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Field Period Focus

Alicia Wimmer
Alicia Wimmer
Brackney, PA
Stable Movements
Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell
Camillus, NY
Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

Field Period: The Unique Keuka Experience

This Friday culminates the third week back at Keuka College. Unlike most college students who have been taking their spring semester classes for about a month or so, Keuka students get a longer break than normal, not because they need more time to hang out in between classes, but because they need enough time to complete the experience that makes Keuka College unique: the Field Period.

The vision of Keuka College is to become the world leader in hands-on, experiential learning. The Field Period is integral to its mission; it is the “Keuka difference.” At other schools, internships are possible, and encouraged, but at Keuka, a mandatory, 140-hour, 3-credit internship allows students to explore job possibilities, to make professional connections, to apply what they learn from the classroom, and to graduate with a competitive resume. And this happens for every year a student attends Keuka. These outcomes are definitely true for me, and I now have four Field Periods under my belt.

This is Lightner Library, Keuka College's Academic Library

So now, having recently completed my 2012 Field Period, what better to talk about than my experiences and how it has helped me? I can add that when I made the decision to come to Keuka, price, location, and other factors primarily influenced my choice, and the Field Period was merely an added perk. I hadn’t known when I was a senior in high school, making my official college decisions, just how important the Field Period would be to me, so here is my story; I hope it helps inform your decision.

According to the Recent Graduate Survey:

Although I am not yet a graduate (I still have one more year to go), my Field Period supervisor, Linda, the head librarian at Lightner Library, offered me a summer job working the circulation desk, shelving books, helping patrons, and doing other tasks. Normally, she told me, this job would be posted on Stormtracker (Keuka’s online job portal), but I saved her the trouble. “You know what you’re doing, and I know I can trust you.”

Since I plan on getting my MLS (Master of Library Science) after Keuka, this is wonderful praise. I am also excited for the continued opportunity to gain experience and credibility in the field. So now that you know how successful I have been in this aspect, let me tell you a little more about the rest of my experience.

From Google Images

Field Periods require 140 working hours on the student’s part, and you also need to submit:

In my summary paper, I organized my learning experiences into three main categories: practical skill development, specialized library skills, and my own personal initiatives. Each area not only helped me develop my understanding of the library profession, but I also believe it contributed back to the library in a number of ways:

Practical Library Skill Development

A Book Cart--I Pushed These Around A Lot--Shelving Books Can Be a Good Workout

Specialized Library Skills

New Books--A Display I Did After Helping Two of the Librarians Prepare Them for Circulation

My Own Initiatives

This is an Archival Display I Did During My Time at the Library

After glimpsing my exciting (and final) Field Period experience (and know that the possibilities are almost limitless), I hope you have a slightly better idea of what makes Keuka so special. And believe me, in this day and age, with the economy how it is, practical approaches to job hunting are important. If you want to know more about particular Field Period experiences, check out Keuka’s online news site. Enjoy!

About Erica Ruscio

Hey, all you prospective Keuka students! My name is Erica Ruscio, class of ’13. I have a double major in English with a concentration in creative writing, and visual & verbal art. I also have a minor in communications.

I am the chief blogger and wordsmith for the admissions blog, Eye on the Storm, here at the Keuka Communications Office. I am in charge of posting pertinent information that will help you, as a prospective student or member of the Keuka College community, grow in understanding of what it’s like to a part of this wonderful and exciting college.

Just so you can get to know me a bit better, here are some fun stats:

Hometown: Middlesex, N.Y.

Career Goals: To become a children’s librarian and publish and illustrate children’s and young adults books

Campus Clubs: Arion Players Drama Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Pi Eta (Treasurer), Women’s Center Advocacy Club (Co-President)

Work-Studies: Admissions Blogger, Lifeguard, TeamWorks! Facilitator, and A.S.K. Writing Tutor

Most Recent Field Periods: I worked with Youth Services at Penn Yan Public Library this past summer, and I worked at Lightner Library this past January.

Activities I Enjoy: Going to concerts (any genre, mostly rock), playing guitar, camping, art (painting, drawing, design), drinking coffee (like it’s my job), running, blogging and designing websites, reading, and creative writing

Favorite book/movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (the books and the movies)

Why I love Keuka: The amazing and abundant opportunities and the amazing and personable faculty and staff!

View all posts by Erica Ruscio →

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