Internship Changes Under Quarantine

This is a stressful and confusing time, especially for jobs that were not designed to be done off-site. Many people need to adjust and put some projects on pause and find other jobs to do. This is my current situation.

My internship had me doing on-site, physical work that I cannot do away from the Rosendale Library. I was tasked with sorting the past director’s research and collected paraphernalia, scanning some of the documents and uploading the scans to the library’s website. Some of the items were placed in boxes on top of the bookcases in the library proper, making them difficult to access and an eyesore.

Much of the research the past director conducted is stored in binders kept in the library and are on register to be rented out to library patrons, but are marked as reference material, so they cannot leave the library. Thus, I cannot continue sorting through the binders, as was my primary task at my internship. The work she scanned remains in external drives that are also marked reference and need to remain in the building.

Some the paraphernalia was stored up on top of bookcases and were heavy- one box contains three bibles and a book of deeds, all of them were very large and weighed probably near thirty pounds altogether. Other boxes are long, which makes them unwieldy and awkward to carry down a ladder. Some are light and a manageable size, but the contents are delicate. Since this part of the job is one I clearly need to be on-site to do, I cannot continue that work. 

With nothing to sort through, I have nothing to scan and upload to the library website. Most of what I have scanned is already up on the website or on a drafted page, as I and the current director work on the contents. With that work nearly done, all of my original tasks are put on pause during this quarantine. 

Even if the quarantine lifts, getting to the library from my home will prove difficult, as it is almost a two-hour drive from a different county. The public transport that allows that kind of travel will be too expensive to truly consider for a four hour day at the library. 

This does not mean that I don’t have work to do. While sorting through the research binders, I had to check to see if some of the content already existed on other websites. I am now doing an extension of this work; I am accessing multiple databases provided through the SUNY New Paltz library to students and searching for documents that relate back to Rosendale. My main task is to find more information on the Rosendale Cement Company, but the director is also looking for more general historic information as well. I am to convert my findings into pdfs and send them to the director for her to look over. From there, my task is to upload my findings to the website, so there is information for library patrons to search through while unable to access the physical library.