Welcome to my first entry! My name is Erin, and I’m a Masters of Library and Information Sciences (MLIS for short) student. I’ve been working towards my degree at Western University for the last eight months, and I’m lucky enough to be experiencing a different university for my co-op placement this semester. I’ll be using this bi-weekly series to chronicle my time here at Brock University and to bring as much awareness as I can to the soon-to-be-opened Digital Scholarship Lab. But first, some rambling about why I’m here.
As a Library and Information Sciences student, I often receive a variety of responses when I tell people about my academic interests and career goals. Among the most commonly heard responses are, “wow, you really need a Masters for that?”, and my personal favourite, “aren’t libraries kind of obsolete now that technology is so advanced? Who even reads books anymore?”.
When people say these kinds of things to me, my general response is to simply shake my head or offer a polite response such as, “I love books, but libraries are much more than that!”. I’ve learned a lot about library technology and the future of the profession in school, but putting all of those theories into practice and seeing library technology at work is a completely different matter. When I found out I would get to work in Brock University’s Digital Scholarship Lab for my co-op placement, I thought about all of the technologies I would get to learn how to use and was excited to gain valuable experience with these technologies and perhaps even develop some more snappy comebacks for the library naysayers.
However, when I arrived at Brock for my first day, I learned that not only was the DSL space not open yet, but that it likely wouldn’t open until I’m long gone from my co-op placement. My job here is essentially to plan for a space that I will likely never see. The good news is that there are so many Digital Scholarship initiatives going on here at Brock, even without an official space to host them. This means that I’ll get an even better “behind the scenes look” at how an academic library functions and the roles they play in all of the different faculties and departments at Brock.
My goal for this series is to respond to the commonly held (but misinformed) belief that technology is making libraries obsolete. If anything, technology and libraries go hand in hand, and the various digital scholarship initiatives at Brock University are a perfect example of how much room there still is to grow and learn.
My blog series will be posted bi-weekly so be sure to check back on January 25th for more on my internship journey!