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Meet Laurence Cook!

DSCN1108 How many people can say they’ve trekked Europe in a VW van – with a one year old? An adventurous spirit, Libraries' intern Laurence Cook can make that claim! In addition to spending six months traveling Europe via a van (with his infant daughter in tow), Cook has also lived in England and Scotland for six months, and just got back from a four month excursion to India, Thailand, and China. His passion for photography led him to these foreign countries, and he has thousands of pictures of Indian iconography, temples, and other images from his most recent trip (ask to see them—he is happy to share!).

The Digital Services Division has welcomed Cook, a Library and Information Sciences graduate student of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, as an intern for the summer. Cook has been tasked with reviewing workflow, storage, and dissemination of digital objects and metadata.  Reporting to Alvin Hutchinson, head, information services department, Cook’s unique internship also extends to include the metadata and web services departments as well. His summer research will track how the Libraries digitizes physical objects for the internet. Cook will review metadata flows and methods employed for federated searching (e.g., DSpace, SIRIS, the Smithsonian Digital Repository and the Smithsonian Research Bibliography). He describes his internship in three parts: two weeks of intensive interviews (of Libraries staff and other professionals), two weeks of analysis and follow-up interviews, and two weeks of gathering and summarizing the data into a full report. He plans to present his findings in early August.

While in D.C., Cook is enjoying discovering sights “off the beaten path.”  He likes to observe the day-to-day life of the city and its residents through his routine walk to and from the National Mall. Cook does, however, intend to visit some tourist spots while in the area, namely the Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin, the many museums D.C. has to offer, and Dupont Circle. A master’s degree in library and information sciences is the beginning of a second career for Cook; his undergrad was in anthropology and history, and he spent years in other occupations (retail bank operations and data processing for strategic projects, intellectual property paralegal, owner of a used bookstore, and web designer). Cook is a native of Los Angeles.—Liz O'Brien

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