I am currently a student at the University of Alberta, and I am in my second year of the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program. In the Fall, I took a course on database design for information management and became really interested in this area. This pushed me to want to learn more and informed my attendance at the RDAP Summit. The skills and knowledge I gained at the Summit will help me as I work towards completing my MLIS. For example, Ruby MacDougall’s talk, “Connecting the Links: Helping Humanities Researchers Use the Digital Infrastructure,” inspired me to investigate digital humanities courses at my institution that I can take as part of my degree. Before her talk, I had never even considered taking a digital humanities course. I thought that the data quality checking guide that Wei Zakharov presented in her talk, “Student Inclusion as Co-Creators to Develop a Data Quality Checking Guide,” was very interesting and it is something I hope to utilize as I continue to work through my program.
One of my favorite parts of the Summit was Dominique David-Chavez’s opening keynote. It really emphasized to me the importance of Indigenous communities being involved in any research about them. Indigenous people have always been data stewards and it is important that we recognize Indigenous intellectual property. I left the talk wanting to learn more about Indigenous data sovereignty, especially here in Canada, and have already started exploring the First Nations Information Governance Centre website.
The Summit exposed me to new ideas and ways of thinking, and I can also use it as an experiential artifact. At the end of my program, I need to complete a capping project and provide artifacts that show I have met the Program Level Learning Outcomes. One of those outcomes is “Professional Engagement” and attending this Summit is one way I can demonstrate this.
I really enjoyed how the Summit was online. As someone who works full-time and has two young children, the virtual format made it more accessible for me to attend. I was hoping to participate in some social activities and network more, however, my youngest daughter was sick (story of my life lately) so that kept me busy outside of conference sessions. Overall though my first Summit was a great experience. I left feeling motivated and inspired, and I hope to return next year.