NFB week six

Gina close up, 2017It is my last day here at the National Federation of the Blind. I am sad to be leaving but also excited to be going home. My supervisor, Anna, told me this morning that I am more than welcome to come back next summer if I would like to; I might just take her up on that offer. I have really enjoyed my stay here in Baltimore. I have loved the work I have been doing in the library, and I have loved the people I have been working with. This morning I had a meeting with President Riccobono, just to go over how my internship went, how I felt about it, and if there was anything that I felt the organization could do more of. I am going to miss the work that I have been doing, the people, and the organization once I leave.

This week in the library though, I finished rehousing some of the pictures I have been working on. I have boxed some more periodicals, and I have been listening to some more oral histories. The oral histories are my favorite thing to do that Anna has given me; I get to learn about the NFB, but also I get to hear someone else’s story about their childhood and how they became involved with the NFB. Most of the stories I have heard, from the members of the federation, are those who have been blind since birth. There are a few that I have heard though, where they have become blind later in their lives, which is fascinating to hear about.

Overall, I have loved this internship experience. I got to live in a beautiful city, which I absolutely love, and I have gotten to work with some of the nicest people I have met. I have made friendships with the other interns which I know will last. I could not be more grateful that I had this opportunity, and hopefully I can come back next year and take Anna up on her offer!

NFB week five

Gina close up, 2017Week five here at the National Federation of the Blind has just ended and it is really hitting me that I am entering my last week here. I have loved this experience for the past several weeks, and the friends I have made here. This past weekend Kenia and I went to see Luke Bryan in concert, so it was an awesome last weekend here. The girls and I have been talking about me visiting them before their internships are over in August, which I am very excited about. I know I have made lifelong friends.

As for my internship, things have been going well as usual in the library. This past week I finished entering the tenBroek collection into the libraries database. After that I relabeled all of the boxes from the collection from unprocessed to processed, which Anna provided the template for. Working with the tenBroek collection I have learned that Dr. tenBroek kept EVERYTHING. He kept things that did not have to do with the NFB. The collection was given to the library from his son, so I guess his son just gave everything he could find to the library. In this case, I think that was a good idea because then we can see how he thought or what he even liked to do in his spare time. Some of the collection was letters and personal items of his wife, Hazle tenBroek.

After I finished with the tenBroek collection, I went back to rehousing the NFB photo collection. Most of the photos are from Conventions throughout the eighties, like I stated last week. I did however, find some pictures of Hazle tenBroek and some more pictures of Stevie Wonder.

I also spoke to Anna about graduate school. I noticed on her office wall that her Master’s degree was from Simmons College and that is one of the places where I want to apply to for my Master’s. Speaking to Anna really helped in my decision to apply there, as I was not too sure about it. I cannot wait to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science.

NFB week four

Gina close up, 2017My fourth week is at an end here at the National Federation of the Blind. As the weeks grow shorter, I am more reluctant to leave for home. I have found myself loving the area that I am in more and more, and I hope one day I am fortunate enough to come back to Baltimore. Inner Harbor is my favorite place to be, and I went on the water taxi and found some other cute little towns also that I fell in love with. I have gotten to visit so many places in these several weeks I have been here such as, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Zoo, Little Italy, and Fort McHenry.

This week in the library I worked on rehousing old photographs from the 1980s. The binders that they were in were old and falling apart, so Anna (the archivist) asked if I could take them out, put them in separate folders, and then in boxes. I really enjoyed doing that because I had the opportunity to see the history of the NFB, from National Conventions, to even finding a picture of Stevie Wonder receiving an award. That was an amazing find for me because I absolutely love Stevie Wonder as a musician. Being able to see some of the older members of the NFB was exciting; I had heard stories about Jim Gashel through Anna and the interns, and I got to see pictures of him at the Conventions.

I also worked on the tenBroek collection once again. After that, I began to rehouse some of the different periodicals Anna has in the library, one of them being The Jewish Braille Review. I had to organize them and then put them in boxes and label what the boxes had in them. I am really enjoying my time here, and I am sad to see it go by so fast!

NFB week three

Gina close up, 2017Time is flying by here in Baltimore. It is the end of my third week here at the National Federation of the Blind and I am continuing to love it here. I feel as though I have become a part of a small close knit family. The other interns and I have continued to grow closer, as our Moe’s runs and Grey’s Anatomy marathons are things we have been doing together. It is only the second week with the other interns, but I feel already that we are going to be friends long after this internship is over.

