So this is a blog about an internship I’ve got going here in lovely Carmarthen, Wales. It’s been awhile since I’ve done the blog thing, been even longer since I’ve done a legit internship. Last one I had was at a small local paper. But this internship is a small local library so hopefully it’ll be a similarly decent experience.
Getting into town wasn’t as much of a challenge as last time, thank goodness. For Carmarthen being one of the smallest “cities” I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, it still can be awfully confusing! The first time I made the walk from my dorm into town I Google mapped the entire route so I wouldn’t get lost. And to be on the safe side I left my dorm at 8:30 AM! Wound up getting into town in 20 minutes and had to creatively find a way to kill time for 40 minutes. (gotta love coffeeshops) Suffice it to say next time I plan on leaving a tad later. However, the mocha I got was very good, made a mental note of the spot for next time.
When I got to the library, 9:30 on the dot, I approached the front desk and heard to my horror it wasn’t officially even open!
Luckily my nervous self recognized Kevin over in the children’s section. Good, I can recognize my boss!
I was dressed to impress in my short black jacket and pinstripe pants and he seemed to approve, so huzzah on that front. Felt a tad on the formal side but, now I know for next time. I hung up my jacket and got a formal tour of each and every inch of the library. It’s bigger than I expected and now I know where they house the lonely island of misfit books, or the ones too outdated or tattered for display on the shelves. I learned in addition to revamping the kid’s library they’re also doing quite a bit of construction downstairs.
After my tour I got to go behind the front desk..yeah, felt very official doing this. I pulled up a chair at the computer and was told how to check in and check out books. They do it electronically with a scanner and also stamp the books being checked out. Thinking back to my home library I believe they may have phased out the stamp thing but..was cool in an old school kinda way to do it here.
Before I knew it I was checking in and checking out books, getting to know some of the other librarians, and learning a little gossip. Always fun. To my relief, the other women working with me would intervene if a person approached the desk asking a question of me in Welsh. In spite of my Welsh History class where we were given a rough demonstration of the alphabet, I’m nowhere near equipped to converse in the language. However it’s interesting to listen to.
After working desk duty for what felt like not very long..I was told it was teatime. This was unexpected to me. In the states during my summer job we’d get mandatory lunch breaks when I’d toast myself a bagel..but never tea time. Hmmm. I was beginning to enjoy this (even though I’ve never been much of a tea drinker) Going downstairs I made myself some hot chocolate, munched on a cookie or two, listened to the other librarians chatting about this or that and made polite conversation. (Anyone seen The King’s Speech? It was superb!)
After my tea break ended I went back upstairs and was assigned DVD shelving duty. This was interesting, I tried my best to arrange them according to a color coded system and think I did a good job.
Not long after Kevin approached saying we were going on an outing. Yay! Field trip!
We drove about twenty minutes to a health clinic and dropped off some interesting items for female patients and their kids. It turns out there’s a program in place that gives women a book bag when they take their baby for their two month old checkup. Each bag contains soft and hardcover books, tips for moms on reading to their kids, good stuff like that. There are even bags customized for babies who are blind. While this is established throughout the UK, I’ve never heard of similar programs taking place in the States. After waiting awhile we dropped off our shipment of bags, then drove about five minutes away to a primary school. The one Kevin actually attended as a boy. Sure enough we paid a visit to the library and spotted a few kids on the computers, but spoke with the librarian about acquiring books and things of that nature. At least I think that’s what was being spoken of. Kevin, assuming I’d be bored listening, told me I was welcome to explore the library a bit. Which I did. It was quite nice and I got caught up reading a junior edition of Romeo and Juliet in the Valentine’s Day display. Only interrupted when Kevin told me it was time to leave.
To my relief he drove me right back to campus so no long walk back in the rain, huzzah again!
Overall…was a pretty good first day. 🙂