Fall 2023 Buchanan Library Fellowships Now Accepting Applications

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 a stipend of $1,000, and participate in experiences that add to their expertise and resumes. Projects may involve curating a physical or online exhibition, creating multimedia such as podcasts or videos, contributing new research via academic outputs (e.g. research poster, academic databases, or writing an article) or expanding technology and data skills. Through the Buchanan Library Fellowship program, the Vanderbilt libraries promote student research and experiential learning. Since 2010, the fellowship program has awarded fellowships to over 250 students.

Program Outcomes

  • Build resume with completed innovative project
  • Engage in inquiry-based and experiential learning related to a variety of topics in libraries and information science.
  • Evaluate information from diverse perspectives in order to shape their own knowledge base.
  • Work with leading experts in the library field
  • Demonstrate persistence, adaptability, and reflection as components of inquiry
  • Contribute to scholarly conversations by becoming a creator or critic.
  • Synthesize and communicate information to a wider audience.
  • Build lasting relationships with information professionals.

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:

  • Completed application form including statement of interest
  • Curriculum vitae including name, address, email, and telephone

Previously selected Library Fellows may not reapply for a new project.

Applications for fall 2023 are due August 16th. Students will receive a formal notice of their status by August 21st.

Fall 2023 Fellowships

Experiencing Ehon: Reading and Making Japanese Illustrated Books

This Buchanan Fellowship will provide students the opportunity to work with the Asian Studies Librarian to deepen their experience of Ehon (Japanese books with illustrations). This fellowship will give students the opportunity to read books from our collection, learn more about selected authors, compare different translations, interact with guest speakers around various topics, among other things. At the end of the program, students will make their own Ehon: create the content, produce a print volume, and bind it by hand. A version of the book will also be made available online. This Fellowship provides students with a unique opportunity to improve their reading in Japanese and deepen their appreciation of a significant element of Japanese culture.

Pre-requisite of JAPN 1231: Tadoku: Extensive Reading in Japanese or Elementary Japanese is required to participate.

Mentor: Yuh-Fen Benda

Building a University: Vanderbilt’s Fourth Decade, 1905-1915

This fellowship explores primary sources about the university’s fourth decade. Have you ever wondered about the early years of Vanderbilt University? The fourth decade of Vanderbilt saw a new medical school built on campus, a break with the Methodist Church, a new neighbor in George Peabody College, and the golden age of football on campus. You’ll examine historically significant university archives and manuscripts in the Special Collections Library 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 the Special Collections Library 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 course meets Wednesdays at 3:00pm. Lab time (in Special Collections 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.

Mentors: Kathleen Smith, Jacqueline Devereaux, Faith McConnon

Exploring AI and Its Implications for Community Education

Alternative Intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI such as ChatGPT, has dominated many conversations over the last several years. While many of these discussions have focused on how AI technology is changing education and industry, there have been fewer discussions about considerations for the general population. How are citizens learning about this new, rapidly advancing technology, including when and why to use it? What are the technical and ethical considerations the community should be aware of regarding AI (e.g. data privacy, impact on the climate, etc.)?

In this Fellowship, students will have the opportunity to explore these questions, analyzing AI from a variety of perspectives, learning from guest speakers and participating in discussions around the latest advances and considerations of AI – including what this means for the general population. Fellows will each pick an aspect of AI discussed in the seminar to create short explainer videos and will work collaboratively to create a website toolkit with resources that will be accessible to the public.

This fellowship will meet weekly on Wednesdays, from 8:30 – 9:15 am.

Mentors: Emily Bush, Melissa Mallon, Andy Wesolek

Amplifying First-Gen Voices

Despite the fact that nearly a third of students currently attending college in the United States are the first in their family to do so, university support for these students (known as “first-generation” or “first gen”) is often difficult to find, largely due to the diversity of identities among students who fall into this category. For these reason, first-generation college students are often described as having “intersectional identities”. In this fellowship, students will explore the intersectionality of first-gen students’ identities by gathering stories of first-generation college students and compiling resources that will be shared at events for first-generation and low-income (FGLI) students throughout the academic year. Fellows will reach out to faculty, graduate students, alumni and undergraduate students to collect their stories through interviews, which they will then curate into podcast mini-series. Fellows will develop skills collecting, analyzing, and organizing data from independent research and interviewee narratives.

Given the nature of this project, applicants who identify as first-gen and/or low-income will be given priority. This fellowship is limited to two fellows and is ideal for students interested in higher education administration, sociology, public policy, and interdisciplinary work in general. Meetings will take place every other week at the same time, though the exact meeting time will be determined based on fellow and instructor’s availability. Expected workload is 3-4 hours a week (including meeting times).

Mentors: Kelly Cunningham, Emily Bush, Erica Scarpitti

Citation Analysis of Misinformation Regarding a Psychology Topic

Misinformation in published media, social media, and journals and books for professionals has become a national and international problem. This fellowship investigates a particular example of recurrent misinformation regarding parental alienation theory. Parental alienation is an abnormal mental condition that sometimes occurs in children whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce. That is, the children are indoctrinated or influenced by one parent to reject and fear the other parent. In this project, the Buchanan Fellow will help retrieve, organize, analyze, and visualize this misinformation from journal articles, conference presentations, government documents, and legal briefs. The Fellow will learn to collect data from multiple sources, transform data into machine-readable network data, and perform network analysis to depict how the misinformation is passed from one author to another in the citation network.

Mentors: Shenmeng Xu, William Bernet

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). This fellowship is limited to 3 students.

Mentors: Cazembe Kennedy, Zach Johnson, Connor Gilmore

Documenting the Libraries Through Photo Essays

This fellowship is open to students with an interest in photography, journalism, and communications. Fellows will develop visual and written communication skills by taking photographs and producing photojournalist essays that document the role of the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries as partners in teaching, learning, and research.

Throughout the project, fellows must think critically about the Heard Libraries’ mission, what is unique about each of the libraries on campus, and why and how these photo essays connect the libraries to the student experience. In addition to gaining visual communications experience, fellows will have the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of a university library, including its personalized services and study spaces, as well as how librarians collaborate with campus partners and esteemed benefactors.

Mentors: Carla Beals, Seth Robertson

Share This Story