My Favorite Things (a la Special Collections) by Hannah Hacker
For the past two and a half years, I have had the honor to work as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa Special Collections. I am thrilled about graduating from my Library Science and Book Arts program this semester, and I am excited to see what adventures I’ll embark on next, but I will certainly miss my Special Collections family. I am thankful for the friends I have met here and the opportunities that I was given. I’m not the best at waxing emotional, so, instead, I will leave you all with my own little rendition of a classic, “My Favorite Things”:
And sketches of spaceships
Bright crimson wax on some very aged papers
Gray Wonder boxes high on the shelves
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream-colored parchment and crisp comic pages
Dress swords and old maps
And Medieval doodles
Really small books with tiny wood-prints
These are a few of my favorite things
Kids in the classroom with handwritten letters
Red rot that stays on my shirts and nice sweaters
Staple-bound fanzines and pulp magazines
These are a few of my favorite things
When the day’s long
When the class is done
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
Thanks to Hannah for the hard work, laughs, and pure librarian magic that you brought Special Collections!
The University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections is looking for the next Olson Graduate Research Assistant. If you are a graduate student, or an incoming graduate student, find out more here.
However, you might be asking what does being the Olson Graduate Research Assistant actually mean? Well, who better to explain that then those with the experience. Hannah Hacker was Special Collections’ Olson GA from 2016-2018 and will be graduating with her Masters in Library and Information Science this winter. Micaela Terronez has been our Olson GA since 2017, and she will be graduating May 2019 with a Masters in Library and Information Science. Below they explain what it means to be an Olson GA and the experiences and opportunities that come with the job.
From Hannah Hacker:
Being an Olson is like being at a buffet, but with rare books and archives. You get a little taste of everything in special collections librarianship. If an aspect of the department gets you really excited, you can dive right in and have a big helping.
For me, the areas that I dove into were instruction and reference. My passion for librarianship stems from the enthusiasm of a student or patron who discovers something for the first time or is eager about researching a particular topic, and that happens the most when I’m in a classroom or at the front desk. Talking with people one-on-one and listening to what gets them excited is one of the main reasons why I’ve enjoyed my time as an Olson as much as I have. It’s those small moments with people that get me fired up about being a full-fledged librarian some day.
From Micaela Terronez:
This past year as the Olson Graduate Research Assistant has been a wonderful opportunity for me to gain practical knowledge and experience in the work of special collections and archives. For example, I have learned about the day-to-day operations and responsibilities of a large university special collections — an experience that nicely complements my MLS coursework and previous professional work. Additionally, I cannot express how thankful I am for working alongside such incredible and supportive coworkers. Through this fellowship, I’ve been lucky to gain several mentors that have taken the time to listen, discuss, and collaborate with me as a new staff member.
Thus far, my favorite experiences in this position have been in the Special Collections classroom where I’ve had the opportunity to instruct courses utilizing library materials — a responsibility that I was completely terrified to do originally! But because of the support and training I received as the Olson, I’m more comfortable than ever to conduct classes and experience some great moments with students. One of these moments was with a group of 20 Latinx high school students from Upward Bound, a program that brings first-generation students from the state to experience life as a college student for six weeks. The students gravitated toward stories of migration and underrepresented individuals that could be seen in several collections from the University Archives and the Iowa Women Archives. By far, this was one of my favorite classes because I saw firsthand how archival materials can resonate with students and the effect it can potentially have on their self-identity.
For more information about the Olson Graduate Research Assistant position or application, please contact Lindsay Moen. The deadline is October 29th, 2018 at 5:00pm.
Kelly Grogg has been an Olson Graduate Assistant in Special Collections for the past two years. In May she completed her Masters in Library and Information Science. Kelly completed her time with us here in Special Collections last week. Our patrons, students, and staff benefited greatly from Kelly’s cheerful dedication. Kelly embodies the philosophy of service at the heart of librarianship. She will be missed.
Here is a list of some of the incredible work and projects Kelly did while in Special Collections:
Mentored and supervised a high school intern.
Mentored and supervised a student from the UI Reach program.
