From the Stacks: Volunteer wins prestigious Longwood Gardens internship

In 2012 the TBG ran its first Summer Reading Club for Kids in the Weston Family Library. The Club owed much of its success to the hard work of Mark Stewart, a graduate student at McGill University’s School of Library and Information Science, who worked with us to complete a 12-week practicum placement, earning academic credits toward his degree. Throughout his placement, Mark helped to develop, promote, evaluate, and independently run the Summer Reading Club under my supervision. Mark brought enthusiasm and innovative ideas to the Club that combined his passions for horticulture and libraries and were in line with the TBG’s mission. The Reading Club aimed to connect kids with books and horticultural knowledge to prevent summer learning loss, but also to foster a love for the natural world and promote environmental stewardship.

Early in 2013, Mark submitted his application to Longwood Gardens’ International Library Science Internship program. This opportunity comprises a full-time, one-year internship with their main library, one of North America’s largest botanical garden libraries. We are thrilled to share the news that Mark was offered this prestigious internship position, and will begin at Longwood in September.

In his new role at the Longwood library, Mark will provide information and public services, develop projects in the areas of collection development, technical services, and cataloguing, participate in educational activities, and more.

Mark writes: “Working with the Summer Reading Club at the TBG helped me grow as a professional. I got to see how a library project integrates with other departments at the garden. Most importantly, I was able to experience how the public (kids!) get inspired by horticultural knowledge. These skills will be especially helpful in my new projects at Longwood — I hope to help people make their environments more verdant and colourful.

I am confident that Mark will be a great asset to the Longwood Gardens’ Internship program because he is outgoing and friendly, eager to learn new skills, knowledgeable, creative, and a natural problem-solver. Mark is clearly passionate about horticulture, libraries, and experiences that combine both. Congratulations, Mark!

The TBG’s FREE Summer Reading Club, for ages 6 to 9 returns this July 8th and runs every Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. through August 26. For more information, click here.

Zachary Osborne, Head Librarian