Boryana Borisova, a second-year graduate student in the Master of Information Science program at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering is focused on carving herself a better future, and her latest steps have brought her to the doors of the Library of Congress.
Borisova is spending the summer as part of the Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program, which enables undergraduate and graduate students to experience the integrated analog and digital collections and services of the world's largest, all-inclusive library. Working under the direction of curators and specialists in various divisions, fellows explore digital initiatives and increase access to the institution’s unparalleled collections and resources. Fellows are exposed to a broad spectrum of library work, including copyright issues, preservation, reference, access, and information technology.
“Not having a safety net in the past really prepared me for my journey,” said Borisova, who immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria in 2000 and earned her undergraduate degree in international studies from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2017. “Grit, supplemented by the guidance of others, brought me to this internship.”
Borisova’s 10-week internship will provide her the opportunity to catalog 500-600 texts from the LoC’s Russian Cyrillic Collection (1880-1940) with the aim of making the collection more accessible. Borisova has previously earned the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship Award as well as the National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowship. She is currently attending SICE as an ILS Merit Scholar.
“I’ve really been inspired by the faculty at SICE,” Borisova said. “(Professor of Information Science) Noriko Hara, (Professor of Information Science) Howard Rosenbaum, (Geography lecturer) Roman Zlotin, and (Adjunct Associate Professor) Andrew Asher all spurred my interest for information and library science. From promoting knowledge discovery to tackling international information issues to conducting research on the interaction between research and information, having a user-centered approach in the digitized future is critical to ensure that the library’s vast repository of knowledge is being used.”
Borisova hopes to use the experience gained during her time with the Library of Congress to take steps toward her ultimate goal of becoming a Russian and Eurasian specialist.
“Boryana was a great student in my course,” said Hara, who also is the director of the Master of Information Science program at SICE. “She and other ILS students learn theory and practice related to various aspects of information technologies in their coursework. The LoC Fellowship will provide great opportunities for her to take what she has learned and apply it to a real-world environment.”