Since 1998 when Musselman Library began an internship program for recent college graduates wanting to become professional librarians, we have embraced our responsibility for helping students to make the crucial connection between their liberal arts education in the classroom and real world application of their skills and talents. Our fledgling internship program caught the attention of Barbara Holley ’54, a retired librarian.
In 2002, Holley established an endowment to help support the program, making it possible for us to offer a unique, one-year, paid position with benefits that would allow a recent college graduate interested in library and information science the opportunity to work across various departments in the library. Most former interns are now working in archives, libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions.
The real-world impact of the Holley Internship inspired Robert ’44 and Esther Kenyon Fortenbaugh ’46 to establish an internship in honor of Esther, a retired librarian, in 2000. The Fortenbaugh Internship was designed to expose a current student to a specific library department for 8 hours a week during a single semester. Since its creation the internship has grown to include multiple students during each semester and the summer. While Robert Fortenbaugh passed away in 2009, we have been able to continue providing internships for students thanks to the support of the entire Fortenbaugh family.
Students have had semester-long experiences in departments like Special Collections & Archives, Reference & Instruction, Music, and Technical Services, as well as other areas like marketing and exhibits. For a glimpse into what past Fortenbaugh interns have gone on to do with their lives, please see “A Tribute to Robert B. Fortenbaugh, 1923-2009” in the Spring 2010 issue of the Friends of Musselman Library newsletter.
The seeds that Barbara Holley and the Fortenbaughs planted continue to bear fruit. In Spring 2012, Ron ’72 and Diane Werley Smith ’73 endowed the Diane Werley Smith internship, a 10-week summer internship in Special Collections. This focused experience provides a rare opportunity to learn more about work in Special Collections and Archives without the distraction of school work and term papers. For more information on the founding of the Diane Werley Smith internship, please see the article, “Alumni Couple Establishes Summer Internship,” in the Spring 2012 issue of the Friends of Musselman Library newsletter.