Nature of Work

My internship was structured as  a three-day a week internship with two days working in library and one day devoted to intern activities at the museum. My main duties at the library would consist of paging (patron requests), checking out, and re-shelving. The library has been understaffed and it was where they needed help the most. The library had just completed a major reorganization with the moving of the bulk of their collection to the Queens facility and was in the process of figuring out the new workflow. I would get practical experience working both in a library and museum and it would give me an opportunity to get acquainted with the collection both in the Manhattan and Queens locations. The non-circulating collection is accessed through the library’s online catalog, DADABASE.

My two library days would be in Queens with Vicki Wong, Associate Librarian, overseeing my training. The paging system is set up is so that all materials, regardless of location, have a 24 hours turnaround. I was taught to use Millennium software to print out requests, locate items, check out, and package requests that were sent to Manhattan for patron use in the library reading room. I spent a majority of my time In the climate controlled stacks where all materials are housed — an enormous space encompassing approximately 18,500 linear feet of compact shelving with over 100 separate locations for books (regular and oversized), periodicals, photography, film, artists files, exhibition catalogs, ephemera, special collections, flat files, microfilm, etc. I also was expected to re-shelve returns. I was also slated to check-in and unpack returns but the amount of paging turned out to be much bigger than expected so my duties were limited to paging and re-shelving. Vicki also trained me in labeling and shelf checking when time permitted.

Queens

At MoMA Queens, the stacks, (upper middle), arranging books for re-shelving, (upper right), packed boxes ready to ship to Manhattan, (lower left), paged items ready to be checked out, (lower middle), and the check out area, (lower right).