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Snyder ’24: Mishawaka Penn Harris Public Library

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Donovan Snyder ’24 — First, I want to thank the staff and all those involved here at the Mishawaka Penn Harris Public Library (MPHPL) at all three branches for providing me this incredible opportunity to gain valuable experience in a real-life/operation-related setting. Secondly, I want to thank all of those involved in the Dill Grant for funding this internship. I am starting week four (4) here at the Mishawaka Penn Harris Public Library (MPHPL), and the experience has exceeded my expectations thus far. Everyone at MPHPL has been nothing but kind, helpful, and guidance throughout this internship thus far.

The staff at MPHPL did an exceptional job upon my arrival by creating a personalized schedule for me that explained the department I would be in, who I will be with, and what I am doing every single day. MPHPL has allowed me to work with a different department every day. I began my first day in the Administration Department and then went on to Collection Services Programming and Information Technology Department to wrap up my first week. Each department showed me that not one department is the same, but they all work together. Before the internship began, I wanted to work in every department to fulfill and enhance my operation-related experience.

The Administration Department taught me a lot about the importance of organizational leadership and team management. For instance, I spent the day with those in charge here at the library and see how they handle day-to-day operations. I got an up-close view of the people who are behind the scenes in the Collection Services Department. The people in the department had to constantly communicate with other departments to ensure the removal of books from the shelves due to wear and tear and orchestrate the ordering of new books. On the other hand, the Programming Department was drastically different from the other departments. I learned that the library was making a big push to make the environment more than just a place to read/get books, but rather a great environment to be in for all. The Programming Department is in charge of hosting events for all ages. There are countless hours of brainstorming, researching, and craft-making that go into making these programs.

In my second week, I transitioned to the Reference Services and Circulation Department. Reference was responsible for running the computer lab, historical/ancestral searches, and answering customer questions. At the other branches, I spent time in the Youth Services and Adult Services Departments. Ipad stations were available for kids to check out, whereas newspapers and magazines were more for the adult section. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to visit and work in the Marketing/Graphic Design Department. Being an Art major, this was the most appealing to me. I watched how the Marketing Department came up with ideas to create posters using acrylic signs and design software.

Lastly, MPHPL put me on a project that involved the dealing of artwork at the library. There were 200+ artwork pieces back in storage closets, and even more, hung up around the library. My task is to take pictures of art pieces and write descriptions about them, including the Artist, Title, Medium, Date, and Location. Since MPHPL has an appraiser coming in soon, I will make it easier for the appraiser to give us values on all of these works of art. The appraiser stated that the Artist, Medium, Date, Location, and context must be present for him to appraise the artwork.