Interns gain experience at library

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Angela Christian and Barbara Miles are thoroughly enjoying their graduate internships at the Selma Dallas-County Library, working toward their library media specialist certification.

Christian, a teacher at Dadeville Elementary School, and Miles, who teaches at Valley Grande Elementary, manned the desk in the library’s children’s wing Wednesday afternoon – Miles’ fifth day as an intern and Christian’s first.

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They gladly assisted a girl wearing pigtails who wanted to check out a few “Berenstain Bears” videos.

“This is a great library,” said Mathews, a student at Alabama State University. “My supervisor came in and she was so impressed with all the happenings and events.”

“The kids here are excited about reading and all the activities,” added Christian, a student at the University of West Alabama. Christian’s sister-in-law, Amy Mathews, is also a library intern.

Both women praised Library Director Becky Nichols, who took the interns under her wing since their arrival. Nichols said it’s an honor for a library to be selected to host graduate interns, and the Selma library was more than happy to open its doors.

“We were selected because we’re one of the most outstanding libraries in the state,” Nichols said. “Professors are willing to put their students here for their graduate internships.

“That made me realize we’re doing good work here and it’s an added blessing to meet these great, new girls that are totally dedicated to children. They’re going to make some great librarians.”

During their summer stay, the interns will work in every library department, receiving precious hands-on experience.

Responsibilities include assisting in programs and activities, distributing library cards, shelving books and computer work.

Nichols said the extra help is much appreciated, since 200 children come through the library each day. “These extra hands have been a miracle,” she said.

On Thursday, Christian and Miles assisted youth in an origami workshop as part of the library’s Discovery Summer 2007 program.

Both believe the library goes above and beyond to meet the needs of residents, both big and small.

“We’re so fortunate because you’re not going to find a library of this quality anywhere I believe,” Miles said. “You go to a lot of libraries and they’re not like this.”