Raising Indigenous Librarians: a Canadian Internship Story

CARR-WIGGIN, Anne, BALL, Tanya, LAR-SON, Kayla and MACLEOD, Lorisia (2017) Raising Indigenous Librarians: a Canadian Internship Story. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 169 - Indigenous Matters.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1765
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Raising Indigenous Librarians: a Canadian Internship Story

The University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) in Edmonton, Canada, has established an Indigenous Internship for First Nations, Métis, or Inuit (FNMI) students in the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS). This presentation will describe the strategies and challenges in planning and implementing the internship, as well as the experiences of three Interns in the program. The internship provides an opportunity for an Indigenous person to make a contribution to UAL through employment as a student, while pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies at SLIS. The aim is to support new Indigenous students in the local SLIS program and increase the number of Indigenous staff members in the library. The internship lasts for up to two years and provides for paid tuition and paid part-time work at the library. As well as benefitting the interns, the program has enabled other UAL staff members to learn more about Indigenous cultures from their colleagues. Other FNMI students are able to find role models at the library Service Desk and helpful advice from students who have recently taken the same courses. Challenges have included: identifying students (in the early days of planning the program), ongoing work to operationalize the program and give students diverse experiences, and finding ways to engage the Interns to allow their fellow FNMI students to have a positive and comfortable experience in the library.

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