As my time at the Press comes to a close, I think on what a year it has been—my last year at Bucknell University, and still I have learned so much more than I could have expected to in these last two semesters. Coming in not knowing a single thing about InDesign, I learned by doing, by designing promotional posters and postcards for our books and series, and even applied these skills to a web design course I began at the start of the spring semester. It opened my eyes to the world of graphic design. This was one area of art of which I felt unsure, and I now have a good foundation under my belt, ready to grow and learn more from this experience. I even came to use these new skills with my honors thesis, an environmental arts and humanities project culminating into a digital curation on the web.
I remember coming in for my interview at the press. Beneath the labyrinth of Taylor Hall, hidden amidst the school of management, was this cozy little hobbit hole filled with books from wall to wall. I sat down with Pam and Greg and we just chatted. It was casual and I felt comfortable with them right away, nearly two hours passing before I emerged from the interview feeling excited at the possibility of working with them in this unexpected place beneath Taylor Hall. By the end of the week, I had received an invitation to intern at the Bucknell University Press for the following year.
In addition to working with InDesign and Photoshop, I also had other responsibilities—adding new books to the database and permanent collection, as well as choosing excerpts from reviews to add to the database as well. I also worked on a few advertisements for various journals and press releases for new additions to our collection.
Pam and Greg have really geared my tasks towards my interests in art and writing. One of my earlier assignments was to interview the Irish artist, Gráinne Dowling, whose work is exhibited on the covers of the Contemporary Irish Writers series. It was intriguing to hear about her artistic process, inspirations, her experience as an evolving artist, as well as a few of her favorite works and the stories behind them. I also had the pleasure of taking a course in Irish literature with the Editor of this series, Professor John Rickard. Working with these books, and then learning so much about the history of Ireland and its literature was a fulfilling encounter.
I continued to write articles for a series of blog posts on various topics as the months went by—from recognizing Black and Women’s History months, to celebrating Valentine’s and Saint Patrick’s day, to another interview I conducted with an alumnus about his library of books about libraries. It was an interesting reflection on the public library and how books are evolving to adapt to the digital realm as well.
My year at the Press has been a learning experience like no other. In a small establishment run by two people and an intern, it was amazing to become a part of the workings behind publishing books. I hold a new respect for the amount of work involved, and feel so lucky to have known Pam and Greg for the time I have been here. They have been a joy to work with and I will miss the conversation and laughs we have shared as the year just flew on by! I say goodbye to the hobbit hole of Bucknell University Press, and thank Pam and Greg for such a rewarding and enjoyable experience.