This past school year I had the opportunity to do a SOSE, which stands for Senior Out of School Experience. All the seniors at my school had the option to do one, however, not all of us chose to actually go through with it. Because I’m a nerd – but I’m sure you had already guessed that – I ended up with two: one at my high school’s library and one at the library at the University I’ll be attending next year (which has led to a potential job offer!).
Public School Library
This one was honestly just a lot of fun. A lot of what I did centered around ‘promoting’ the library. Some of them were monthly, some were just weekly. Other than that I also put together monthly promotions – Mythology March, April Escape, Mysterious October, etc – and made presentations that loop on the TV in the library. These presentations included information on what was happening in the school, library rules and policies, new books, popular books, and information on the book club (which I run).
Here are some of the things I had the most fun with:
Banned Books Week
Those of you who love books probably remember the scandal last year when a Tennessee mom tried to ban The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, because she thought a cervical self-exam was “pornographic”? Well I’m ashamed to say that was at my school. I’m very proud to say that she was completely alone in her belief. Even her son disagreed.
It also happened to start right before the American Library Association’s Annual Banned Books week so the librarian basically gave me permission to go wild and do whatever I wanted. I picked the theme “Caution: Contains Ideas” and because it was before Halloween I was able to pick up fake caution tape at Walmart and covered the library with it. I set up a twitter hashtag and got lots of students and teachers to post selfies with their favorite banned book.
Blind Date With A Book
For Valentines I put together a two-week long special that involved wrapping a ton of books in butcher paper, writing ‘advertisements’ for them, and pasting the ads onto the packages.
Academic (University) Library
The other half of my internship was at the John C Hodges Library at the University of Tennessee. Most of what I did there was shadowing different librarians and learning about the different parts of libraries. I learned a lot and I was always exhausted (on top of working in the library three or four hours I also was walking a mile to and from everyday) and most weeks I went in twice a week. This internship lasted from about October until April.
Another thing I really loved was how involved with the students the library is. There was a lot more than just books and learning, there was a lot of help for the students and a lot that was done just to improve their college experience.
Outside of shadowing I also spent time helping with student events:
African American Read-In
This was a part of African American Heritage Month (February) and encouraged students to read from their favorite books about their heritage and I have to say I thought it was fascinating and it sparked a lot of interesting debate.
Destress for Success
This was in December of 2015 when finals for the fall semester were taking place. It included a lot of events including ice cream, stress dogs, and one time we set up a room with coloring sheets and board games and just let them play.
For my class that this was through I needed at least 60 hours at my internship between August and April 1st. Officially on the timesheet that I turned in at the end of the year I had over seventy, but that’s not counting work done before school started (yes I helped set up before classes started), work done from home, when I was working on the presentations (I rarely logged that), or the times when I came in at odd times and shelved. I kept very good records of my time spent at the University’s library, though. If I had kept track of all my hours I would have had well over 100.
It’s a photo that I took two years ago at EPCOT in (I believe Norway).