My name is Marley Jameson-Sisneros, and I am a graduate student intern here at New Mexico State Library. In May, I graduated with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice with a minor in gender and sexuality studies from New Mexico State University; in August, I will begin my Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama. I’ve written Hitchhiker articles throughout my experience here documenting our visits to the public libraries of New Mexico and had the opportunity to speak with many wonderful library professionals all over the state. This will be my final article as an intern for New Mexico State Library sharing what I have learned and accomplished in these ten weeks.
My mentor throughout this experience has been Kelly McCabe who is the Youth Services Coordinator for the New Mexico State Library. As the Youth Services Coordinator, McCabe communicates with librarians around the state frequently to help answer questions and provide support. She is responsible for the Youth Services Newsletter, Youth Services listserv, and the Hitchhiker digest. She also the state representative for the Collaborative Summer Reading Program.
I was hired along with Jennifer Chen, who is also a graduate intern. She recently graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Together we worked side by side on the same projects until Jennifer went home to California at the beginning of August. We were to work on the inventorying of circulating kits available for loan to public libraries. We created a booking system through LibCal to make the process of reserving these kits easier ahead of the launch of a statewide delivery program through the library. Alongside that project, we were to visit public libraries around New Mexico to observe and write about their summer reading programming. Together, we wrote articles about Wonders on Wheels visiting Moriarty and Estancia and the International District and Cherry Hills branches of the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County. We wrote about some of our visits independently. Jennifer wrote about our visits to Bernalillo, Los Lunas, and Taos. I wrote articles about Bosque Farms, Embudo Valley, and Rio Rancho.
I’m proud of the work Jennifer and I have been able to accomplish in those eight weeks. Within the first month of our internship, we finished inventorying and creating LibCal records for both the STEM to Read trunks and the StarNet kits. This process included creating new updated inventory sheets, inventorying the trunks and extra items, noting which kits were missing key activity items, photographing kits, creating user manuals, and creating LibCal categories and items. We were able to do this for all 28 StarNet and STEM trunks within those first four weeks.
Next, we then spent a couple days on updating and adding the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph trunks before moving onto the new Bilingual Book Walks. The Bilingual Book Walks give libraries the option to borrow one of eight stories with text in English and Spanish to display indoors or outdoors. There are four display stand sets available to borrow: two indoor easel sets and two outdoor stand sets. We created records for all of these items. We then moved onto the new NM Women’s History Banners. We created four unique sets of 10 banners each, that will be available for libraries to reserve through LibCal. We tried to keep in mind the information programming librarians would likely want to know when booking kits as we grew this system. My work on this project has taught me a lot about LibCal and let me build on my previous experience with Canva as we used Canva to make marketing materials and create pages for the item manuals.
We also created the Circulating Kits page on the New Mexico State Library website. This process taught me how to use WordPress and Elementor. My experience with WordPress was limited, though I had used it before. Through this project, we were able to learn hands on as we created the page and I am happy with our current result.
I’ve also had the pleasure of traveling to twelve of New Mexico’s public libraries with McCabe and fellow intern Jennifer which has been an enlightening and educational experience. My experience with public libraries is purely as a patron, having previously only borrowed from the Thomas Branigan Library in Las Cruces and a few branches of the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County. Through visiting such a variety of libraries I’ve found myself amazed by the work going on within the state. This internship has been an invaluable experience which has exposed me to many libraries and taught me practical skills through our work. We ended our summer reading visits with visits to the International District and Cherry Hills branches of the Public Library Albuquerque Bernalillo County. I found this to be a very fitting final visit as the Cherry Hills branch was one of my childhood libraries and I appreciated the chance to visit Albuquerque’s newest library branch and speak to the staff who have had the unique experience of working within a new branch. I learned a lot by speaking to the staff at both branches and had the opportunity to speak to staff who had been working for the library system for a long time and for a short time. Meeting and talking to so many library professionals around the state has been an invaluable experience.
During this internship, I’ve also learned of so many of the great resources available through the New Mexico State Library which I plan to use in the future. For example, the technical services bureau has created a free cataloguing resources LibGuide! There is a list of many excellent other resources available on the website under the “For Librarians” tab. I plan to make use of the many resources for librarians that I have discovered. I have also learned a lot through the staff here at New Mexico State Library who have taken the time to direct me towards many resources and point me towards job openings as the internship began to come to a close.
When I applied for this internship, I was hoping it would teach me more about libraries and help me decide on a concentration for graduate school. I come from an academic library background, having spent a combined two years as a student employee at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University libraries. Being able to compare my current experience to public libraries has been valuable and makes me feel more informed as I pick as concentration for my graduate studies. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity and look forward to continuing to further my education and grow my career through the many excellent libraries of New Mexico.