Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meet a Lerner Amy Richardson

Special thanks to digital intern Amy Richardson for the following post!

1.      What brings you to Lerner?
My journey to Lerner began, believe it or not, four years ago when I started my studies at Bethel University as a computer science major. I loved my programming courses and working with technology, but something was missing. Prompted by my love for literature and writing, which began at a young age, I decided to change my major and study Communication, Arts, and Literature Education. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to complete several field experiences and a semester of student teaching in schools around the Twin Cities, which developed my passion for education and a goal to help students become book lovers and lifelong learners. I specifically enjoyed coming up with new and creative ways to integrate all forms of educational technology into my classroom. I love working with students, but I’ve always wanted to explore possibilities in the publishing industry. Working with the digital department at Lerner blends my love for technology, books, and education in a way I never thought was possible, and I’m excited to learn and gain experience in the publishing industry along the way!

2.      Describe a day in the life of a Digital intern.
Working as a Digital intern means I get to learn something new every day. In the past two weeks, I’ve learned so much already about the software and file formats I’ll be working with throughout my time here at Lerner. Everyday I’ve had multiple projects to work on, including entering metadata, converting eBooks into new file formats, and working with interactive books. I’ve also started learning more about code as it relates to the production of digital books, which has been a great flashback to my days as a computer science major.

3.      What are you reading now?
Lately I’ve been reading a lot for school as opposed to for pleasure (although this is the type of schoolwork that I absolutely love anyway). I just read “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster, which is a short story written in 1909 about a futuristic world where technology has taken control over every aspect of society. I’m also reading excerpts of Alone Together and Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle, both books about how technology is impacting our capacity for authentic relationships with face-to-face interactions. All of these readings are for a course discussing how technology is changing our world and the way we communicate with one another, which has been both fascinating and a bit scary.

4.      What’s your best source for finding new book recommendations?
I like to wander through the aisles of bookstores and just see what ends up in my hands. Otherwise, my friends (especially the English literature majors) and professors at Bethel always have some awesome recommendations. Sometimes I read through book award sites and blogs to see what’s been popular lately too.

5.      Top 5 favorite books.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is definitely on the top of my list. I have read this young adult book several times (both for college courses and for pleasure), and I also taught this book to my 10th grade class during my student teaching experience this past fall. Sherman Alexie has proven to be a perfect balance of hilarious and heartbreakingly honest. I love the character of Junior a little more every time I read this book. I’m also a lover of short stories, and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor has always been one of my favorite collections. Some of my other favorite books are The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

6.      Who do you admire, living or dead, and why?
The person I admire most in the world is my mom. She has taught me everything I know about unconditional love, perseverance, and selflessness. Again and again she proves to be the strongest, most supportive, and kindest person I’ve ever known. She also never failed to put a book in my hands as a kid (even if it meant spontaneous drives to the bookstore to pick up the next installment in my favorite series), which I will always be grateful for.

7.      If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I would love to live by the mountains, like in Colorado or Montana. Maybe New Zealand if I’m feeling extra adventurous. I love doing things outdoors like hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and camping. Minnesota has given me plenty of opportunities to enjoy these activities, but I think being near the mountains would make for a pretty amazing life.

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