Presentation Title: An Internship to Remember: Planning a Science Library at the Dian Fossey Center in Rwanda

Presenter(s): Joy Nieman, School of Information

Abstract: This presentation will highlight my student internship working with a Fulbright Scholar to plan for a science library at the new Ellen DeGeneres campus at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (DFGF) in Rwanda. A scientific research center that is committed to carrying on the work and vision of Dian Fossey, the center focuses its studies on gorilla protection, biodiversity, and conservation, but also hosts university students and tourists. This requires a multi-functional library that can act as a repository for the research coming out of the center, offer books and materials for research and studies, and provide a space for children in the local community to learn about the importance of conservation. A truly one-of-a-kind experience, my responsibilities on this project include documenting new policies, creating procedures for tasks ranging from materials acquisition to circulation, researching networking and collaboration opportunities for the center, and creating a website for the library. Working with people in different parts of the country and world has been an incredible, eye-opening experience that has given me the opportunity to consider cultural norms that differ from my own; however, I have also found that much of what I have learned in my graduate studies thus far apply on a global level, further cementing my stance that libraries and librarianship are an integral part of fostering communication on an international scale. Additionally, my presentation will include a reflection on my experience as co-presenter at the Charleston Conference in November 2022, which details the scope, goals, and progress of the project.

Link to Recorded Presentation:

3 thoughts on “(2023) An Internship to Remember: Planning a Science Library at the Dian Fossey Center in Rwanda

  1. Amber Passey


    What an incredible experience to see how a library comes together from the very beginning and around important research. I’m in awe of what your team was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. Congratulations on your selection to the internship and for all you were able to accomplish.


    • Anonymous

      Hi, Amber!

      Thanks so much. Creating this presentation was a wonderful way to reflect on the experience! I hope to visit the center one day to see how things turned out for the library (and to hike with the gorillas!)

      Take care,

    • Joy Nieman

      Thanks, Amber!

      It was an amazing experience and creating this presentation was a wonderful reflection exercise for me personally! Someday I hope to visit the center to see how the library has expanded (and to hike with the gorillas!)

      Take care,

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