This week we had an all staff meeting on Monday with the President. At the meeting I met some of the other workers that I did not have a chance to meet my first week here. Also, they discussed the National Convention and the plans they have for it this year. Now that I am here, I wish I had a chance to attend Convention, but I have other responsibilities at home. I have been learning this week more about the philosophy of the NFB and the reasons that Convention happens every year. I have read some speeches from the past presidents of the NFB such as, Jacobus tenBroek, Kenneth Jernigan, and Mark Maurer. Their words are so powerful and really speak to you. I had the chance to meet Mark Maurer and speak to him, and from the ten minutes I was with him, I could tell that all he wanted to do in life was to help the NFB and make changes in the world for people with disabilities.

For this week, I continued with my work on the Jacobus tenBroek collection. I also listened to several other oral histories and made interview logs for them. As I said last week, this internship has helped me to determine and reinforce that the field I want to pursue in life is museum/ library work, concentrating more on the archival aspect of it. I am so excited for the last three weeks of my internship!



NFB Week Two

Gina close up, 2017It is the end of my second week here at the National Federation of the Blind. This week has been very eye opening for me. Going into this I knew some things about the blind, but when my fellow interns arrived  on Sunday, I learned so much more. Over the past week, myself and the other interns, Kenia, Lillie, Vee, and David have gotten to know each other better, and bonded. They are teaching me just in this week things I did not know about the blind, and just about life in general. They all have positive outlooks on life, and it really is an inspiration.

In the library this week, I have been working on the Jacobus tenBroek collection and entering files into the libraries database. I have also worked on rehousing some copies of the Braille Monitor and Dialogue. Working on the tenBorek collection is a great experience for me, as I get to learn more about who Jacobus tenBroek was as a person, but also about the work that he wanted to achieve while President of the NFB. This weekend at the NFB there is a student seminar going on, and many student members have arrived already. I am looking forward to get to know some of them over the short period this weekend. I have helped to prepare some books that have to be shipped to Convention in July. During this time, I had the pleasure of meeting President Riccobono’s wife, Melissa. She is such a sweetheart and I am glad I got the opportunity to meet and talk to her. I am really looking forward to the rest of my time here at the NFB, as this experience has already proven to me that I want to have a career in the archival field. I have fallen in love with the city of Baltimore in the two short weeks I have been here, and could not be more happy with my decision to intern at the NFB.

Week 1: National Federation of the Blind

I am interning at the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland, and so far everything seems to be running smoothly. I arrived to Baltimore on Saturday, where I had a chance to explore the Inner Harbor and the area around NFB. I moved into the sleeping area at NFB on Sunday and had a chance to meet my supervisor, Anna Kresmer. For now. I am the only intern here; the other four interns, who are blind, will be moving in on Sunday. On my first day, May 22, Anna gave me a tour of the building and I had a chance to meet some of the staff members. Everyone that works here is very friendly and welcoming, and the environment is a positive one. Coming into this opportunity, I did not realize how many blind people there are that work at the NFB. As the weeks go by in my internship I am sure I will be learning so much more about the blind, as in my first week I have already learned a lot. For my first week here, Anna had me working on transferring posters and pictures to different folders that will then be archived. I also listened to several different interviews the NFB conducted with blind members to create interview logs that will then be archived as well. Listening to the stories of some of the members of the NFB was a really great experience and that actually was my favorite part about the work I did that week; I got to listen to stories about how they became blind, what they experienced growing up, and their experiences with the NFB as well. Over the weekend, I went out and explored the rest of the surrounding area and Inner Harbor a bit more. This past week has been an awesome experience, and I am looking forward to the next five weeks here.

Gina in front of the Inner Harbor

Last Week at Eckley Miners’ Village

Today is my last day here at Eckley, and I can honestly say I am going to miss it. I have had such a great time here, with many opportunities that will help me further my career. This past week I have been finalizing the paperwork for the Dr. Office, and finishing the project for the educational coordinator. I am organizing all the information I have on the Dr. Office project, so I can give it to the museum director when I leave today. I will not be able to see the project being worked on, but I plan on coming back when it is done, so I can see that all my hard work paid off! I have given all of the tours this week when I was here, so that hindered me from getting as much work as I could get done, but I enjoyed it. I found myself reallly enjoying giving the tours; they are especially good when the people are asking questions and generally interested in this type of history. Today, I am waiting on the educational coordinator to look at my information I gave her for the project, so we can go over it to see if it is everything she needed. This project was interesting for me because I do not know much about rotary phones, so it was interesting to find out all different kinds of information about it. I really enjoyed working on the Dr. Office project, as it gave me an insight on what it would be like if I did work in a museum and things needed to be fixed or anything. I have an idea of where to start and who to call with certain things. This project took up most of my time here at Eckley, as it was a big job. I think I would have gotten it done sooner if I did not constantly have to give tours. I could have saw my hard work being brought to life, instead of having to come back after it is done. Overall, I really enjoyed my time here at Eckley and I am so thankful for this opportunity. Hopefully next year and the future will be bigger and better things!

