Three high school interns worked in Special Collections this summer as part of Opportunity Now, a job readiness program organized by Mayor Megan Barry’s office. Kathy Smith, associate director of Special Collections, and Celia Walker, director of special projects, mentored the students who learned how to use the library databases, how to work in a library setting, and how to find books in the library.
The interns also toured several of the nine campus libraries during their six-week program, giving them insights into the diverse work going on in 21st century libraries. The interns were tasked with identifying and locating the first books to come in to the libraries in the late 19th century, using the earliest accession ledgers in the Archives. Each title was checked in the online catalog, then pulled from the shelf to determine if it was the correct edition and copy.
Students learned how to analyze books based on bookplates, circulation stamps, and bindings. They also checked for an electronic version and searched for a replacement copy if needed.
The books identified will have a note added to their record to show that they were among the first to enter the library and the collection will be highlighted in 2023 as the libraries and the university celebrate their 150th anniversary.
For more information on Opportunity Now please see the following article in The Tennessean.