For those of you that may not know me, my name is Rob Sippel and I’m the “newbie librarian” of the title. I’m currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree through Rutgers University and it’s been my good fortune this semester to spend my Tuesdays and Wednesdays interning with the Eisenhower Library. While my professional background prior to beginning the Rutgers MLIS program has included naval architecture, engineering, logistics and business, this semester has been my first opportunity to work in a library setting.
I spent my first couple of months at Hopkins working at Ames Hall in the office of Professor M. Gordon “Reds” Wolman, who passed away in February 2010. Reds Wolman’s family generously invited the library to review the books and papers in his office and identify any materials of interest to the library. As an aspiring librarian, this was a wonderful chance for me to learn the principles of collection development. Reds’ immense storehouse of knowledge spanned a variety of professional disciplines and many of his books, featuring a bookplate designed by his family, will be added to the collections of the Eisenhower Library. His many maps of Maryland and its environs, which reflected his love for this region in which he lived his life, will also be added to the library’s collections.
I then spent a couple of weeks identifying materials in the collection of the George Peabody Library that can be applied to an upcoming course in the history of structures. With a professional background in engineering and a love of history that extends back as far as I can remember, this was right up my alley. If any students happen to be reading this, I encourage them to use the resources of the Peabody. Just walking into the reading room of that magnificent library and gazing up at all those bookshelves soaring overhead is enough to make you feel as though you are absorbing the wisdom of the ages.
As I wrap up my time at Hopkins, I have had another opportunity to practice my collection development skills. The Eisenhower Library is seeking to expand its collection of books relating to sustainability, a fascinating subject that is very much in the news these days. Since my professional background has included some work in the area of sustainability, I have enjoyed having this chance to identify materials of interest in this field.
Beginning in January, I’ll be interning at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and at the Central Library of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While I’m looking forward to both internships, I will definitely miss spending time at Hopkins. Thank you to all at JHU who have made me feel welcome over the last few months. In particular, thank you to science and engineering librarian Stephen Stich, who was instrumental in making this internship possible and making it a great experience for me.