Ever since I've started to actively work on my own networking, I constantly encourage my peers and colleagues to take advantage of networking opportunities when they can, because you never know where they'll lead to.
Near the end of my final term in the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario, I attended a Speed Networking Event hosted by our very own Canadian Library Association (CLA) student group. Students had the chance to bounce questions off of information professionals for 15 minutes at a time. There were 4 information professionals from various backgrounds (Linda Ludke from London Public Library, Tom Adam from Western Libraries, Sandra McKeown from the London Health Sciences Centre, and Mary Kosta from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Archives). Mary was the last professional that I got to speak with, and upon telling her that I was from Edmonton, she told me that an MLIS student, Jennifer Vickers who worked at the Archives with her was doing a placement at Musée Héritage Museum in St. Albert, AB! At first, Mary joked with me about surprising Jennifer, but after considering how I hadn't yet visited Musée Héritage Museum, I decided to take a more stable route by communicating with Jennifer beforehand.
With Mary's kind assistance, I was able to connect with Jennifer over LinkedIn, and with the permission of her supervisor, also the Archivist at Musée Héritage Museum, Vino Vipulanantharajah, I arranged for an informational meeting and networking opportunity. After chatting with the two wonderful people, we briefly discussed my past experience working in archives, and a volunteer opportunity with Vino surfaced!
I am happy to report that as of today, I have started working on two volunteer projects at Musée Héritage Museum - creating an inventory for Information Files of various items representative of the City of St. Albert's civil history, and supporting the image database that accompanies the museum's collection of artifacts. Vino mentioned that later on, as the volunteer base grows, there may even be opportunities for some program planning! I am excited to get to work with more amazing people and continue to gain more valuable experience on my quest for a career in the library science field!
You can find out more about the exhibits and other great things that Musée Héritage Museum has to offer on their website!
Jennifer has since headed back to her hometown of London, ON. I wish her all the best and as she said to me, "we have to stick together"!
Stay tuned for more library escapades because they aren't going to stop any time soon...