Tag Archives: graduate student

A New Job, A New Degree, and A New Pandemic

By Meg Tohill

Ever since I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do when I got older was to help people. The question of how I would do this has continuously meandered along with my career path. With a passion for reading and writing, diving into library science has always been at the back of my mind, but it was only recently that I started putting the plan in motion. The seed that I had planted in high school started blossoming about two years ago.

I went to undergrad at SUNY New Paltz for a bachelor’s degree in journalism. While I maintain a passion for the written word, the power of storytelling, and delivering universal truths, it became abundantly clear to me during my time there that the industry was/ is in significant danger. Although I know many talented new journalists who continue to push back against the dissemination of misinformation in the media, I took the opportunity to start getting creative.

How could I take my skillset and develop it into something tangible? During my time in undergrad, I spent three years working as a part-time library assistant at Sojourner Truth Library. It was there that my pre-existing admirations for libraries and the information professionals who operate them were reinforced.

Ironically, I only decided to enroll in a graduate program a month before coronavirus became our reality over in the states. My entrance interview was over Zoom and my acceptance letter came during the fourth week of quarantine. I had lost a job that I wasn’t passionate about but was essential to live and I had very little prospects about what I was going to do next.

When the letter finally came, I could finally bat away the storm clouds that had been hanging so heavy around my head for months. Quarantine hit me harder than I’d like to admit. All of this stagnant time at home reminded me of past demons, something I usually could manage when surrounded by the camaraderie of my friends, or in many cases, library professionals. 

My experience working at Sojourner Truth Library had been incredibly validating. My coworkers were empathetic communicators who had the knowledge to share and after some time, I realized I wanted to be just like these individuals. I wanted to provide information to people who were hurting. I wanted to help people who didn’t know how to help themselves but desperately wanted to do so. 

March started like a lamb and ended like a lion. This goes against everything they ever taught us in elementary school, but when you go from being able to see your loved ones, to losing people you thought you had years left with, reality is a hard thing to discern. 

We were told in March and April that masks were unnecessary and then suddenly, we became mask-wearing armies. If there was a thing that was true one minute, the next minute we were being told the exact opposite. Finding the truth in quarantine hasn’t just been difficult, it’s been debilitating, making the library science profession more essential than it has ever been. When libraries and their staff are prioritized, individuals don’t have to defer to a magnanimous figurehead spewing “fake news.” When library science is accessible, information is accessible and today, information is a wealth many refuse to inherit. 

An election year, a pandemic, a full-time job, and graduate courses will be what I ultimately remember the most from 2020. However, it is my hunger for the truth and the need to help others find it too, that keeps me motivated. I believe that these feelings of determination that accompanied my pain are what I will remember the most.

Meg Tohill is a copywriter at DAC Group of Companies and an MLS graduate student at Queens College. She spends what very little free time she has reading, baking, and hiking with her boyfriend.

Note: Experiences, thoughts, and feelings shared on the ArLiSNAP blog are solely those of the featured author(s) and interviewees and do not represent the views of any employer.

Job Posting: Graduate Assistant-Design Library (Temp, PT), NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Essential Job Duties:

Provide reference and circulation service at the desk in the Design Library. May be responsible for closing or opening the library on weekends or evenings. Assist on Design Library Image Database project. Duties may include image cataloging, data enhancement, image digitization, digital image management, and digital copywork.

Minimum Experience/Education: Current enrollment in a graduate level library science program.

Departmental Required Skills:

Enrollment in a graduate level library science program. Completion of or enrollment in a basic reference services course. Excellent customer service skills. Demonstrated ability to work independently and to work effectively with a team. Familiarity with searching library catalogs, databases, and the Internet. Interest in or background in design, art or architecture, with undergraduate degree or coursework in art, architecture or design preferred.

Open until August 25, 2016 (Positions will be posted until 5:00 PM ET on this date. Positions remaining posted after this date are still accepting applications but may close at any time)

Full post: https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/73709

2014 Summer Cataloging Internship, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library, New York, NY

Summer 2014 Cataloging Internship

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library seeks a graduate student for an unpaid internship opportunity in cataloging.

This semester, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library will be offering one (1) current MLS student or recent graduate an opportunity to gain experience in cataloging and a greater understanding to the multi-faceted workings of a small museum library. Summer internships are full-time, four days per week Monday-Thursday, in addition to Friday seminars.



·         Perform general library maintenance, including book processing, shelving cataloged materials, and retrieving library materials from the stacks in response to reference requests from staff, volunteers or other interns.

·         Copy cataloging, which includes searching, editing, and importing MARC records into the library catalog.

·         Assist in the cataloging of the library’s backlog of new and older uncataloged materials.
For experienced applicants, we offer an opportunity to focus the internship on advanced cataloging practices.



·         Assist in creating/editing bibliographic records for rare or unique books in our special collections.

·         Create original cataloging records for older uncataloged materials.

·         Identify items that will need repair or preservation.



·         Course work in original and copy cataloging required. Experience in original and/or copy cataloging preferred.

·         Knowledge of Library of Congress classification, subject headings, and authorities.

·         Familiarity with AACR2, RDA and current cataloging practices.

·         Knowledge of modern and contemporary art.

·         Ability to take direction and to work independently.

Established in 1959 with the opening of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Library contains published resources that reflect and inform museum collections and exhibitions. The Library’s mission is to support research endeavors. The collection consists of literature focused on modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design, with emphasis on the museum’s international collections and exhibitions. Materials are collected in English and Western-European languages with limited selections made among other languages. Collection development methods include purchase, exchanges, gifts, and acquisitions of both newly-published and out-of-print materials.


If interested, please send a resume, cover letter, three (3) references to Jillian Suarez, Assistant Librarian at libraryandarchives@guggenheim.org. For students interested in the advanced cataloging opportunity, submit three (3) examples of edited bibliographic records with your resume, cover letter, and three (3) references to the address above.