Creighton Barrett

Digital Archivist, Dalhousie University Archives; SIM Lecturer

Favourite aspect of your job? Most exciting part of your job?  Most rewarding part of your job? Proudest moment so far? Dalhousie University Archives has extensive audiovisual collections, so I get to work with photographs, sound recordings, film, video, and other media that I find personally interesting. My proudest moments are when our former Archives Student Interns land their first positions after graduating. The Dal Libraries tries to provide a “learning laboratory” for SIM students and when former interns enter the profession, it feels like we are succeeding in our mission.

What skill is most in-demand for people entering the field today? It depends on which field you enter. The information management professions are changing so rapidly and the necessary skills vary so much from work place to work place. I think employers are looking for smart, creative people who can manage multiple projects. New professionals will also require strong technical and computer skills.

Words of advice for MLIS students? Is there anything you wish you had known when you entered your professional that would be helpful to someone entering it today? As a student, I don’t think I fully considered the amount of ambiguity and uncertainty that might exist an actual workplace setting. Some things that seemed so rigid in the classroom became so flimsy when I entered the workforce. Even things like metadata standards! People entering the field today need to be prepared for rapid change and embrace the idea of learning on the job.

Career tips for emerging professionals? Everything is driven by technology, but you don’t need to be at your computer all day every day. Try to find ways to schedule your work day so you are having face-to-face conversations and periods of physical activity.