By Megan Butchart (BA Hons candidate, UBCO SpokenWeb Research Assistant)
On May 28th and 29th, 2019, I joined the SpokenWeb UBCO team in attending the first annual SpokenWeb Sound Institute (SSI), held at the Burnaby campus of Simon Fraser University. At the institute, members from each SpokenWeb partner institution assembled to meet and share their work on the project. SpokenWeb UBCO’s project manager Amy Thiessen and I presented a short “lightning talk,” in which we offered our perspectives on the roles undergraduate RAs can play in the SpokenWeb project. At the institute I also connected with leading Canadian librarians and archivists, including Roma Kail (University of Toronto) and Annie Murray (University of Calgary), as well as many other incredible students and scholars from across North America.
Attending the SSI helped broaden my understanding of the variety and interdisciplinarity of the work being performed by members of the SpokenWeb team. In the 5-minute “lightning talks” given by SpokenWeb RAs, I was introduced to a range of exciting and diverse creative and critical activities being pursued by student researchers. Likewise, in the longer workshops on metadata, rights management, audio-signal analysis, podcasting, and pedagogy, as presented by the various task-forces, the wide-ranging and truly astounding level of expertise demonstrated by members of the team was made evident. The SSI was important to me in articulating the immediate and future goals of the SpokenWeb project and I believe my expanded understanding of the many layers and stages of the project will influence my approach engaging with the SoundBox collection at UBCO.