Stacey Zip is an MLIS candidate currently on co-op in the Information Services department at the University of Windsor Leddy Library. She took some time to answer several questions about the co-op process and her experience thus far.
Where is your co-op, and how did you find the process of securing a co-op?
I am currently completing a four-month co-op at the Leddy Library, University of Windsor. I found the co-op process to be fairly straightforward – the most difficult aspect was probably juggling interviews and applications with school work and classes. I was unsure of which job I liked best until I completed the interviews; from there, I knew that the Leddy Library would be a good fit for me.
What are some of your duties at the Leddy Library?
I work the reference desk three times a week in 2-hour stretches and recently started having students schedule appointments with me if they need one-on-one help with researching for a particular assignment. Shadowing information literacy classes, making displays, cataloguing, and assisting other librarians with their projects are recurring tasks. I also lead a Conversation Class and curated a list of books to add to Leddy’s Polish book collection. I’m currently working on updating the Leddy library website and creating web pages for international students, working with Zotero, SHERPA/RoMEO, and OpenRefine to add to Leddy’s institutional repository, and using OJS 2.0 to create an online journal, in addition to other projects I have on the go.
In LIS9005 we talked a lot about organization cultures in information organizations. What is the organization culture like at Windsor?
The Leddy Library is formally organized by five departments: Information Services, Bibliographic Services, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services, Systems, and Access Services. Each of these departments work somewhat independently of one another and occupy different spaces in the library, but common goals and partnerships exist. Informally, people of like minds cluster into groups, working on joint projects, etc, while some are singular. The informal system is what challenges and helps keep the library working harmoniously.
Do you have any tips for students interested in a co-op at an academic library?
Don’t forget to tailor your resume to each position in addition to tweaking your cover letter. And this may sound obvious, but I accidentally sent out a few said tailored application packages to the wrong positions – make sure you triple check that it’s going to the right job!