Alternative Spring Break Spotlight

October 18th, 2021 (Lexington, Kentucky) The School of Information Science (SIS) offers an alternative spring break program in which Library Science students can gain career-enhancing experience working in the country’s leading national libraries and archives. Annabelle Smith participated in our alternative spring break program while pursuing a master’s degree in Library Science. Annabelle partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), where she assisted with a Preliminary Collection Assessment Project on Epidemics. Annabelle was responsible for searching NLM’s Catalog, LocatorPlus, and determining if the NLM had certain titles in their collection relating to epidemics. If the title was not in the collection, Annabelle would research and decide whether the NLM should consider adding the title or not. At the end of the program the findings from the project were presented to the collection development team at the NLM. The project was also conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic which made this research even more rewarding.

“This program gave me the opportunity to learn from professionals that work to enhance information services both locally and globally. It was incredibly helpful to see the importance of library services in national libraries. This program is a great opportunity to connect with professionals, learn new skills, and get hands-on library experience,” said Annabelle.

Anabelle believes that the searching skills taught in the core Library Science courses were helpful when learning how to search on LocatorPlus. These core courses teach how to search with any database, and this helped immensely when learning to search on the NLM Catalog database. This program helped Annabelle network and communicate with professionals at a national library and gain hands-on experience working with these professionals as well. Annabelle believes that this program was invaluable to their growth as an MLIS graduate student.