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MLIS student spends 10 weeks in D.C.

Amelia Snetting (right) with fellow intern Pedro Gonzalez-Fernandez in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.
Amelia Snetting (right) with fellow intern Pedro Gonzalez-Fernandez in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.
Photo courtesy of Amelia Snetting.

Amelia Snetting, a student in St. Kate’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, won’t easily forget summer 2013. She earned a coveted spot in the Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program at the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution — the Library of Congress.

A panel of curators and specialists from the library selected 40 college students, including Snetting, for the 10-week experience. The panel received more than 1,100 applications from across the United States.

The library’s summer intern program was created to increase public access to its collections and raise awareness of its digital-preservation programs. During the application stage, participants had to choose three (out of 37) available positions. Snetting landed her first choice, which was to work on the Concert Office Commission Database.

“I interacted primarily with folks from the Concert Office and with the head of cataloging in the Music Division,” she says. “I worked on creating a database for commissioned works and finalizing the concert series, and near the program's close I presented at an all-day poster session for the public. It was an intense experience.”

But one that fit her well. Snetting has a background in music — studying at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Minnesota as a teen and singing with six professional choral ensembles over roughly 14 years. Her interest in database management is growing, sparked last spring by a St. Kate's MLIS course she took on the subject.

“Working with different mediums is extremely exciting, and it's my hope to continue learning about differences in cataloging, standards, preservation and management for various resource mediums,” says Snetting, who is focusing on digital librarianship for her MLIS degree.

Snetting is grateful to Candice LaPlante MLIS ’11 for informing her of the Library of Congress opportunity. The duo met in spring 2012 at the University's first Library and Information Science Success Team, a career planning action and accountability group. LaPlante was a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress in 2010.

“Candice encouraged me to apply and even though I was hesitant, I applied via USAJobs in the fall of 2012,” says Snetting. “Looking back, I think I was so interested in gaining experience that I didn't stop to doubt myself.”

Snetting says her 10 weeks at the Library of Congress was “invaluable” because “it has taught me about myself and the work I gravitate towards.”

As a perk of the internship program, the fellows were often invited to attend tours of other libraries and presentations on the diverse divisions within the Library of Congress.

St. Catherine University has the only American Library Association-accredited graduate library and information science program in Minnesota — and it is one of only 57 programs in North America to achieve this distinction.

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Sep. 30, 2013 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Liberal Arts, Students