MyTien's Year at DSI

Picture of MyTien Kien

My name is MyTien Kien, and I am a 2nd year student here at Iowa State. I started working for the Parks Library in January 2020. When I first started, I didn’t know that I would be ending up in the Digital Scholarships and Initiatives (DSI) Department. At first, I started off at the Circulation and Media desk, greeting people and helping them with their library related questions. However, with the news of COVID-19, things shifted, which resulted me, a person who is at high-risk, to transfer to the DSI Department.

When I first heard about the transfer, I wasn’t sure what my job would consist of. I also wasn’t sure how I would feel working remote for my entire academic year. However, I knew that working remote was for the best, for myself and for everyone around me. Nevertheless, I was greeted with very welcoming staff, Hannah Scates Kettler and Hope Craft. They made sure to make me feel apart of the DSI team, such as asking about what I was interested in so they can match my skills to a project that needed to be completed. They gave me a summary of what DSI was all about, what projects I could do, and how I can contribute to the team. After this meeting, I felt pretty excited to work my first official day at DSI!

The next few months, I worked remotely for 4 days out of the week. It took me a while to get used to but it wasn't bad at all. I worked on multiple different projects throughout this past year. Here is a list of what I did so far...

  • Migrating CONTENTdm (cdm) URLs to ARK links
  • The Blog Transfer Project
  • Cleaning up the Islandora Project
  • Transcribing the Bomb during my free time

Each project had taught me multiple things. For most of them, I've learned a lot about the history and nature that is Iowa State University. It as interesting to see what ISU looked like before and how it differed compared to now.

My favorite project was the Blog Transfer project, as I was able to teach myself new skills, such as HTML, CSS, and Drupal. Being a software engineering major and all, I was really happy that I accepted this project as it further helped develop new skills that I would need in future classes and jobs. Completing this project also made me realize that I loved designing things and gave me an idea on what I wanted to do post-graduation. I was lucky enough to have Lori, my supervisor and friend, to help me throughout the learning process. She was very patient and caring with me throughout my time here at DSI, and that is something that I would always appreciate. It made me like my position here at DSI even more.

Overall, working at DSI assisted me immensely in many ways, such as, in academics and financial situations. I’ve learned so much throughout the past year, and I hope to also use what I learned, both in classes and here at my time at DSI, in the future. In result of my time here, I was able to receive two financial awards that will ultimately assist me in my future semesters. I've learned a lot within my time here at DSI and Parks Library in general. I hope to learn more as I continue to work here for the next year.