Community Profiles

Recent Alumna of the Post-Master’s Certificate Program Foresees Future in Digital Archives

Elizabeth Blakesley, of Pullman, Washington, took the first step in a career change last spring when she enrolled in the Post-Master’s Certificate program at SJSU SLIS. A year later, with her post-master’s certificate in hand and coursework covering digital archives, she imagines a future managing rare manuscripts and digital assets.

As the associate dean of libraries at Washington State University, Blakesley still sees hurdles to cross. “Almost everyone who works in our libraries reports to me,” said Blakesley, who heads all library systems, public services, and technical services operations. “I’d like to move out of academic administration and back into being a librarian. Enrolling in the Post-Master’s Certificate program was a way for me to get back into the learning side of things. I earned my master’s in library science in 1993, and the field has evolved since then.”

Blakesley chose the Digital Archives and Records Management career pathway as her program focus. She focused on courses that cover the newer digital realms, including LIBR 256 Archives and Manuscripts, LIBR 259 Preservation Management, and LIBR 284 Seminar in Archives and Records Management: Encoded Archival Description (EAD).

“I was very pleased with the curriculum and the excellent instructors,” Blakesley said. “I’ve already started processing a collection at my job based on what I learned.” The project involves the papers of Stephen Tennant, a British poet from the early 1900s, and includes letters from Virginia Woolf and Cecil Beaton – archives that have been minimally processed since their acquisition in 1990.

“The online learning environment worked very well for me,” added Blakesley, who has been teaching an online required information literacy course for the University of Maryland for more than a decade. “Being in Washington State, it would have been difficult to attend class in person.”

Influential Class

LIBR 259 Preservation Management: “Lecturer Katherine Skinner had a lot of energy, knowledge, and experience to share with students.”

Professional Affiliations

American Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA), Society of American Archivists, Northwest Archivists.