2022 Intern Juliana Clark shares her experience:
This summer I had the privilege of being the Alaska State Library Internship Program intern in Bethel, Alaska for eight weeks. I worked at both the Kuskokwim Consortium Library on UAF’s campus as well as at the radio station KYUK. The goals of this project were listed as such:
The day I got to Bethel and got settled into my room I thought to myself, “What did I just agree to?” I had arrived and realized my phone service didn’t work in Bethel, I didn’t have Wi-Fi access for the first couple of days, I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t know how to get around town without my phone’s map app to help me. I felt alone and completely shut off from home (home being San Diego, CA). However, this internship turned into one of the most fun experiences of my life and I made so many friends here. I cataloged roughly 100 Yup’ik elder oral history interviews from the 1980s and 1990s. The videos were created and are owned by KYUK, the first Indigenous/Native-owned radio station in the United States.
My daily work station at KYUK.
The videos are available on the American of Archive of Public Broadcasting website, but the metadata may take some time to be reflected on the website. I worked with the “Waves of Wisdom” series. Besides cataloging, I held a weekly showcase program at the cultural center where I made popcorn and showed videos that followed a different theme each week. I printed the subjects and descriptions I wrote for each video so that community members could give me feedback on the accuracy and relevancy of the metadata I was writing.
Showcase prep: pens, metadata sheets, flyers.
Apart from archival work at KYUK, I worked in the library doing some book weeding and collection development. I removed books from the WorldCat and Workflows systems, I added books to the systems, and prepared books for circulation. A fun and unexpected part of my internship was getting to dress up as Molly of Denali for story time and for KYUK’s 4th of July parade float. After being inspired by the library’s Ethnobotany Walk on the Tundra program and my own love of gardening and foraging, when I was asked to make a book display I made one geared around learning about local plants. I was able to include QR codes to some of the Waves of Wisdom videos where elders talked about edible and poisonous plants as well as plants that can be used to make things like baskets or clothing. I learned so much about Yup’ik culture and values through this internship, made some great friends, and gained invaluable work experience. Thank you to everyone who made this internship what it was, especially Theresa Quiner, the library director of the Kuskokwim Consortium Library. And thank you to the Alaska State Library for selecting me to be this summer’s intern.
The August book display equipped with 3 sources of information: books, oral history interviews, and plant identification smartphone apps!
Dressed as Molly of Denali for the 4th of July Parade and for story time at the library.