SLIS Alternative Spring Break at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio
By Stephanie Marshall, MLIS Student
During spring break, I had to the opportunity to intern at OCLC and it was a wonderful experience. My internship focused around QuestionPoint (an OCLC product), which is a virtual reference platform. Specifically, I read through reference transcripts and categorized them per the READ Scale (readscale.org). After the categorization was complete I analyzed that information to determine where on the READ Scale most the questions fell and drew some implications for even further analysis.
Throughout my time at OCLC I worked side-by-side with Tom Haney who is the product manager for QuestionPoint and he was an incredible mentor for the week. What made my spring break internship at OCLC such an enjoyable experience was the flexibility and generosity of all the staff there. Although my internship was primarily supposed to be focused around QuesitonPoint, Tom made sure to include other activities that would give me a broader view of everything OCLC is involved in. This included meeting various OCLC employees who were involved in different aspects of OCLC products and getting to sit in on a webinar that OCLC was hosting.
Probably the thing I found most interesting about my time at OCLC was how it was a different realm within the library world. It was neat to see how a corporate environment has a place within the library world. I appreciated the time my mentor Tom took to shed light on some of the aspects of the corporate environment and how it differs from the more traditional library environment I’ve been around. Aside from the 9-5 internship work I did, the OCLC staff organized several “off campus” activities after hours to complement our internships and have some fun while working on spring break. Overall, the alternative spring break program is a neat experience and a great way to explore career options and meet people in the field!