On the afternoon of January 31, 2015 nine alumni from the University of the Fraser Valley’s Library and Information Technology diploma program returned to the familiar hallways and classrooms to share their experiences with some of the program’s current students. This is an annual extra-curricular event, held in partnership with the UFV Alumni Association.
The afternoon started with a welcome from co-coordinators, Anita Thompson and Ashley Van Dijk (class of 2009), followed by introductions from each alum done in a lightning-round style. Once introductions were done the main event of the afternoon began. Alumni spaced themselves out around the room, and students moved around every six minutes. Their time with each alum was spent discussing how library technician education fit with the job, asking what the hiring process is like, and how the various library types differ. Over the course of an hour students had the opportunity to speak with each alumni present, gaining valuable information about various library sectors as there was representation from public, academic, health, and school libraries. After the speed-mentoring ended a representative from the UFV Alumni Association, Dan McArthur spoke to us about the role the Alumni Association has and some of the events they have planned. Dan was very pleased to join us, and presented all of our alumni with Association pins.
Not only is this a great opportunity for students to speak with people working in the field, but it’s also a time for alumni to reconnect. As this is an annual event, each year new alumni participate providing a place for them to network and meet graduates from different years. It’s probably safe to say that the alumni get just as much out of the event as the current students, by being able to share their experiences and connect with their fellow library technicians.
Of course an event like this wouldn’t be a success without the time generously donated by the UFV alumni and the LiBIT student association (LITSA), and support from the UFV Alumni Association. A huge “thank you” is extended to all those involved. Special thanks to Natalie Ng for the invitation and Noreen Dragani for arranging the room.
We are looking forward to next year’s event, and continuing the conversations that have been started.