May 30, 2023
Jennifer Moon-Chung, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, was recently selected to participate in the 2023 National Center for Data Services Data Librarianship Internship program. The program aims to provide “practical experiences to interns… while working with a mentor in a guided environment on structured, data-related projects.”
Moon-Chung, who is also pursuing the Applied Data-Driven Methods (ADDM) certificate, found the opportunity through resources available to her from the MLIS program.
“I first became aware of the Data Librarianship Internship through the MLIS student discussion group,” said Moon-Chung. “I immediately recognized [the internship] as a significant opportunity that aligned perfectly with my interests and aspirations.”
As one of twelve library science students selected for the internship, Moon-Chung will focus on one of the four projects available to the interns: the Ecology of Infectious Disease project, led by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
“Its focus on identifying animals that amplify diseases using computer algorithms intrigued me, especially considering the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Moon-Chung about her upcoming work. Moon-Chung’s responsibilities as an intern will include “cleaning and augmenting a subset of data from the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network,” as well as the opportunity to work with programing languages such as R, Python, and others to “transform data into tidy formats, making them easier to analyze and interpret.”
Moon-Chung said that she is excited to apply the skills she has gained from her classroom experience within the School of Computing and Information (SCI) to practical situations. According to Moon-Chung, courses such as “The Art of Data Visualization” and “Open Government Data and Information” have prepared her with “the necessary skills and confidence to embark on [her] upcoming internship.”
“One aspect of my education that I particularly valued was the emphasis on project-focused and hands-on learning,” said Moon-Chung.
Currently in her final semester of the MLIS program, Moon-Chung chose to pursue the course of study after recently moving to Pittsburgh during the COVID-19 pandemic: “I found myself in a position where I needed to navigate through unfamiliar territory and seek reliable information about the disease, government plans, and even my new neighbors,” said Moon-Chung. “As I started learning these skills, I discovered the profound role that libraries play in providing a safe and supportive environment for individuals seeking information.”
In addition to her interest in data-driven decision making in libraries, Moon-Chung’s desire for hands-on learning is part of what drove her to pursue the ADDM certificate: “I recognized the importance of gaining real-world experience, and the ADDM certificate program provided the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learned in a practical setting.”
Moon-Chung will work on the Ecology of Infectious Diseases project with the Cary Institute from June 5 through August 11.
“Overall, the flexibility and customizability of the courses I took at… SCI provided me with unique learning experiences and equipped me with the skills necessary for my upcoming internship,” said Moon-Chung.
--Emma Bender, SCI writing intern