MS/LIS student Emily Zerrenner recently completed a ten-week internship as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow. This competitive program provides students with the opportunity to explore digital initiatives and increase access to the institution’s collections while working under the direction of library curators and specialists in various divisions. For her project, Zerrenner researched audience engagement for LC Labs, a directorate housed within the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Library of Congress.
"My research has been on the 'federal challenge,' which can also be referred to as a contest, competition, open innovation, or hackathon. LC Labs ran a Congressional Data Challenge in 2018 but would like to run another, so my work was a kind of jumpstart to that process," said Zerrenner. "My final deliverable is an internal recommendation report for LC Labs to refer to as they dive into planning."
It was during her three years working at the Grand Valley State University library as an undergraduate that Zerrenner decided upon a career in library and information science. She is interested in instruction, academic librarianship, and user experience as it relates to the physical space of a library.
"I came into the MS/LIS program very focused on academic librarianship and trying to work directly with students and patrons, and that still interests me," she said. "However, given my experience as a Junior Fellow, I find that I'm interested in pursuing government librarianship as well."
Watch Zerrenner describe her project in this video from the Junior Fellow program’s Display Day 2021.