Master of Library and Information Studies

What were Zoe’s major responsibilities? 

While Zoe had many responsibilities, her main task was completing an “archives overhaul project,” in which she assessed each archival box. She also worked on rehousing materials in archival quality material if necessary, removing what did not belong and reorganizing the archival boxes to take up less space on the shelves. Outside of this project, she also catalogued new library materials and museum artifacts.

How does Zoe compare her co-op experience with her classroom learning? 

Zoe loves what she’s studying, and her placement gave her the chance to apply her knowledge in a real-world setting, working closely with archival material in a museum setting. During her co-op term, Zoe gained first-hand knowledge of how a small archive is run, including everything from dealing with reference questions from the public to managing multiple databases and conducting research for the organization’s website. In addition, Zoe developed project management skills, as she was given the independence to work on the archives overhaul project without supervision.

What was it like to spend the summer in a rural part of BC? 

Living in a remote location was beyond what Zoe had expected it would be like. She found herself enjoying the sense of community with the wonderful people who made the place special for her. She describes Wells as “a small town of 200 people, [in which] there is always something going on, whether it’s a campfire, live music at the pub, or a cabaret at the historic theatre.” She can attest to the camaraderie and neighborliness, which is “unlike anything [she had] experienced before.”

What was it like to work in a small cultural heritage institution? 

Zoe’s experience in a small cultural heritage institution opened her eyes to a new side of information work, different from what she previously experienced at UBC. With only two full-time staff members in the library and archives, she had a unique opportunity to have her voice heard and make a difference at this institution. Working with the rest of the Barkerville staff to preserve and present history in an accurate, interesting, and ever-evolving way has added to her understanding of what it means to be an information professional.