[Posted on behalf of Dr. Tu]
If you are interested in gaining experience with the provision of virtual reference services (VRS) via an online chatting system, don’t miss this great opportunity. Regular and distance education (DE) students in the MLIS program and recent SLIS graduates are welcome to apply for an internship or practicum.
Deadline for Applications: November 20, 2007 at 11:59 pm
The SLIS has become a contractor and research partner of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). This partnership is designed to use the expertise of current students and recent graduates to cover the ASERL Ask-A-Librarian’s (AAL) online chat reference extended service hours. The research component of this project centers on investigating how well students provide real-world VRS, as evidenced by application of knowledge and skills learned from the SLIS curriculum, and whether availability of a real-world internship experience facilitates qualitative changes in students’ learning. Dr. Feili Tu is the Primary Investigator (PI) for this project, and Ms. Andrea Wright, the Project Coordinator, is administering the day-to-day operations of the project.
For more than 50 years, the ASERL has brought together leaders from research and state libraries in the southeast region to foster a high standard of library excellence through inter-institutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts.
AAL is a virtual reference service that permits ASERL library staff to meet their users in an online environment. The mission of AAL is to provide users with more timely and cost-effective research-library high-quality information that can be provided by any individual ASERL library. Participating ASERL libraries are:
Purposes of the project:
The purposes are to provide chat-based VRS and to extend AAL service hours later into the evening to determine levels of patron demand during hours when the AAL service was previously closed (i.e., to midnight 7 days a week). We are inviting qualified current students and recent graduates (i.e., those who graduated in 2005 or later) to compete for this opportunity to be part of the student staff. The PI and the Project Coordinator will carefully review each student’s competencies to determine qualifications for inclusion in the project.
Two options are available:
Option 1: a paid internship
If you are a current MLS student who meets the project’s qualifications (described later in this message), you may apply for a paid internship. Enrollment in the 794 Internship in Library and Information Science course taught by Dr. Feili Tu in the spring 2008 semester is required, which means you will need to meet the requirements of the course in addition to providing VRS. Each student’s final course grade (i.e., satisfactory or unsatisfactory) will be based on evaluation by Dr. Tu. Those who are evaluated as providing high-quality VRS and who are able to meet the requirements of the 794 course will earn three graduate credit units at the end of the semester. In addition, there will be fringe benefits on a monthly basis and a stipend of $9 per hour for the provision of the AAL online chat reference extended service hours. This is provided by the ASERL AAL Project and the SLIS/USC.
Option 2: a paid practicum
If you are a current MLIS student or a recent graduate who meets the project’s qualifications (described later in this message), and you are interested in working several hours per week for the project, you may apply for a paid practicum. You would receive fringe benefits on a monthly basis and a stipend of $9 per hour for the provision of the AAL online chat reference extended service hours. This is provided by the ASERL AAL Project and the SLIS/USC.
AAL Staffing Hours for SLIS Students and Graduates:
The following extended service hours are needed for the ASERL virtual reference service. Please note that all times are in the Eastern Time zone.
* Mondays - Thursdays, from 9pm - midnight (double coverage needed from 9pm - 11pm)
* Fridays, from 6pm - midnight (single student coverage only)
* Saturdays, from 5pm - midnight (single student coverage only)
* Sundays, from noon - midnight (double coverage needed from 7pm - 11pm on Sundays)
Desired qualifications: Students who have finished more than half of the required coursework for graduation and have experience in providing face-to-face reference services and VRS will be the ideal candidates.
For the paid internship:
The SLIS/USC internship course is designed to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate competencies acquired during their programs of study. In order to be eligible for an internship, students must have successfully completed a substantial portion of their coursework, especially the required courses, prior to the internship. For more information about the SLIS/USC internship course, please see http://www.libsci.sc.edu/program/handbook/Internship.htm.
For the paid practicum:
The minimum requirement is that students must have finished both the SLIS701 Introduction to Library, Information and Media Professions and the SLIS 703 Introduction to Information Sources and Services courses to be qualified as service staff candidates.
You need to:
* attend an orientation session (Date and Time: TBA )
o Note: A virtual orientation may be arranged for those who cannot come to the orientation physically.
* be very conversant in the use of online chat tools, such as AOL Instant Messenger
* be conversant in the use of common library e-resources, especially electronic reference information resources
* have successfully completed a minimum of two hours of training in the use of the system software (Docutek VRL Plus) and project orientation
o The ASERL will arrange for a training session in the use of Docutek to be provided prior to the initiation of service.
* provide written documentation of hours worked to the project coordinator
Please contact Ms. Andrea
Wright to acquire an application form. In addition, the SLIS Student Services is offering this form via fax.
Deadline for Applications: November 20, 2007 at 11:59 pm