2013 MLIS SLAIS Student of the Year


Each year, the Arts Co-op Program recognizes a Master of Library and Information Studies co-op student for outstanding achievement in all aspects of student performance including academics, workplace, contribution to co-operative education and extra-curricular activities. This year’s winner, Ebony Magnus, was honoured for her work term at the UBC Library Humanities and Social Sciences Division. Ebony’s supervisor, Ellen George, says “she exceeded my expectations in the quality and quantity of work” and “played a crucial role on many projects during her year with us.”

Excellence in the Workplace

As Co-op Student Ebony routinely provided in-person and virtual reference services, delivered library workshops for first-year students in English and Arts Studies classes, and completed special projects as assigned by her supervisor.

Over the course of her two-term co-op assignment, Ebony taught 47 first-year library instruction sessions and saw an opportunity to use data collected during these workshops for an information visualization project required for one of her courses. The project was an excellent introduction to a new software tool for library assessment—a sub-field of librarianship in which Ebony subsequently chose to specialize. The largest project that Ebony worked on during her co-op term was UBC Library’s implementation of LibGuides, an online research guide platform. For her role in this project, she developed a training program and delivered workshops for librarians and library staff across UBC Library.

Ebony enjoyed working collaboratively with many colleagues. She was also encouraged to work autonomously and make decisions about the execution of her work. The mentorship provided by her supervisor, Ellen George, was instrumental in giving Ebony the confidence to consider herself a peer among her professional colleagues.

Ebony considers her co-op work term the most valuable component of her time at SLAIS because it provided practical grounding that directly enhanced her coursework and prepared her for real-world academic librarianship. She sums up her co-op experience by saying “much of my success is due to the opportunities afforded to me by UBC Arts Co-op and the Humanities Social Science Division at UBC Library.” As testament to the experience she gained and the mentorship she received as Co-op Student Librarian, Ebony recently accepted an appointment as User Experience & Reference Librarian at the Michigan State University Libraries.