By Elsa Buehler
Today, I began the last project that I will complete for my internship: a research guide on Malcolm X. I have so enjoyed learning about a diverse group of great thinkers while creating research guides for Gumberg Library’s website. I was very pleased to be able to continue this work, as normal, from the comfort of my home! Today was bittersweet.
I’m sure we all got a lot more than the learning experience we bargained for when applying for our respective internships. As a (hopeful) future school librarian, I have been really grateful to learn how to maneuver online learning platforms. The biggest adjustment was learning Zoom as a student (and later using it to interact with friends and family!), but I’ve even learned new functions on Blackboard and Outlook, platforms I already used.
What’s more is that I’ve learned what kinds of online resources institutions can provide during this time of working from home—resources helping people reconcile having to work and live in the same space. I’ve briefly discussed the Gumberg Library as a specific example of Duquesne University’s efforts to support and enrich online learning. I think that our librarians have done some really great work in this vein. From my point of view, I’ve watched as my supervisor, Ted Bergfelt, has edited research guides to be more helpful to at-home learners, created new guides detailing Gumberg’s online resources, and even created new guides to accompany specific courses. Like him, all guides I’ve made since mid-March make a far greater effort to provide online resources. I’ve also retroactively done this for past guides I have created. I hope they can be helpful to my peers: not only in providing direct access to specific resources, but also in showing how one might approach remote academic research.
As my peers and I wrap up our internship work and our school year, I thank the individuals (professors, librarians, administrative staff, etc) behind our online transition. Although you’re working from home, you’re not taking a load off. In fact, I suspect that many of you are putting in more hours than you would during a typical school year. Thank you for dedicating yourselves to providing an education for us that is as close to normal as humanly possible. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you and be well.
All my best to you,