A great launchpad
After completing studies in the library and information fields, many students choose to either stay within a university setting or to work in public schools or cultural centres within their communities. Now that she has graduated and her contract is ending, Belair-Morin says she hopes to continue working with archives and special collections for the next stage of her career.
Monnier was recently hired as a research archivist for the We Are Here: Sharing Stories project in the Indigenous Initiatives Branch at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in Ottawa. She says her career goal is to provide better access to Indigenous archival material, as well as create and maintain community connections.
“The project is part of the massive digital initiative at LAC,” says Monnier. “My role specifically is to provide in-depth research into Indigenous archival content in LAC’s collections and provide culturally appropriate metadata to facilitate online access to records pertaining to First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit peoples.”
Both Monnier and Belair-Morin agree that the Indigenous Student Librarian Program is a great launchpad for Indigenous students interested in pursuing fulfilling careers in libraries and information.
“Everyone I worked with was lovely and was really interested in seeing me and co-worker succeed in our field,” says Belair-Morin. “The program offers you a great chance to explore different facets of the field and find the niche that you are most suited for and interested in.”
Belair-Morin and Monnier are only the first two students to graduate from the program and kickstart their careers. According to Kloda, there will be many more to come.
The Indigenous Student Librarian program is just getting started,” says Kloda. “The Concordia Library, in partnership with McGill’s School of Information Studies and the École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information at Université de Montréal, hopes to welcome more students pursuing professions in information studies in the future.”