MLIS Student Sam Davidson Explores the Breadth of Consortial Work at BC ELN

This content was originally posted in the BC ELN Connect July 2022 Newsletter.


MLIS student Sam Davidson recently spent seven months working with BC ELN as a part of an Arts Co-op posting. In the following interview, Sam reflected on his time with the BC ELN consortium. Learn more details about his posting, the projects he worked on and the outcomes of this Co-op experience.


What did you wish you knew about Library Consortia?

Throughout my program at the UBC iSchool, I never heard mention of consortia until I was applying for a co-op position with BC ELN. I was intrigued because of the focus on licensing, one of the very fundamental aspects to information access. What I didn’t realize was how passionate this team is about providing services while trying to keep resources affordable, diverse, and accessible. It’s truly important work.


What you have been up to at BC ELN?

During my time with BC ELN, I have had the opportunity to create resources for the BC ELN-BCHDP support service, including a helpful guide to backing up collections. I also conducted a survey for BC ELN partner libraries which has resulted in a new initiative to offer a low-cost, Arca Digital Repository to libraries on a smaller scale.

I have been trained on the AskAway chat reference service, and I have composed a couple of service area newsletters which has been very satisfying to the creative part of my mind.


What work are you most proud of during your time with BC ELN?

The office really allowed me flexibility in figuring out which areas I was best suited for. I brought to the table a nerdy interest in records management and was encouraged to investigate this in the BC ELN context. I enjoyed this trust and self-direction, and I undertook planning the office’s first “File Clean-Up Day“. Working closely with the SFU Records Management Archivist, I spent time planning the event and creating resources for staff, including a records management meme campaign to get people motivated. In the end “File Clean-up Day” was a huge success and we identified and deleted over 2000 outdated records. I also brought date squares and muffins; they were a success as well.


What are your main takeaways from your time with BC ELN?

Working at BC ELN imparted me with a solid appreciation for the breadth of consortial activities. It also gave me an inside view of what a really diligent, collaborative practice looks like. I am impressed with the organizational acumen around meetings, minutes and agendas, reports and recommendations. I have learned a lot from everyone here. BC ELN really takes a lot of pride in the integrity of their operations and this is an attitude I hope to carry forward in my career.



About BC ELN

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is an award-winning consortium of 34 private and public post-secondary libraries. BC ELN’s purpose is to develop and support system-wide mechanisms that allow post-secondary libraries to meet the expanding information needs of learners, educators, and researchers at the lowest possible cost. These mechanisms ensure learners in British Columbia have equitable access to resources and services that support their academic success. To learn more, visit

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