InfoNexus 2018

Guest post by Nicole Gauvreau

Photos by Felicia Pulo and Audrée-Ann Ramacieri-Tremblay

   

At SIS it can feel like different events are only for people interested in one of libraries, archives, KM, or ICT, be it a 5 à 7, a tour, a workshop, or a webinar. InfoNexus, is the event that has something for SIS students of every interest. It is also a great way to hear about skills you need but may not learn at SIS and offers a chance to network.

Info Nexus began with a presentation from the new archivist for Bell Canada and gave a look into being the lone archivist for one of Canada’s largest companies. From cataloguing documents, photos, and items and putting all the information from the paper master cards created until 1980 into the digital catalogue to helping researchers and gathering items and information for exhibitions, displays, and publication, Janie Théorêt does it all. Théoret also showed how far we still have to go in the world of digital curation, as Bell does not save it’s digital advertisements, only the print ones.

 

Presenter and SIS PhD student Vera Granikov detailed what it is to be a research-embedded health information specialist, a path she said she likely wouldn’t have found herself on were it not for her practicum. Granikov says her job, and the jobs many SIS students may have in the future, doesn’t fit neatly into one category of librarian, archivist, or knowledge manager. For example, while she conducts searches and literature reviews, Granikov is also part of the research team from the moment an idea is found through applying for funding to publication.

Melissa Rivosecchi was the first librarian of the day, and brought lessons for aspiring academic librarians (or soon to be graduates in general). Rivosecchi emphasised the need to get experience outside classes, both to build your CV and gain skills needed to the do the job. Rivosecchi was also another testament to applying to jobs outside your academic background: she’s a business librarian with no business background, but worked as a Concordia Student librarian and answered questions from just about every field imaginable while doing so. Rivosecchi also gave a healthy dose of reality as she’s on contract, rather than tenure track.

Cat Henderson, who graduated from SIS only last year, focused on the importance of networking and experience outside of class. She got her job because of a person she met at a conference and has discovered the odd skills and facts you know, from reading music to technical knowledge and even customer service, can make all the difference. Henderson also emphasized that you will learn on the job, and you’ll need to stay involved in associations and reading publications so you are both aware of evolving trends and, if you are the only information professional in your organization, don’t feel alone.

 

Ted Strauss brought in perspective from outside those with a degree in library or information studies but who holds a similar job function. Strauss was also the speaker for the ICT-interested. As a data resources manager he in involved in the entire lifecycle of data storage, evaluates open source software to find what may work best, and supports researching in using that software.

Adrienne Smith works in Ubisoft’s KM group as a taxonomist, and holds the dream job for anyone frustrated by websites and their search functions. For Smith “translating” what different stakeholders say so everyone understands each other in incredibly important; it makes sure everyone knows what is wanted and what has already been done. Smith also emphasized that sometimes you just have to do something if no one else is to get it done and that the user experience is most important.

Finally, Tomasz Neugebauer bridged the worlds of archives, libraries, and ICT with his presentation on open source resources, the need for digital preservation, and aggregating services to make things better. For Neugebauer, having some computer science background is a great asset, if not essential in finding a job and, in his job, effectively doing that job.

Overall, all presenters stressed skills you simply won’t gain at SIS and the need to find out what are considered the essentials to know for what you want to do by looking at job postings and attending conferences, then going out and gaining those proficiencies.

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