SLIS Student Profile: Adriana Flores, 2014-2016 Mosaic Scholar

June 19, 2015

Adriana Flores

InfoLink talks to SLIS Student and Mosaic Scholar Adriana Flores about her interest in archives

Diversity in the LIS disciplines is an issue that has garnered increasing attention across the field in recent years, in the form of supported research, open dialogue, scholarships, and career development focused on underrepresented minority groups. Funded by the IMLS and ARL member libraries, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Society of American Archivists (SAA) Mosaic Program looks to address “diversification of the archives and special collections professional workforce through financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups.” From August 2013 to May 2016 the Mosaic program aims to recruit 15 students in archival science or special collections librarianship with financial support of up to $10,000 per student, a paid internship, and student membership in SAA for one year.

Three of the five scholars chosen for the 2014-2016 period, and one for 2015-2017, are Simmons SLIS students. First among our profiles of the Mosaic scholars is Adriana Flores, who is pursuing her MS with an archives concentration. Flores received her BA from the University of Puget Sound with focuses on English, religion, and anthropology. She was an archives assistant, project archivist for records management, and assistant curator for Puget Sound’s prominent Abby Williams Hill collection. Flores is interested in studying the construction of collective memory and archiving and preserving digital media, with a potential focus in the collecting practices of academic and special collections libraries regarding comics, graphic novels, and other facets of popular culture. For her Mosaic program internship, Flores works at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

How did you first get interested in archives? Was there a formative moment that set you on this path?

I realized I wanted to go into the field of library science when I was 18 years old. I took an online career quiz, which said I should be a librarian. I thought the result was a joke at first, but the more I thought about the career, the more it appealed to me. However, it was not until I was a freshman in college that I was exposed to archives. The director of my university’s library called me in for a meeting when she found out I was interested in librarianship. She said she was going to give me an interesting library job and stuck me in the archives. I have been hooked ever since.

When someone asks you what an archivist is/does, what is your elevator pitch?

I tell people that libraries contain published materials and archives hold unpublished materials. Obviously, there are exceptions to that but I think it opens the door for a lot of people. I also explain that archives contain all types of materials—correspondence, photographs, artwork, ephemera, and much more. I stress that these are available for research and are accessible by historians, researchers, students, and even the general public.

Read the full interview at InfoLink