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Bookmarked Memories of Our SHS Interns

by Nicole Guenkel on 2024-06-11T16:39:00-04:00 in Children, Citizenship, Education & Test Preparation, Teens, Volunteers | 0 Comments

Since late April, GPL has hosted two exceptional Scarsdale High School interns through its Senior Options program, a mandatory initiative for seniors to apply their skills in internships, community service, or independent projects with faculty guidance and committee approval.

Below, our interns share their experiences and the skills they've gained while with us, giving us a glimpse into their journey and contributions to our library.


From STEM to Service: Real-World Skills from the Stacks

by Yelena Sahakyan

From my very first day at the Greenburgh Public Library, I realized that this internship would be much more interesting than I expected. I came into this internship anticipating that I wouldn't learn much more than how a library runs and what happens behind the scenes, but I am glad to say that I was very wrong. As someone interested in STEM for my future, instead of humanities like many would expect for a library intern, I am very happy with how this internship has gone and will conclude. I have learned so much from my supervisors that will help me in practically any job that I choose in the future.

My goal for my senior options (a program at Scarsdale High School) internship was to experience a work environment that would prepare me for the real world following high school, and I would say that my time at the library has done exactly that. I initially chose this site for my internship because I was interested in working with children at the children's library of GPL, especially in STEM programs like re-STEM-eron that the library offers. However, I realized there were many other benefits to working here besides enhancing my STEM abilities. I learned practical skills that would help me in future jobs, like communicating with co-workers, working on tasks on my own and with my co-intern (also from Scarsdale High School), and, most importantly, I learned how customer service works and how to provide for patrons. My time at Greenburgh Public Library gave me practical experience in community outreach and resource management. Working there showed me the importance of hands-on involvement in supporting community needs. I'm leaving with a better understanding of how libraries help shape our society, and I feel prepared for life after high school.


Finding Crowds & Connections at GPL

by Anna Mone
When I pulled into the Greenburgh Public Library on the first day of my internship, I was immediately struck by the crowd of people already forming outside the library doors, patiently waiting for opening time to come. The second 9:30 am struck, the doors opened, and the swarm filled in through the wide-open doors. I was not naive to the fact that libraries often act as hubs for the community. Yet, touring the library that first morning, the groups of people sitting at communal tables on the first floor eating breakfast together and robustly chattering surprised me. Greenburgh Public Library had an aura of warmth that I was unaccustomed to feeling in public spaces. I had always believed that well-loved books and kind librarians provided a library's comfort, and now I was beginning to realize that it was also just as much the patrons filling in the space between those rows and rows of books.  

Brainstorming possible places to fulfill my high school's requirement of a six-week spring internship was a complex, multi-week project for me, containing not one but two spreadsheets. I was determined to do something community-oriented where I could develop a practical skill set. I didn't want to whittle the six weeks away shuffling papers or counting down the seconds from a drab, gray cubicle. Not many places fit my detailed list of criteria, but once I thought of the Greenburgh Public Library, I knew it would be the perfect fit. And it was.

I came to the library with no clear expectations. My experience with libraries mainly consisted of early mornings and late nights studying for the ACT or speed-writing final papers. I had never really tapped into the community aspect of libraries, and that is why the crowd outside the sliding doors on my first day struck me so deeply. While interning at GPL, I started to see just how important the community side of libraries really is. People often think of libraries as a place to take out books and movies, but not much more than that. Providing air-conditioned spaces, public Wi-Fi, computers, printers, a children's play area, and even friendly chats with smiling library staff, public libraries offer so much beyond reading materials.


We are immensely grateful for the support and valuable insights our interns have brought to the inner workings of a public library. While we are sad to see them go, we are excited for the bright futures that await them.

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