Fall Buchanan Library Fellowships Open for Application

The Buchanan Library Fellows Program

The Buchanan Library Fellowship program supports hands-on student learning opportunities that build desirable skills and deepen students’ understanding of resources and services in Vanderbilt Libraries. With a focus on undergraduate instruction, the program connects faculty and professional librarians with students to work on experiential library projects and present their work at the end of their fellowship. Fellows learn new skills, earn money and complete immersive projects that add to their expertise and resumes. Projects may involve curating a physical or online exhibition, developing information literacy skills, contributing new research to academic databases or building technology skills. Through the Buchanan Library Fellowship program, our libraries promote student research.

Program Benefits

  • Build resume with completed innovative project
  • Expand research skills
  • Earn money while you learn
  • Work with leading experts in the library field

Application Process

Fellows attend seminars, present on their topics and earn $1,000. To be considered for a Buchanan Library Fellow position, candidates must be an undergraduate student in good academic standing. Previously selected Library Fellows may not reapply.

Apply here for the Fall 2022 Buchanan Library Fellowships, and submit the following:

  • Cover letter addressed to the fellowship contact describing what you hope to achieve in the project
  • Curriculum vitae including name, address, email, and telephone
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until filled, at which time the opportunity is closed. Accepted students will receive a formal letter of acceptance.  For general information about the Buchanan Library Fellows program, contact Melissa Mallon.

Fall 2022 Fellowships:

Action! Cut! Producing a Science and Engineering Library Video
Fellows will produce a video documenting the story of the Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science and Engineering Library from the student perspective. The fellows will have this opportunity to learn various aspects of a university library, including esteemed benefactors, librarians, study spaces, and personalized services – and will be responsible for all phases of production (user analysis, script/storyboarding, pre-production planning, shooting, editing, etc.) to create, distribute, and promote the video to their colleagues. Fellows must think critically about the library’s mission, what is unique about the Stevenson Science and Engineering Library, and why and how making this video connects the library to the student experience. A successful applicant brings enthusiasm and interest in the various aspects of the fellowship (e.g., librarianship, project management, video production) and an openness to learning and working collaboratively, while staying focused.

No prior video production experience is required. Selected fellows will meet weekly at a regularly scheduled time (TBD) and work collaboratively outside those meetings to complete production assignments as scheduled. At the end of the project, each fellow is required to submit a short assessment and reflection video of their experience.
Contacts: Francisco Juarez, Carla Beals


Building a University: Vanderbilt’s Third Decade, 1895-1905
This fellowship explores primary sources about the university’s third decade. Have you ever wondered about the early years of Vanderbilt University? The third decade of Vanderbilt saw a new medical school built on campus, a dynamo to provide electricity, and, sadly, the destruction of the administration building by fire. You’ll examine historically significant university archives and manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives and place them in context within the university’s and the nation’s history.

This fellowship blends curatorial practice and the history of the university. Students will research and interpret books and other items from Special Collections and University Archives and place them in context of historic events and cultural production. Fellows will curate an exhibition about their chosen books and present on what they learned. This fellowship requires a five-to eight-hour commitment weekly including class meetings. Fellows receive a small salary and learn how to think critically about primary sources while building an exhibition.

The fellowship meets Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. Lab time (in the library or on Zoom) will also be scheduled during the semester to maximize your time with your materials. Labs are hands-on time for building your curatorial work. You’ll be able to ask questions about the objects you have selected, learn how to interpret your objects, discuss research materials available and plan your exhibit case description.
Contacts: Teresa Gray, Kathy Smith


DC 3D Imaging: From Your Imagination to [Augmented] Reality?
This fellowship will provide students with an opportunity to explore creative and technical applications in digital imaging. The Digital Imaging Lab at the Digital Commons features a 3D scanner capable of imaging objects to create virtual replicas of those objects, to then be edited and modified for a variety of purposes. Fellows will learn about the creative and technical perspectives of digital imaging, using 3D imaging and editing tools to create a digital exhibit of virtual objects of their choosing. In addition, Fellows will participate in the Digital Commons’ virtual reality/augmented reality working group, which explores the use of virtual objects in a variety of fields. Participating in this group will expose Fellows to applications of digital imaging in different contexts, including Vanderbilt faculty research projects.

Fellows will meet weekly with mentors to plan their digital imaging projects and develop a plan to share the digital exhibit of their work. This fellowship is a 3-5 hrs/week commitment. Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is helpful, but not required.
Contacts: Cazembe Kennedy, Connor Gilmore


The Diverse World of Yusef A. Lateef: From Archives to Performance
Vanderbilt Libraries recently acquired the collection of Yusef A. Lateef, a genre-defying, multi-instrumentalist who composed in a variety of musical styles and for various instrumental forces. Using the Yusef A. Lateef Collection, fellows will explore the 300+ music manuscripts in this archive. Fellows will examine and select scores for performance, collaborating with other fellows in the program to perform a lecture-recital at the end of the semester that explores some aspect of Lateef’s diverse output. Non-performers will research and contextualize the musical works and contribute to the lecture portion of the recital. Fellows may have the opportunity to explore other parts of the Lateef Collection and will learn how to use primary source material to conduct research in music. Working with the instructors, fellows will develop a social media campaign for the lecture-recital to advertise both the collection and the recital.
Contacts: Holling Smith-Borne, Jake Schaub


Misinformation, Social Media & the Effects on Society
Flush with the spirit of techno-optimism (information wants to be free!), the internet promised liberation by eliminating barriers to information, and enabling its spread instantaneously and globally. However, in recent years we have seen that misinformation spreads equally rapidly, generating profound social repercussions. From filter bubbles and echo chambers to the cascading effects of conspiracy theories, this fellowship explores the spread of misinformation on a variety of social media platforms, interrogating its meaning and its strategies, and questioning the efficacy of unregulated free speech or simple hierarchies of credibility as antidotes to misinformation. To engage further with the topics covered in the fellowship, students will record and produce podcasts as part of a developing series on media and society.
Contacts: Andy Wesolek, Bobby Smiley, Melissa Mallon


Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery: Collection Research and Outreach
Using the Fine Arts Gallery collection, fellows will conduct visitor studies, outreach planning, and hands-on research on collection objects. Fellows will collect data regarding community use (current and potential). This includes visitor studies on current exhibitions and surveys of current university course use. After collating and analyzing the results, students will identify potential gallery programming driven by community needs. Fellows will also develop open access online educational resources reflecting collection strengths. Such educational resources could include, for example, succinct and researched background on objects and how to incorporate them into thematic course units. The Fellows’ work would be added to our web resources for our stakeholders.
Contacts: Mary Anne Caton, Susan Dine

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