Ten undergraduate students who are participating in the Future Information Professionals internship program attended the LibLearnX conference in Baltimore, along with three MLIS student coaches and the project leaders, Lucy Wittkower, Head of Libraries Education & Assessment, Leanne Hillery, Head of Resource Description & Collection Maintenance, and Sue Kimmel, Professor of Library & Information Studies, Darden College of Education & Professional Studies. LibLearnX is a national conference sponsored by the American Library Association with over 2,000 attendees. Interns attended educational and networking sessions, author talks, and visited the exhibits hall where they talked to vendors, authors, and picked up a lot of free books and swag!

Reflecting on the conference, Kat Little, a Game Studies and Design major said, “I absolutely loved the LibLearnX conference, it made me feel more connected with the other interns and helped me figure out some career path confusions I had. After the conference I even ended up talking to some others about wanting to go to the next one on my own, I’m already a con goer but this one in particular was incredibly enjoyable!” 

Emily Brooks, a History major shared, "Going to the ALA Conference gifted me new educational tools, facilitated connections with professionals in my aspiring field, and accepted me into a passionate, caring community. It was an incredibly fun experience, I would love to go again if I had the opportunity!"

Lucy Wittkower, the project leader, shared, “attending the conference was a great way to start the semester, and allowed our students to learn about the many aspects of working in library science, and got them very excited about the spring portion of the internship. I personally loved getting to know each intern better during our travels together. We are so grateful to IMLS for funding this experience for our interns.”

This experience was funded by the Institution of Museum and Library Services, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant. The grant has provided funding for 24 paid internships over the past two years to give undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about careers in libraries and information sciences, and to provide relevant work and professional experiences. This semester, interns are working in the ODU Libraries assisting with projects and day-to-day operations. More information about the project can be found here: https://guides.lib.odu.edu/FIP