This academic year the Almy Library launched its first-ever internship program for six students interested in helping out around the space.
Upper School Librarian Laura Duncan and Library Director Sandy Dow selected a group of six interns—Tali Sorets ’16, Kat Capossela, Julie Peng, Rose Meier, Sophie Smyke (all ’17), and Jeremy Tang ’18—from a pool of 12 students who applied for the role after Ms. Duncan posted flyers around the school and solicited interest on What’s Happening. Applicants interviewed with Ms. Duncan, who said she was excited to see so many great candidates.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the room to accept all the students that applied, but these six interns have proven to be wonderful and extremely helpful,” Ms. Duncan said, referring particularly to their clerical and organizational skills.
Ms. Dow was inspired to work with Ms. Duncan to establish this program after seeing a similar program at Berkeley Prep School, which she toured last spring in Tampa, Florida, while at the Association of Independent School Libraries (AISL) conference in the same state.
“We liked the idea of having students participate in a more meaningful way and make the library a fun and valuable place,” Ms. Duncan said.
Since then, the Almy program has taken on its own unique character.
The interns commit one free block to the program each week, completing a range of tasks from creating displays for the library’s window case to manning the desk, developing events, and selecting books for the library to purchase. Interns also write on the library’s blog, which can be accessed at checkitoutbbnus.blogspot.com.
Jeremy applied for the internship because he was eager to work on library projects and help the librarians. Since he began work in early October, he has enjoyed his various jobs and been happy to see his efforts make a difference.
“The librarians are busy, and even the smallest things we do, as interns, are very helpful to them,” Jeremy said.
The interns have already created several displays, among them a feature of their own book recommendations and Thanksgiving hand turkeys. Other projects included creating a “Halloween Spook Exhibit” and making a video promoting quiet library X blocks, which Kat created and Ms. Duncan presented to the school at assembly on November 30.
“[The movie] was a huge success,” she said. “Many students told us how much they liked it, and it was a fun, memorable way to spread the word about a library policy.”
Due to varying schedules and free blocks, the interns’ shifts rarely overlap. The first time they convened as a group was on December 11 for an “Intern Appreciation Day,” where Ms. Duncan treated the interns to hot cocoa and snacks at L.A. Burdick in Harvard Square.
“The excursion was the perfect end to the fall semester,” Kat said. “It was really sweet chatting with my fellow interns over macaroons and ‘iced hot chocolate.’”
Julie said that although the interns do not directly work with one another, they add to each other’s efforts and are always proud of the result.
“Since we all do slightly different things, it is interesting to see what other interns are up to,” she added. “In the end, we were very proud of the result, and I think that aspect of the internship is really cool.”
Conversation with the interns is one element of the program Ms. Duncan said she values most.
“I love the chance to get to work with each of the interns in a one-on-one manner,” she said. “We get to use some of their shift to share ideas or work together on the library desk, so I feel like I’m getting to know each of them personally.”
Upcoming intern projects include a bake sale to fund a book swap in March, promotion of National Poetry Month through library displays and flyers around the school in April, and a student coffee house in May.
-— Ali Plump ’19