Nahali (Holly) Croft, a recent UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) graduate, and Amelia Holmes, who will complete her MSLS in August, have received scholarships to attend the Managing Electronic Records (MER) Conference in Chicago, May 23-25.
The scholarships, funded by MER sponsor Cohasset Associates, are awarded each year to students from a select set of library and information science schools. SILS Associate Professor Cal Lee introduced the program at SILS in 2006, and two students have benefitted from the support each year since. The scholarships cover the cost of the conference registration, as well as several meals and receptions. In return, scholarship winners arrive at MER a day early and help run the conference.
“I wanted to attend the MER Conference because I am interested in working with digital materials,” Croft said. “They have unique concerns that analog materials do not have, and it is especially important to stay up-to-date on new tools and workflows.”
As a SILS student, Croft interned at the Campbell University Archive and the North Carolina Collection Gallery in the Louis Round Wilson Special Collection Library. She hopes to end up working in a political collection as a digital archivist or an outreach archivist.
Croft said the MER Conference was different from conferences she had previously attended because of its focus on corporate environments and records management issues. “To be sure, records management and archives have many overlapping concerns, but MER will allow me to broaden my understanding of current recordkeeping trends,” she said.
Holmes said she was looking forward to MER as an opportunity to build on what she had learned at SILS, both through classes and her professional experiences. Holmes has worked in Special Collections Technical Services as a Carolina Academic Library Associate at the Louis Round Wilson Library and as a Research Assistant at the Sloane Art Library.
“I want to hone my understanding of industry standards for managing electronic records, which is a component of most archival positions,” she said. “I'm graduating in August, so I'll continue to work in Special Collections Technical Services at Wilson Library through the summer. After graduation, I hope to work in a special collections library at an academic institution, either in archival processing or outreach.”