The first week of my practicum in archival work has been enlightening in several ways. First, I have had the pleasure of working under the supervision of Kevlin Haire, Ohio State University Archivist. Kevlin has made an effort to introduce me to the department's staff, show me around the building, and provide an introduction to the practices and terminology necessary for success in my endeavor.
I must confess, when contemplating my upcoming practicum experience last month, I had envisioned archival work as an exciting niche in librarianship. The reality I have encountered to date is quite different. My first assignment has been to wade through four boxes (from a total of 40) of paperwork belonging to a recently retired professor at the University Medical Center. Making judgment calls on what to keep and what to discard can be rather disconcerting at times. I have been given basic guidelines to follow, but much of the decisions are subjective in nature. I am scheduled to meet with Kevlin tomorrow to assess my progress. I'm hopeful that I am on the right track.