Eckley Miners’ Village week 8

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

Last week at Eckley I focused on last minute things that needed to be done for the Dr. Office project. On Monday I went out to the Dr. Office and put individual patches made of paper on the sections of the panels that needed to be done. I cut pieces of paper to fit each section of the panels, and hung them on so we would be able to see what the panels would look like with the patches. After that was done, I took some more measurements. I took measurements of the text itself to see how big the font would be so I could let the printing companies know. When I got back from the office, I finished up the bid document for the printing companies and sent it to the museum director. He took a look at it and sent me a totally finished document on Wednesday when I came back. Once I looked at that and made sure everything was correct, I then sent that document to all of the printing companies that we have narrowed it down to. I sent them an email letting them know that if they are still interested in the project to let me know as soon as they can, because of the fact that I am done with my internship this coming week. On Friday, I had two emails from two of the printing companies. One of them declined the bid because they could not guarantee that their products would last 10 or so years, and the other company is fully on board. Today, I emailed the other two companies to see what was going on since I have not heard from them, and only one of them emailed me back saying they are on board. I have yet to hear from the last company. In between all of this I have been trying to finish up my project with the education coordinator here. Our 1940s weekend event is this coming weekend, so I want to make sure that she has everything that she needs before I leave. I, unfortunately, am not able to attend the event this weekend due to work, but hopefully next year I will be able to go! Hopefully by the end of my internship this week, we will have a deal with a printing company and can get started on redoing the Dr. Office. I plan on coming back on a tour after the office is done to see that my hard work paid off!

Eckley Miner’s Village week 7

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

Last week I completed the bid package for the printing companies, for the Dr. Office project. I emailed it to the museum director, and together we went over what needed to be added or changed. On Friday I started working on making patches out of printer paper, that way we can get an idea of what the patches themselves would look like and if they will be big enough for the sections. I plan on going down to the Dr. Office today to take pictures of the patches on the panels and make sure that they will be big enough. Hopefully by the end of the week, we can send out the bid package to the printing companies that we have selected. On Friday, I also did some curatorial things with this project. I had to look through old files that the director had in his office, to find some notes and artwork that I could not find on the computer. It was very interesting to go through these files, as I got to see how the Dr. Office exhibit came to be and all of the original planning. This project that I am working on has taken me longer than I thought because of the fact that we do not have many volunteers that are willing to do tours. On the days that I am here and we do not have a tour guide, which is most of the time, I have to go out and give the tours. I do not mind this at all; I love giving tours, but it frustrates me a bit that I am limited to the amount of work I can do here. The tours are about an hour and fifteen minutes long, so if I give them twice a day, that is already 2 and a half hours. I am only here for 5 hours so that leave me three hours to do research and work on things, that is just not enough time. At Eckley, there are not many volunteers, and there are only 6 people who actually work here. Eckley does not get as much funding from the state as it should, if we want to keep this place alive and all the history behind it, it should be better provided for. Interning here for the summer has brought to my attention the difficulties that non-profit organizations go through everyday. There is not enough help here, and the people who do volunteer here only come on certain days of the week. If there was more funding at Eckley and more volunteers and workers, then I think that this place would be the place to be during the summer. It is honestly so beautiful here, and I am glad I had this opportunity to be here this summer, despite some set backs. In between all of this, I have been working on my project for our 1940s weekend in August. I have developed an outline of what we need for the rotary telephone, now I have to work on developing a demo for the actual rotary phone itself. I plan on getting this done by the end of this week, so the educational coordinator can look over it and make any changes she needs to in time for the event in August.

Eckley Miners’ Village week 6

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

Image courtesy of Misericordia University

This week at Eckley I have been concentrating on my project for the Dr. Office. I have gotten all of my quotes back that I needed from the printing companies, so now I am working on making a bid package for them. I made a table of all the sizes for the patches that we need, along with attaching pictures of what the writing and actual images look like, and the  images as seen in the art files. I have had a rough time trying to accomplish this this week, as our internet here is very slow and keeps going in and out. I have emailed myself everything that I will need so that way, I can work on finishing this at home over the weekend. I have also been working on developing an outline for an educational project I am doing. I have been working closely with the education coordinator here this week to make sure everything that I am doing is what she wants. I finished the outline today, so next week I am going to develop a lecture and figure out how to demonstrate using a rotary phone for our special 1940s weekend that is coming up in August. I have been giving tours all this week, some of them being split between myself and the other intern that is here. As I get more into things and get more comfortable, I am really enjoying my time here.