seeing applicants from a wide variety of fields and hopes the program gives professors the opportunity to find new ways to approach their subjects.
“I think by having faculty and graduate teaching assistants develop assignments that utilize the materials in these different special collections on campus and then having the students come as a class, that’s an easier way for them to approach these kinds of materials for the first time,” Borderud said.