Starting a New Chapter and a Future at the Library

October 27 2017
Category: Academics

This week’s #SoaringToSuccess student is avid reader and English literature major, Emily Van Allen '18. Emily’s passion for books and reading helped her land a summer internship at the Gold Coast Public Library on Long Island, N.Y. Her experience helped write the next chapter of her future as she hopes to earn a master’s degree in library science.

Emily Van Allen

Let’s hit the books and learn more from Emily… 

My love for literature began at a young age and was inspired by my mother, who is an avid reader herself. She introduced me to her favorite authors when she was my age, like Judy Blume and Stephen King, and recommended tons of books for me to read. Upon graduating high school, I walked into Elmira College with my mind set on walking out with a degree in English literature, and nothing has changed from that point on. Books have always been an integral part of my life, so what better place to start than an internship at a library?

This summer, I am fortunate to have obtained an internship at the Gold Coast Public Library, located on the North Shore of Long Island and conveniently a ten-minute drive from my hometown. This internship gave me the opportunity to learn all the nooks and crannies of a public library and to familiarize me with the tasks and functions of a librarian.

I shadowed Deborah Kinirons, a part-time librarian at Gold Coast and a full-time Spanish-speaking librarian at another library in Nassau County. She has kindly taken me under her wing at Gold Coast, and with her guidance, she made sure I got the most out of my experience this summer.

My main responsibilities as an intern involved the Adult Summer Reading Program, a summer-long event where members of the community submit book reviews and participate in the many events hosted by the library. I kept track of what people were reading and helped create lists of new books within popular genres at the library; the community’s favorite genres happened to be historical fiction and mysteries. On top of that, I helped patrons at the reference desk find and utilize the library’s resources, I co-led a book discussion with Deborah, and assisted in expanding the adult fiction inventory. One of the most memorable events I was able to help out with was hosting two separate author visits. It was a pleasure to be able to meet and welcome best-selling authors to our community.

After completing this internship, it personally confirmed to me that I belong in a library. I am so thankful for Deborah for allowing me this opportunity to intern at the Gold Coast Public Library. I know that I will carry all that I am learning with me in my next endeavors: studying library sciences in graduate school!