Saturday, October 2, 2010

D.C., the L.O.C., O.S.I., N.D.I.I.P.P. & m.e.! [also known as My Summer of Acronyms]

Looking back on summer 2010, I am overwhelmed by the alphabet soup that was my good fortune.  Need a tour through the acronymic mess?  I’m happy to oblige!

D.C. – Why, the District of Columbia, m’dear!, where I temporarily resided.
L.O.C. – Library of Congress, where I fulfilled a Junior Fellowship this summer.
O.S.I. – The Office of Strategic Initiatives, service unit under which I worked at L.O.C..
N.D.I.I.P.P. – The National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program, my host department, in which I worked most closely with the Communications Team (which we thankfully did not call the C.T.).
m.e. – Candice LaPlante, third year (gracious!) graduate student at SCU who never thought she’d be engaged in digital initiatives…but grew to love them over one very exciting summer!

After wading through a hefty application process in Winter 2010, I was selected to serve as the first-ever Junior Fellow in the O.S.I. at L.O.C., where I gladly worked with N.D.I.I.P.P.  I didn’t know what to expect when entering the Fellowship (other than a veritable labyrinth of acronyms), but I certainly got a lot out of it!

Some of the highlights of my time at the L.O.C. include:

·         Meeting and learning from inspirational leaders such as David Ferriero, Lee Rainie, Dan Gillmor and James H. Billington.
·         Being an active participant and member of the 2010 Partners Meeting, which brought together a diverse, enthusiastic, collaborative and progressive group of digital preservation leaders and stakeholders.  We celebrated the rollout of the new N.D.S.A. (National Digital Stewardship Alliance), and I’m happy to say “I was there when it began!”
·         Attending and engaging in amazing meetings, such as eST (electronic Science and Technology), FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the 2010 annual ALA conference, and O.S.I. team meetings.
·         Writing, producing and editing my first ever video, titled “Bridging Physical & Digital Preservation at the Library of Congress.”
·         Meeting amazing people, learning in a premier national library, and growing as a professional in ways I never expected!

Now that the Fall semester has begun, I find myself actively building bridges between my experiences at the L.O.C. and my continued schoolwork.  Via class projects and a Project Assistant position I have undertaken at the Minnesota Historical Society, I keep in contact with acquaintances and coworkers from the summer, as I continue to produce material for N.D.I.I.P.P. and engage in partner-efforts.  For a lass amazingly timid where networking is concerned, I’d say I’ve come a long way since my pre-L.O.C. days!

So as to not overwhelm, however, I close with encouragement for current students: Take advantage of the amazing opportunities open to you as a learner.  Institutions, organizations and professionals are willing and able to support student learning in profound ways—you just have to seek them out.  And, to help you on your journey, St. Kate’s SGO gladly accepts and entertains funding grant requests.  

Now.  Is.  The.  Time.  Enrich your SCU learning with real-world experience!

Oh!  How rude of me.  What did you do over the summer?

~Candice LaPlante

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