After spending nearly a year and half working as a graduate student processor at the Indiana University Archives, it is time for me to bid adieu to my colleagues and fellow students as I embark on my first professional adventure. I have highly enjoyed my time here–both in Bloomington generally, as well as specifically here at the IU Archives–and a part of me is quite sad to see this chapter of my life come to a close.
I was lucky enough to begin working at the Archives in February 2010 during my second semester of graduate work towards my Master of Library Science degree, which I pursued through the IU School of Library and Information Science, earning my degree in May 2011. Even before beginning the academic program, I developed a passion for cultural heritage preservation by way of archival documentation, thus I tailored my coursework to meet the requirements for the Archives and Records Management specialization. Coming to work at the IU Archives was instrumental in my ability to understand archival work from a stance of personal, experiential depth. I was able to apply the theories I learned in the classroom and through professional literature to hone my archival processing skills and better understand not just the technical concepts of archival work, but also the intricacies and unique issues with which one must contend to best address arrangement, description, and access as suitable for each individual record collection… not to mention I got to process some really fun collections and develop a deeper appreciation for Indiana University’s rich history! I am indebted to this position and to my supervisors for providing me with a diverse range of real world experience–including collection processing, encoding finding aids for online access, exhibit curation, basic reference, participating in social media outreach (i.e. this blog post!), and even just sharing day-to-day archivally oriented conversations–which proved invaluable during my job hunt.
Beginning in mid-July 2011, I will begin my first professional position as the Assistant Librarian at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, located within the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California! This position is a surreal melding of my childhood and graduate student dreams, and I feel all too lucky for my good fortune. I could not be more excited about this opportunity, where I will have a diverse range of responsibilities including but not limited to: maintaining, preserving, organizing, and promoting access to the library’s archival and rare book collection, pursuing digital access and preservation efforts, exploring outreach opportunities, and otherwise supporting the library’s general plans, objectives, and operations. Perhaps I will even have the opportunity to begin my own repository blog at the San Diego Zoo Library!
The move to Southern California will be a major transition for my Midwestern roots, but I look forward to the adventure, as well as to learning more about regional and zoo history. For now, I bid one final thank you to my supervisors and colleagues at the IU Archives. Your guidance, encouragement, support, and archival wisdom never went unappreciated. I hope our paths cross again someday!