SIM is a collegial environment where long-lasting friendships are formed; your classmates become your colleagues as you move from the classroom into the professional world. Our diverse student body comprises a variety of geographic, academic and professional backgrounds. Every student has a story; read a few of them below.

Explore the menu on the right to learn more about our students, Dalhousie campus life, and living in Halifax.

Courses and assignments use applied knowledge for real life applications (Daryl Atkinson)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

I have worked in public and academic libraries over the last eight years, starting as a student assistant at Mount Allison University’s R.P. Bell Library and working my way up to full-time staff at Dalhousie AC’s MacRae Library. Both of MacRae’s current librarians earned their MLIS part-time from Dalhousie, and they encouraged me to do the same. My wife is a librarian, our friends are all librarians, my colleagues are librarians, so I figured I should be one, too!

What is your dream job and why?

I absolutely love teaching. I’m hoping the MI program will open a door to becoming an instructional librarian at Dalhousie.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

It feels very comparable to my previous schools in terms of instructor-to-student ratio, which I like a lot. Classes seem relatively small and there’s a lot of opportunity to get to know professors and for them to get to know you. The same goes for classmates. I find it very relaxed and friendly. Instructors are easy to talk to and willing to help, and people have built all kinds of social spaces to connect with one another, even when COVID keeps us all miles apart.

What were your expectations for the study program, and how have they been met?

I expected this to be a professional program that caters to people in all stages of their career, and so far it’s been meeting those expectations. Course content and assignments lean more towards applied knowledge, making it easy to know how to use it in real life applications.

What do you do outside of class?

Cater to the wishes of a tiny tyrant. My son is nearly two and much of my time is spent with him and my wife. Otherwise, I enjoy cooking, gaming, watching TV, and painting model kits.

DARYL ATKINSON

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Ottawa, ON

Education

  • BA Honours (Psychology), Mount Allison University, 2015
  • Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management, New Brunswick Community College, 2017

Faculty, staff and student efforts to further social justice (Molly Coyle)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

I worked for a few years on the marketing team for a public library and absolutely loved it.  After the library expanded its hours, all staff—including those in the marketing department—were asked to work a couple of shifts on the floor until more library staff could be hired.  Getting to interact face-to-face with patrons and connect them with library services was thrilling and I knew that I wanted to become a librarian and work more closely with patrons.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job has changed so many times since entering this program. I know that I deeply enjoy reference work and that I really want to do something where I will be working directly with patrons in a library setting.  Currently, I am very interested in becoming a children and youth services librarian, though I am still fascinated by the potential of working in a prison library.

How does your experiences with the MI degree at Dal compare with previous education that you have received at other institutions?

I am constantly amazed at the level of involvement of the faculty, staff, and students in efforts to further social justice—especially as it applies to our discipline.  Information management can be a surprisingly subjective field and SIM does not shy away from holding discussions and debates about ethics.  I often find myself lying in bed, continuing to sort out my thoughts on how to best approach a case long after we finished discussing it in class.  Though my sleep schedule has been ruined by the thoughts thundering through my head, I am glad to have the opportunity to begin considering these issues now, as I will certainly face them once I am out in the field.

What has been your most memorable moment at SIM?

I remember attending the “Summer Shine” event—a showcase of Dalhousie Libraries interns’ summer projects—and feeling stunned by the wide variety of projects that interns undertook.  The presentations excited me so much that I applied for as many of the Dal Libraries intern positions as I could and, fortunately, I landed one at the Sexton Library (Faculty of Engineering) where I have been happily working and learning for the past year!

What do you do outside of class?

Outside of class, I am a cinephile.  I love to watch all kinds of movies and dissect them for their story structures.  I also enjoy walking around Halifax, writing and drawing comics, thinking about the paranormal, and reading.

MOLLY COYLE

Master of Information/Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Holland, Michigan, USA

Education

  • BA (Major: English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, Minor: Theatre), Hope College, 2014

It is a family with lots of love, care and continuous support (Keshava Pallavi Gone)

Why did you choose Dal and SIM?

I was always fascinated about data and its availability in multiple formats. This interdisciplinary program had a clear direction to pursue my interests in data analysis and research.

What has been your favourite course and why?

It’s very hard to pick one course! My favourite courses have been Data Management, Data Science and GIS. These courses explored several ways to analyse complex data to provide meaningful information.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

The atmosphere of the SIM is always welcoming and encouraging. For an international student like me, it is a family with lots of love, care and continuous support throughout the program.

How does Halifax differ from your hometown?

Halifax is a beautiful and peaceful city. It is completely different from my hometown, where Hyderabad is always busy and crowded.

Have you been working and/or able to take part in any extracurricular activities since starting your studies?

I am the Financial Co-Chair for the Information without Borders (IWB) conference. I also participated in competitions such as the AR/VR Ocean Challenge and Nova Scotia Open Data Challenge – 2020, winning second and third prizes, respectively.

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I am aiming to do a PhD after graduating from MI program.

What advice would you give to someone just starting the MI program?

The MI program has several career directions, choose courses that will build your career. Moreover, there are multiple opportunities to get involved and gain experience within the program. Talk to professors and other students, you never know what’s to come.

KESHAVA PALLAVI GONE

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Hyderabad, India

Education

  • Bachelor of Information Technology, JNT University, 2006
  • Master of Computer Science, JNT University, 2015

Halifax is the perfect sized city; lots to do with a friendly, small town atmosphere (Liana Nand)

Why did you choose Dal and SIM?

A big reason I chose to attend this program was for the opportunity to move to Halifax and live on the east coast. Growing up in Alberta I was eager to get away and live somewhere I’ve never been before. So far it has been an incredible adventure! It was also very important to me to attend a program that was ALA-accredited. Having a degree from an accredited program opens many doors for graduates outside of just Canada and the United States.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

Supportive, inclusive, and collaborative.

What has been your favourite course and why?

Services and Resources for Children. This course really confirmed my career interests in becoming public and children’s librarian. It also gave me the tangible knowledge of why providing children with diverse, inclusive, and positive resources and programming is so important for development of both individual children and society at large.

Have you been working and/or able to take part in any extracurricular activities since starting your studies?

I was very fortunate to have met an incredible group of friends during our first week of the SIM program, many of whom grew up in Halifax or have been here for a few years. Through them I have had many opportunities to explore. Halifax is the perfect sized city, there is always so much to do, a farmer’s market to visit, live music to listen to, or a patio to sit at with friends. It has all these wonderful aspects while still facilitating a friendly, small town atmosphere. 

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I’m hopeful public librarianship will be in my future. I’d love the opportunity to work as a children’s and youth librarian at Halifax Public Libraries or any public library!

What advice would you give to someone just starting the MI program?

Starting a master’s level program can be incredibly overwhelming, but remember you have an entire cohort of people who are in the exact same position as you! You’ll find your group people who will quickly become your friends and you’ll make the best memories in the program together. Also remember to get out and enjoy Halifax as much as you can!

LIANA NAND

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Bashaw, Alberta

Education

  • BA (Major: Psychology, Minor: Sociology), University of Alberta, 2019