Xwi7xwa Library would like to thank Bronte Burnette, our recent student librarian, for all her hard work and contributions during her time with us!
Burnette moved to Vancouver from Montana and joined our team while working on her MLIS at UBC’s iSchool. She has since graduated from the program and is the Educational Resource Developer at the Centre for Teaching and Learning!
Although she will be missed, our team looks forward to collaborating with her in her new position! Bronte has left us us with a reflection on her time with us:
As I look at my time at Xwi7xwa Library, I see that every day I learned something new: from the staff, from the patrons, from conversations, and from moments that were set aside to really make sure I understood what I was doing. The projects I was assigned or created for myself gave me a solid foundation in disseminating Indigenous knowledge in a respectful way and illustrated the importance of reciprocity, community, and place in knowledge keeping. These three components are something that I will carry into all my career in librarianship, not just in roles working with Indigenous knowledge, but all knowledge.
I understood from previous work the importance of community involvement and hearing/seeing reciprocity at work in both my FNCC classes and at Xwi7xwa, I realized it’s importance in all librarianship, but especially academic librarianship and academic relationships. I want to print it out and put it on my figurative desk as I begin my work at CTLT, so I can see it every day. Learning about the importance of place though, and the importance of land is something that I didn’t expect. And now, it’s a part of knowledge keeping that I share with patrons in each reference interview I do. Place influences all knowledge; not just Indigenous knowledge, and it’s something that I think I could only fully learn and understand after working at Xwi7xwa. I don’t think a class would have given me the same view.
My favourite projects have been the online research guides and the blog posts because it’s been a way for me to share out our collection and resources without the barrier of a reference desk or a way to the library. And I love the fact that people can access them at any time, whether or not we are open. They gave me a chance to hone my librarianship skills too in searching databases, using Boolean, understand how to use Summon, and research skills in general. The blog posts gave me a challenge to learn a lot about what is actually in the collection, how many books and the kinds of books we have. It was one of the things that was something that I thought of as a “real” librarian job: selecting and highlighting books with short descriptions.
Learning from all the staff at the library has been the absolute highlight of my MLIS. Karleen has been a cheerleader, supporter, and advocate for me in all the best possible ways: challenging me in my work, asking for my help and opinion, guiding me, answering all of my many questions. She’s been the best supervisor I could ask for. Karleen’s attitude that librarians don’t just have a duty to fill information gaps, but can educate people is another idea that I want printed out for my desk. Bronwen, as my other half of our student librarian team, has been the most supportive co-worker in coursework and sharing projects at the branch, and having her learn with me has been a way she has taught me. Tamis taught me so much about communicating with patrons in reference interviews on the desk, and on the importance of making community and work-place connections. Eleanore showed me patience and kindness, whether it was answering my many questions about cataloguing and the collection, or teaching me a small amount of her knowledge on how collections/acquisitions work, even though I wasn’t a TS student librarian. Thanks for always encouraging my “Why is this an anthology?” questions. Kayla, though we didn’t work together for long, thank you for teaching me about data sovereignty and on the beginnings of how to build a course. Every conversation I had with Sarah left me with new knowledge of how to be a better librarian, up to our last zoom meeting. In our conversations, she illustrated to me different ways of thinking about knowledge keeping, and librarianship as a whole.
These words aren’t enough, but it has been a complete privilege to work with all the library staff at Xwi7xwa and learn from and with you all. I will be bringing all these teachings and much more with me to CTLT and in my career as a librarian. Thank you for the opportunity to work at Xwi7xwa with you all. I am honoured and humbled to have worked with you all in this important work.