Open Polytechnic Bachelor of Library and Information Studies graduates donned academic regalia and walked across the stage to loud applause at recent ceremonies. Two Auckland graduates, Debra Airey and Amy Luxton-Esler, say their studies have helped them progress their careers.
Debra Airey’s interest in the library and information sector was sparked when she worked at a school library. Wanting to expand her knowledge, she enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Library and Information Studies. In her final year of study, she took the LIS705, ‘Library and Information Studies Project’ course, which involves a research practicum. Debra chose to do hers at Auckland Libraries. Reflecting on her practicum she says, “This experience has been invaluable to me, as it gave me an understanding of one way that libraries can serve their communities.”
Debra says attending the graduation ceremony was very important to her. “I felt so proud of myself. I could not believe that I had accomplished my degree. It was an incredible day and one I will remember.”
Fellow Bachelor of Library and Information Studies student Amy Luxton-Esler has also had career success since completing her degree. For the LIS705 course, she completed her practicum at Blind Low Vision NZ. Before her placement ended, she signed up as a volunteer so the archive project she was working on over the duration of her placement could continue. Due to her work with the organisation and relationships she built while volunteering there, she was their first choice when the role of cataloguer and metadata librarian became available.
Amy would encourage others interested in the library and information industry to study online with Open Polytechnic. She says, “If anyone’s planning to study with Open Polytechnic, go for it! The lecturers and other learners are always happy to assist with queries.”
Amy says her highlight on graduation day was “finally having the official acknowledgement of the degree being completed and celebrating with family.”
Senior lecturers in library and information studies, Jan Irvine and Pam Bidwell enjoyed watching learners they had taught graduate at the Auckland ceremony. “It’s a great opportunity for us to finally meet our learners face-to-face, share the occasion with them, and chat with them about where they are now,” says Jan. Pam says she is always moved when she watches learners graduate, saying, “As our students often study with us for several courses, we can get to know them quite well. We always clap hard as we watch them walk across the stage.”