As I finish my graduate school career in less than a week, I wanted to write a blog post on the great professional development opportunities that the archivists at Special Collections have encouraged me to do. Not only do the staff at Special Collections have so many great events and encourage their graduate assistants and volunteers to attend, but they also are very encouraging and open to students traveling and taking time off from work for professional conferences.
In the beginning of April I went to Salt Lake City, Utah to present at the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies (NACCS) conference. This conference has scholars from all over the country doing research for the Chicana/o and Latina/o communities.
I had the opportunity to present with two professors outside of the archives field on archives. The presentation was a great experience because it allowed members of the NACCS community to hear about archives from an archivist’s perspective. It was really insightful to listen to scholars who use the archive give their perspective of the institution. I also learned a lot about the research being done with oral histories, and education related to the Chicana/o and Latina/o communities. One of the major benefits of this conference was that I was also able to network with amazing scholars in the Chicana/0 and Latina/o studies field.
I was also encouraged to apply for and later received the 55th Annual ACRL Rare Books and Manuscript Section preconference scholarship that will take place in July of 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. I hope to further develop my knowledge of rare books and manuscript collections. Check out the website if you’re interested: http://www.preconference14.rbms.info/
In all, the archivists at Special Collections are great mentors. They have been there to answer all my questions, and have had conversations with me about what the life of an archivist looks like. I am so grateful for this experience and look forward to being a life long learner in this profession. As graduation comes near, and the “real world” begins, I am reflecting on what I have learned and I look forward to working in an archival institution again soon.