This is the second in a series of blog posts written by the 2014-2015 ALA board members, where we talk about the different internships we participated in during the summer of 2014. This entry was written by Kristen Reid concerning her internship at the Language Resource Center at the University of Michigan.
I was hired by the Language Resource Center to revamp the database containing their library catalog. In addition to researching national standards, I conducted a careful study of the catalog and the needs of the LRC’s staff and patrons. After creating new fields in the FileMaker Pro database and cleaning up records, I created extensive documentation for future database maintenance including cataloging guidelines, instructions for student projects to continue cleaning the database, and a plan for annual maintenance.
Throughout the course of my internship, I became proficient with FileMaker Pro, broadened my understanding of cataloging and metadata standards and learned a lot about database cleanup and maintenance. In addition, I came to understand firsthand the challenges facing a small library wishing to strike a balance between national standards and the idiosyncratic needs of the collection and its patrons.