SILS Grad Students Zekun Hu and Halley Hair Receive MER Conference Scholarships

April 24, 2015

Zekun Hu and Halley Hair, graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), have been awarded scholarships to attend the 2015 National Conference on Managing Electronic Records (MER) in Chicago, May 18-20.

The scholarships, funded by MER sponsors Cohasset Associates, are awarded each year to students from a select set of library and information schools. The scholarships at SILS were initiated in 2006 by Christopher (Cal) Lee, Frances Carroll McColl Term Associate Professor at SILS. The awards cover the cost of the conference registration ($1,795), as well as several meals and receptions. In return, scholarship winners arrive at MER a day early and help run the conference.

Hu is a first-year doctoral student interested in archives and digital preservation. 

“As an international student, the MER conference is a great opportunity to get a better understanding of what’s happening in the field of electronic records management in the U.S.,” Hu said. “I expect to broaden my perspective on the legal, technical, and operational sides of electronic records management through both formal sessions and informal chats with other participants.”

Hair is a second-year MSLS student, focusing on special collections and digital libraries. Currently, she works for the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, helping to digitize and manage content for their digital library. 

“I am on the job hunt this semester and attending the conference will be a great opportunity to sharpen my understanding of electronic records management and get a handle on the current industry standards,” Hair said. “Many of the positions I am considering involve digital records management to some degree, as I am interested in staying in the realm of digital libraries or managing digital resources for special collections.”   

Cohasset Associates has been organizing the MER conference annually since the early 1990s. It's one of the only conferences in the country exclusively devoted to electronic records. 

“I was able to attend MER when I was a master’s student, and it was very influential on my views and understanding of the field,” said Lee. “MER provides a unique opportunity for students to be exposed to people and ideas that they won’t get in other venues. I’m very excited that we’re able to carry on this tradition at SILS."