Chris Read is an MLIS candidate at Western University and started an 8-month co-op placement with the Office of Research and the Collection Development team at the University of Waterloo, Dana Porter Library in September.
Where is your co-op?
I work with the Collections Development team at the Dana Porter Library, and with the Office of Research at the University of Waterloo in the role of Digital Assets Assistant.
What are some of your duties at the University of Waterloo?
Many of the projects I work on are in support of the implementation of myResearch; a research management and intelligence tool backed by the Office of Research. MyResearch will provide University of Waterloo researchers with an online portal to collect and display a record of their scholarly output. Since the implementation of myResearch is being rolled out in stages, one of my initial tasks has been to study a test group of researcher CVs in support of verifying research output data in the new system. This process includes ensuring accuracy and completeness of metadata and affiliations for identified works, and communicating with the project team to resolve issues as they come up. I have also worked with the Office of Research to create training materials and workflows for new data entry roles, and will continue to be involved with their training process and supervision as they come on board.
I also work to support the Copyright and Licensing Librarian and the Collection Development team in support of their initiatives and activities. Recently, I have worked on a project that involves comparing the copyright websites of the U15 schools (Group of Canadian Research Universities), which includes Western and Waterloo. Copyright has become a dynamic area in Canadian librarianship in recent months, and it will surely continue to attract attention going forward.
In LIS9005 we talked a lot about organization cultures in information organizations. What is the organization culture like at Waterloo?
There are a variety of ways to become involved in the library and across the Waterloo campus, and I feel supported in pursuing these opportunities from my colleagues. For example, I am involved with campus-wide Indigenization initiatives, and recently joined the library’s Open Access Working Group. Later this month, I will participate in a 2 day retreat, MAP3, at which proposals for future projects in the library will be tabled. I hope to bring my enthusiasm for a number of the proposals, and my perspective as a new co-op student to this process. The nature of my role is collaborative. Through the Office of Research, I am able to liaise with researchers and deans in a number of faculties. I have the opportunity to work with a number of librarians who have a variety of skill sets, interests and professional backgrounds.
Do you have any tips for students interested in a co-op at an academic library?
I found that the specific project for my co-op position, as described in the job application, was something that I could research during the co-op application stage. I was able to look at other institutions with similar implementation processes which helped illumine the project a bit more for me. This kind of background information was useful as I considered my skills and experience in relation to this role.