This summer has been one of my busiest summers to date! I always thought I was busy at Coe (my undergrad) with a job in Admissions and then helping a professor get ready for the first-years to come (aka readying the First-Year Experience program) but I guess that helped me be ready for a summer in Illinois.
I split my 40 hour work weeks between two jobs. The first, is a graduate hourly on the Digital Innovation Leadership Program (DILP) grant. It's a grant funded by the University of Illinois Extension and in library land, the Center for Digital Inclusion is the leader and connector for the grant. Essentially the point of the grant is, well let me use some text I've already written.
Through these three learning areas, we hope to build sustainable sites across Illinois as well as increasing external ties with Illinois communities and internal relationships with members of Extension, who work throughout the state. It's a huge, two year project and connects so many different departments across campus. It's an exciting project because it draws off of what I did last year with digital literacy and lets me try to use those skills in a new context.
The project that myself and my peer/friend/co-worker got assigned was helping lead a camp in Peoria Heights next week. Camp Clover. We'll work with kids in the morning (ages 8-12) and then teens in the afternoon. Our home base will be the library and from there, we'll go out and explore the greater community. I'm going to try to recap blog as much as I can next week, so stay tuned!
Job number two is working as a graduate hourly for the Residence Hall Libraries. It's a sweet gig because it's where I'll have my assistantship this fall. Essentially, the Residence Hall Library system works in parallel with the larger university library system. We have seven locations across campus, in various resident halls. Our library collections contain current fiction and nonfiction, movies, TV shows, CDs, and for some libraries, video games. It's exactly the sort of library I wished for in undergrad -- a small, quiet place to study filled with current fiction and nonfiction I could check out for extra, I don't want to deal with school, reading.
This job is amazing. I've missed that stereotypical, this is how a librarian does his/her job, feeling. You know, the one where you work in libraries, interact with patrons, do craft projects to spruce up the space, and constantly think about new programming and books to buy for your community. I've been working in the two libraries I'll supervise in the fall and I just get so excited stepping in. Recently I've been doing some weeding (blog post to come about that) and I think that just connects me that much more to the work I'll continue in the fall.
So my summer is a happening. I think what's important is that I'm having fun, learning a lot, and working with incredible people. I might roll into school this fall not very tan at all, but I think I'm okay with that.