Spring 2023 Buchanan Library Fellowships Now Accepting Applications

The Buchanan Library Fellowship program promotes student research through hands-on learning opportunities that build desirable skills and deepen student 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. Since 2010, the fellowship program has awarded nearly 100 fellowships to more than 200 students. Projects may involve curating a physical or online exhibition, developing information literacy skills, contributing new research to academic databases or building technology skills.

Program Benefits

  • Build resume with completed innovative project
  • Expand research skills
  • Work with leading experts in the library field
  • Earn a $1000 for the fellowship

Application Instructions

To be considered for a Buchanan Library Fellow position, candidates must be undergraduate students enrolled at Vanderbilt University in good academic standing. Required documents include:

  • Curriculum vitae including name, address, email, and telephone
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member

Apply here for the Spring 2023 Buchanan Library Fellowships.

Applications for spring 2023 are due by Friday, January 13. Selected students will receive a formal notice of acceptance.  For general information about the Buchanan Library Fellows program, contact Melissa Mallon.

Spring 2023 Fellowships:

KC Potter Center Digitization Project
The KC Potter Center Records Digitization Project will improve accessibility to these valuable records that document LGBTQIA+ life and the work of the KCPC on Vanderbilt’s campus. Fellows will digitize historical materials dating as far back as the 1990s, which include newspaper articles, photographs, programs, press releases, letters, and oral histories pertaining to previous conferences, events, and community concerns from both Vanderbilt’s Lambda Student Organization and the KC Potter Center. Students engaged in this project will learn digitization technologies, metadata creation, and digital collections development using JSTOR Community Collections under the supervision of Sarah Calise, Metadata Librarian for Vanderbilt Libraries. Mentors: Stephanie Mahnke, Sarah CaliseApply here.


Displaying rich information about artwork images using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF)
The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) is a cutting-edge technology that provides a mechanism for displaying visual works using a web viewer in a manner that allows the user to page through and zoom in on related artwork images. In this project, fellows will select a set of American artwork images from the Fine Arts Gallery image collection, carry out research on the works, and create a IIIF manifest to display the works in a meaningful way. In the process, they will learn more about the IIIF technology as well as having an in-depth experience with part of the Gallery collection. At the conclusion of the project, the results will be displayed as part of the Gallery’s website, allowing their research to be shared with a broad audience. Mentors: Steve Baskauf, Rachelle Wilson Mary Anne Caton, Carla Beals. Apply here.


The History of Evolution at Vanderbilt
This Buchanan Fellowship provides students the opportunity to work with library archivists to do a deep dive on specific evolutionary topics. For example, one student will oversee finding all the instances of research into anti-biotic resistance and developing a compelling story. This work started in the 1960s with Ilda McVeigh and faculty are still working on it today. These students will work with project coordinator Andy Flick, along with library staff Kathy Smith and Chris Ryland. In addition to this deep dive, Fellows will collaborate on a virtual museum, creating a series of rooms, which will contain 3D images, photos, and short stories about their work. The museum’s main hall will be organized by research topic with a timeline of faculty along the back wall. Students will also write a press release of 500+ words and create social media posts about their research topic that will be posted on the evolutionary studies website and shared with university communications.

This Fellowship provides students with a unique opportunity to learn skills in science communication, project management, and is open to anyone interested in evolution and/or history of Vanderbilt, 3D design and photogrammetry (spatial.io and polycam software). Mentors: Andy Flick, Kathy Smith, Chris Ryland. Apply here


DC 3D Imaging: From Your Imagination to [Augmented] Reality?
This Buchanan Fellowship provides 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, which can then be edited and modified for a variety of purposes. Students will work with the Digital Commons team to 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.

Fellows will also participate in the Digital Commons’ virtual reality / augmented reality working group, which meets approximately monthly to explore uses of virtual objects in a variety of fields. Participating in this group will allow Fellows to learn about applications of digital imaging in different contexts and potentially to connect with Vanderbilt faculty on research projects. Fellows will meet weekly with mentors to connect their digital imaging projects with their professional or personal interests, as well as develop a plan to share the digital exhibit of their work. The time commitment for this Fellowship will be about 3 to 5 hours per week during the semester. Applicants can have any major or majors. and familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom is helpful (but not required). Mentors: Cazembe Kennedy, Zach Johnson, Connor Gilmore. Apply here.


Digital Immersive Storytelling IndeXing A/V Recordings (DISPIXAR)
This opportunity is for students interested in audio/video production and digital storytelling. The Digital Commons is partnering with the Digital Media Lab to provide students a chance to learn about the recording process and production of audio and video clips. Fellows will work with the One-Button Studio in Baker Hall, various camcorders, and video editing software such as DaVinci Resolve and DMX Lighting. Fellows will participate in the Digital DIAREEs, or Digital Diversity & Inclusion Archival Repository for Equitable Employees, is essentially a living digital history (audio/video interviews, vignettes, guided discussions, panels, etc.) of faculty development for underrepresented faculty/staff, but can also be used as a training tool as new employees come to Vanderbilt so they can see the paths taken by people who represent some of their identities.

