2018/19 Honourable Mention
iSchool MLIS Co-op Student of the Year

Excellence in the Workplace

During her term as a Youth Services Librarian at the North Memorial Branch of the Halifax Public Libraries (HPL), Stephanie’s responsibilities included planning and delivering youth programs as well as providing customers with technological assistance. Additionally, Stephanie was the spokesperson for HPL and the North Memorial branch for many community outreach events. She also led the Summer Reading Club, where her creative ideas to engage kids increased registration numbers and boosted the number of points kids earn for reading activities (up 137% from the previous year).

One of Stephanie’s biggest achievements was her engagement with newcomer children who could not speak English. Stephanie learned and remembered each child’s name, and made sure that library programming was able to accommodate children with little English comprehension. Stephanie’s adjustments not only helped the whole branch move more smoothly, but the youngest, most vulnerable population felt comfortable and knew how to navigate the library. HPL’s branch manager, Elinor Crosby said, “Her understanding and ability to empathize with marginalized communities shone through, and her passion, sincerity, and dedication to library work shone through.”

Community Involvement

Aside from her role at the HPL, Stephanie is an active member of the community. As a First Year Representative and Secretary for the UBC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), she acted as a liaison between the SLA chapter and iSchool students, encouraging participation in the association and fostering a collaborative relationship between students and the SLA.

Beyond the Classroom: Lessons in Life and Community

Overall, Stephanie reflects that working at the North Memorial Branch gave her a “daily lesson in compassion, hope, humility, boundaries, community, and what it means to connect with other people.” Through co-op, Stephanie solidified her interest and need to work with communities, as she witnessed first-hand the immense impact that a library can have on its community and vice versa. Stephanie concluded that even though she does not have one specific career path mapped out, she believes co-op showed her that working in and with communities will undoubtedly be a vital part of her career.

About the iSchool Co-op Student of the Year Award

The Arts Co-op Program’s Student of the Year Award recognizes two co-op students in UBC iSchool (Library, Archival, and Information Studies). Two annual awards of $1,000 are available: one to a MLIS or dual student (who used their MLIS background on the co-op job) and the other to a MAS or dual student (who used their MAS background on the co-op job).

These annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in all aspects of the UBC iSchool co-op student’s performance, including academics, the workplace, and professional/community involvement.