Contributed by Luiz H. Mendes
I first met Timothy Chu when he attended two graduate courses that I teach in the UCLA Department of Information Studies: subject cataloging (spring 2015), and descriptive cataloging (winter 2016). Timothy immediately demonstrated an aptitude for cataloging, and he was able to deal with the challenges and intricacies of resource description, including subject cataloging and classification, and the use of current cataloging standards and tools. In addition, Timothy was extremely well organized and passionate about librarianship. In the classroom, he was collegial and collaborative, and I often observed him assisting classmates, offering insights and solutions to complex problems or assisting them in use of online cataloging tools. I knew then that he would be able to transfer his skills from an academic setting to a professional environment. I encouraged him to apply for an internship in cataloging at the Oviatt Library.
Timothy applied and was subsequently awarded the CSUN Librarians Legacy Internship, in the Collection Access and Management Services (CAMS) Department. He began his internship in March of 2016. The timing was perfect! The Oviatt Library and the Geography Department Map Library had just established a partnership for the cataloging of the Map Library collections. Timothy’s work focused on the cataloging of reference books, atlases, gazetteers, and maps, which would make these “hidden collections” discoverable through the library catalog. During his internship, Timothy cataloged over 1,200 titles for the Map Library, including cartographic resources for the Map Library Sanborn collection. “It was a fantastic experience,” Timothy said. “I gained valuable experience in applying the knowledge from classes and using it in real life scenarios. I have learned how to use many tools that I will need for my future in librarianship. As a result of this internship, I feel more prepared to enter the profession.”
In August 2016, Timothy officially began his career when he was hired as a school librarian at De La Salle High School in Concord, California. In his new position, Timothy performs duties in all areas of librarianship from reference and instruction to acquisitions and cataloging. He credits his internship at the Oviatt Library for making him more confident about his cataloging skills. “As a result of spending time at the Oviatt Library, I have grown as a cataloger and as a professional, and feel extremely proud to have the time that I spent at California State University, Northridge on my resume,” Timothy says. “The most important thing I developed out of this internship, however, are the valuable connections I have made with the librarians and staff at the Oviatt Library.”
The CSUN Librarians Legacy Internship is supported by an endowment that provides internship funding for students in an accredited graduate library or information school program. For additional information about the CSUN Librarians Legacy Internship and other library school student internships, please visit the Employment Opportunities page on the Oviatt Library website.