CAREER: MLIS Students, Directed Fieldwork: is it for you?

If you want a chance to apply some of what you’ve learned in your courses, with hands-on experience, then YES.

If you want to network with professionals, then YES.

If you’re thinking ahead about Capstone, then YES.

If you have little or no experience in a library or information setting, then YES.

There are a number of great DFW opportunities this fall, which are already posted in iCareers. Some options for those of you in the Seattle area include:

  • Creating an audio archive at KUOW (hint: the plan is for this to be a DFW that morphs into a Capstone!)
  •  TAing for underserved students in a community college information literacy course (gain some teaching experience!)
  • Researching and compiling open educational resources for undergraduate engineering curriculum (many job ads for academic libraries now ask for OER experience)
  • Cataloging for the Seattle Opera (who doesn’t love the opera?)

If you’re online or not close to Seattle, don’t feel left out! There are current postings for opportunities in Maryland, Oregon, and elsewhere in Washington State. We can also work with you to create a fieldwork opportunity close to home; this summer we had students complete DFWs in Colorado, Michigan, and British Columbia. There are also DFWs that can be done completely online. Recent online-only DFWs include:

  • Creating metadata for digitized Supreme Court cases for the Law Library of Congress
  • Creating outreach programs for the National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Resource Center
  • Cataloging for the Button Museum in Chicago

Having fieldwork on your transcripts assures potential employers that you’ve had successful, measurable experience with solid learning outcomes, along with evaluation and feedback from information professionals and faculty. The same can’t be said for many volunteer positions.

The deadline to have your paperwork in for a Fall 2016 DFW is September 12. You can visit Canvas for full directions for the DFW process, https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/961094/pages/how-do-i-set-up-a-directed-fieldwork.

Student Services and I are glad to answer questions or help you create a fieldwork opportunity for fall or later quarters. Just ask!

-Helene Williams, Sr. Lecturer

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