Curated an exhibition
Processed archival collections
Created lesson plans
Worked at the reference desk
Answered reference questions
Created pop-up events in the Learning Commons
Taught class sessions
Contribute to social media and video outreach projects
Kelly recently obtained a position as the Librarian for the United States Peace Corps. In this position Kelly will get to work with a small physical library of training materials, as well as maintaining up updating the digital library the Peace Corps created for volunteers. However, most of her time will be spent training international counterparts on the usage of the digital library and locating materials useful for volunteers as they set out to complete development projects. As an added bonus, she’ll also be able to answer historical reference questions about the Peace Corps through their historical document collection, putting to use the skills she gained as the Olson Graduate Assistant in Special Collections.
Please join us in wishing her the best in her new career as a librarian!
Kelly has left us with a video of her favorite things:
Celebrate Kelly’s success by looking back on her hilarious YouTube series, “Historical Crushes.”
How I Teach by Dr. Adam Hooks, English Department, University of Iowa.
ACRL Library Marketing & Outreach Group interview with Outreach & Engagement Librarian Colleen Theisen
Launched this week:
1960’s Digital Exhibition
Uptight & Laid-back: Iowa City in the 1960s, an ongoing collaborative project developed by University Archivist David McCartney and The Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, brings to life a dynamic and turbulent decade for the University and for Iowa City. The curated topics pages and interactive map invite the public to explore an array of material associated with the campus and the community. The public is also welcome to contribute materials! We’ll be adding to the site over the coming months. Stay tuned!
May 1, 2016: The Olson Graduate Assistant
The Olson Graduate Research Assistant position in Special Collections is a two year 50% position for incoming or current graduate students at the University of Iowa to join the department and support reference, instruction, outreach, processing, and exhibitions, while having opportunity pursue individual projects.
June 3, 2016: Proposals for RBMS Seminars for the 2017 Conference in Iowa City
Seminars are 90-minute sessions, given in a variety of formats. They constitute an important educational component of each conference and are a valuable forum for the exchange of ideas and information on particular topics of relevance to rare book and manuscript librarians. Read more.
Break from Busyness (Become a #tribblemaker)
Monday-Friday, May 2nd-5th, 12-3pm
This finals season we challenge you to find time for breaks in your studying. To help, librarians at Main Library have set up a handful of challenge activities designed to help take your minds off of finals, just for a bit. Special Collections staff will be on hand with fur fabric and supplies if you want to become a tribble maker and add to the Star Trek exhibition! Get an “I’m a tribble maker” button and an entry to win the life size Captain Kirk cutout currently in the front case of the gallery. More info.
Guest Speaker: Author Michael Blanding
The Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries will host Michael Blanding, author of bestseller The Map Thief, the gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps.
Thursday, May 5, 2016 in the Main Library’s Shambaugh Auditorium. Blanding’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m., with a reception and book signing to follow at 7:30 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public. More info.
Iowa Bibliophiles Book Club Meeting
Wednesday, May 11th, Snacks at 6:30pm, Discussion from 7-8pm in the Special Collections Reading Room, 3rd Floor Main Library.
Find a copy of “The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio” and join us for a book club.
This week we had ten classes in to special collections. Just because it’s close to the end of the semester doesn’t mean we’re slowing down!
While you may be more focused on ending the academic year strong, if you are an instructor, this is the right time to start thinking about requesting class dates and times for summer or fall 2016. Please use our instruction request form to request your upcoming sessions: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/forms/speccoll_class/. It’s especially important to be the early bird if you work with early materials, as our medieval manuscripts are limited to five class uses per semester on a first come-first serve basis.
Also note that Instruction Librarian Amy Chen will be out on vacation for three weeks from May 9 through May 27. During this time, the instruction request form will be forwarded to the Olson Graduate Assistants, John Fifield and Kelly Grogg. They will handle the booking of your courses until Amy returns. Other questions or correspondence to Amy will be answered as soon as possible upon her return to the office at the end of May.
Social Media & Online Community:
You can revisit our third annual Shakespeare Livestream: