On December 5, 2020, 18 UHM LIS students, along with 10 LIS professionals from academic, school, public, and special libraries on Oahu, participated in a virtual speed networking event. Students had an hour to move among Zoom breakout rooms, in the hopes of connecting with as many professionals as possible in a meaningful way.
UH Mānoa LIS student Stephanie Robertson worked with LIS instructor Meera Garud to plan and run this event. To make sure conversations stayed focused, Robertson and Garud provided two questions relevant to students in the midst of crafting their careers during this unprecedented time: “How has your role in the library pivoted because of COVID 19?” and “What skills have you needed to sharpen or gain as a result of that shift?” Students were also free to ask and discuss other questions they brought to the event.
In the end, the LIS professionals made this event a success, using this event as a platform for LIS students to make meaningful connections, in spite of the challenges of Zoom fatigue and uncertainty in the profession because of the pandemic. The LIS professionals facilitating the breakout rooms, many of whom were alumni, generously shared the knowledge they had developed over time. When surveyed, the students reported feeling comfortable, inspired, and motivated to work hard in order to be a successful member of the thriving library community in Hawai‘i.
Huge thanks are due to the following LIS professionals who made this event a success!
Annie Thomas, Acting Head Librarian at the Kapiolani Community College Library
Brian Huffman, Electronic Services Librarian at the UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law
Darren Tanaka, Librarian at Kailua Elementary School
David Wee who is Mid-Pacific Institute’s (Pk-12 independent school) Director of Library and Media Services
Helen Wong Smith, Archivist for University Records at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Janel Quirante, Head Archivist at ‘Ulu‘Ulu Moving Image Archive University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu
Mary Campany, Collections Librarian at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i
Natalie Wahl, Instruction Librarian from the Leeward Community College Library
Sheryl Lynch, Branch Manager at Waianae Public Library
Tamara King, Branch Manager at Kahuku Public and School Library