The students would regularly work with Tracye Davis and Seth Shepherd , the digital media specialists of the Digital Media Lab to learn the hardware and software, but will also have two secondary mentors, Dr. Cazembe Kennedy, director of the Digital Commons, and Connor Bacon, digital media manager for the Digital Media Lab. Students will meet with these two once a week to discuss high-level goals for the fellowship, get insight into desires to take the knowledge learned from the fellowship further, and plan out the final product. Students will also be able to participate in the Digital Commons’ digital media literacy learning community.

The expectations of the students will be around 3-5 hours/week for the course of the semester. Interested fellows should be from various disciplines, and have familiarity with, experience, or a desire to work on A/V production. Mentors: Cazembe Kennedy, Connor Bacon, Seth Shepherd, Tracye Davis. Apply here.


With a Little Help from Your Friends: Peer-to-Peer Media Literacy Curriculum for Secondary Education
According to Pew Research, the average teenager spends 7.7 hours a day on screens – outside of school. Yet media and digital literacy skills are unevenly applied, determined by who your teacher is and where you go to school. Students in this fellowship will create open educational resources geared toward secondary media literacy education. They will perform both primary and secondary research to determine what hurdles teenagers face in increasingly digital learning and social environments. What do you wish you had been taught about social media before you signed up for your first account? How can teenagers engage in civic awareness online even before they reach voting age? Fellows will create a learning module that addresses a media literacy topic of their choosing with teenagers as the intended audience.
Mentors: Emily Bush, Sarah Stevenson. Apply here.


Vanderbilt Self Portrait
“Vanderbilt Self-Portrait” is a photography project that aims to capture the image and essence of Vanderbilt through the faces of its community members. Fellows will photograph students, faculty, and staff, as well as the environments in which they study, work, and relax. The project has also been awarded the Chancellor Office’s Sesquicentennial Grant. Marking the 150th anniversary of Vanderbilt University, this project plans to serve as a time capsule that captures what it means to be a part of the Vanderbilt community. The hope is that the present community will be able to use this project to reflect on itself, and for future generations to understand the significance of what it means to be a Commodore.

Using a variety of formats, Fellows will engage in several photo sessions, near campus, outdoor and indoor. Sessions will be advertised on different social media platforms to invite members of the Vanderbilt community to join and have their portrait taken. Every photo will be taken under the full consent of the subject. The photo sessions can happen during the daytime, where communities like students, professors, and cleaning/dining hall staff can be photographed, and at nighttime, when the residential college security, VUPD, and students can be photographed. In addition to portraits, students will also document the buildings of Vanderbilt and the neighborhood around. In the Fellowship, students will explore historical photographic portraiture and yearbooks, as preserved in the Libraries’ Special Collections, and will contribute to an art gallery exhibition, as well as a photo book that can be preserved in the library archive. The final exhibition of the photographs will be featured at Central Library, among other locations in March 2023. The project will contribute to Vanderbilt Special Collections Archives, accessible in both physical and digital formats. Mentors: Vesna Paslovic, Yvonne Boyer. Apply here.


Learning to Thrive: The Vanderbilt Transfer Student Journey
Being a college student can be a very daunting task but what if you decide to transfer to another college or departmental program? Transferring comes with a unique set of challenges that not everyone can understand. A wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and stories also accompany transfer students to their new campus locations. These students need guidance on how to acclimate to their new environments so social connections are facilitated, academic support services are encouraged, and cultivated knowledge on how to flourish begins.

In this Buchanan Fellowship, students will conduct primary and secondary research as well as engage with field experience work on campus. Fellows will collaborate on a white paper which will highlight current research and approaches on how to leverage the success of transfer students at Vanderbilt. For this Fellowship, top priority will be given to applicants who have experience as a transfer student. Mentor: Leslie Foutch. Apply here.


Telling the Story of Civil War Nashville through StoryMaps
Using records, maps, and photographs from the Vanderbilt Special Collections and other historic Nashville collections, this Buchanan Library Fellowship will continue to create a series of dynamic narrative StoryMaps projects: interactive, GIS-based visual tools that combine information on many individual locations into a single visual product, telling the exciting stories of Civil War Nashville. The projects map the important sites of the Battle of Nashville including the historic homes that were present. Mapped locations will be gathered from a variety of sources including information from photos, oral histories, period maps, and articles. Fellows will assist with historical research to compile and organize available photos, articles, and maps of important locations within Civil War Nashville as well as the geospatial data collection. Fellows will build StoryMaps using ArcGIS Online platform to continue to tell the story of the Battle of Nashville. Mentors: Stacy Curry-Johnson, Brandon Hulette. Apply here.


Teaching Social Justice & the Black Music Experience through Children’s & Young Adult Literature
Children’s literature provides a mirror and window to human experiences. Often used as a tool to bridge discussions of hard histories and truths, this Buchanan Library Fellowship will utilize educational research tools (e.g. Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database, TeachingBooks.Net) and equity frameworks (e.g. Learning for Justice’s Standards) to critically examine children’s literature and social justice resources from Peabody Library’s Curriculum Materials Collection and Nashville Public Library for teachers to use in the classroom.

With a particular focus on Black music, musical artists and social justice movements, Fellows will curate resources and develop online bibliographic resources for K12 teachers to utilize in the curriculum. Mentors: Tiffeni Fontno, Emily Pendergrass. Apply here.

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