During Summer of 2022, a virtual practicum happened at the Gulf Coast Library at USM. Justin Easterday, Education, and Human Sciences Librarian and Assistant Professor, served as Nyra White, a graduate student in the USM MLIS program practicum supervisor. Justin collaborated with Nyra to focus on projects she has a professional interest in while completing tasks that a virtual librarian could complete. Relying on the experience of working remotely for 2020, Justin and Nyra planned projects that required Nyra to put her course knowledge into practice. The four major projects dealt with answering reference questions, collection development, creating an educational research guide, and presenting a live virtual workshop. Although the practicum required completing tasks, one reason this virtual practicum succeeded was by having projects designed to provide more reflective learning tasks. By providing clear goals, weekly meetings, and following set deadlines, these projects provided Nyra with valuable skills that will aid her as a starting librarian. The success of this virtual practicum first relied on the motivation from both the supervisor and the practicum student. Both needed to be able to work with flexible due dates, adjust meeting times due to different time zones, plan to work additional hours, and create projects that the student would be excited to complete.
Easterday, Justin and White, Nyra, "Can Virtual Library Practicums Be Successful? A Practicum Supervisor's Experience" (2022). University Libraries Workshops and Presentations. 27.