“I found what would work best for me was working full time at a library or archives while attending an online MLIS program, and the MLIS program at SJSU came highly recommended.”
MLIS Graduate 2008
Multnomah County, OR
The summer after graduating high school, SJSU iSchool alumna Jenny Mundy (MLIS, ’08) interned for a historical research project at UC Berkeley. While her role was limited, this internship proved to be one of the first stones on the path to her current career. “My coworker,” Mundy says, “was working on her MLIS at the time and I was excited to learn that a career path existed where I could work with these materials on a daily basis.” By the time she graduated from UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), having worked several jobs at the university library and spoken with archivists and librarians, Mundy felt confident that this was the career path for her. Says Mundy, “I found what would work best for me was working full time at a library or archives while attending an online MLIS program, and the program at SJSU came highly recommended.”
Preservation on a Local Level
Today, Mundy works as the Multnomah County Records Officer and Electronic Records Management Analyst, under the Senior Data Analyst classification. Says Mundy about her wide-ranging daily responsibilities, “my days revolve around administering our EDRMS, MicroFocus Content Manager, as well as onboarding new users and bulk ingesting electronic records; advising county employees on electronic records, and assisting on budget and policy development.” Mundy found her way to records development by way of her work in Special Collections at UCSB and a passion for digital preservation she developed at SJSU. “Many of the same principles,” she says, “apply to both inactive electronic records management and digital archives. I can’t even count how many times I’ve drawn the Open Archival Information System model on a whiteboard in a meeting about inactive electronic records storage.”
Mundy’s work and courses during her time in the MLIS program here at the School of Information helped prepare her for this role immensely. She singles out a couple faculty members who were particularly helpful. “Dr. Joanne Twining,” says Mundy, “inspired a true love for information science in me. I’ve used the principles I learned in her classes in my current job more often than I can count. Just understanding the basics of how databases work and how computers process logic has greatly assisted me in understanding IT basics, so I can not only be a better EDRMS administrator, but I can better communicate with my colleagues in IT.” Mundy also thoroughly loved History of Books and Libraries with Dr. Todd Gilman. The philosophical journeys she went on in this course made her feel connected to a long lineage of scribes and information keepers While the courses she took were often challenging, the challenge helped build her into the information and records professional she is today.
A Future in the Records Business
For iSchool students and recent grads looking for a future in records and preservation, Mundy has some advice. “Talk with people in the profession and find people that truly enjoy their job and the work they do,” she urges. “You know, I read once that the best way to predict your own future happiness is to find someone who is currently happy doing the thing you want to do.” Mundy continues, “one of my most helpful avenues to this was when I interviewed three archivists for my Intro to Archives class who were all working in what I thought would be dream jobs for me. One key memory I have from that experience is that it takes a combination of interesting materials and supportive management to really have the space to thrive. I'm fortunate to have found both!”
As for her future, Mundy is hard at work on several projects for Multnomah County. “I’ve been working to develop an information governance program with fellow iSchool alum Lauren Kelly (MARA, ’16),” she says. “When we were hiring for her position, I was strongly advocating for someone who could champion information governance at Multnomah County, and during the interview process it became clear that the iSchool’s MARA program had more than prepared her.” Mundy is also working on developing and identifying solutions for managing electronic records with minimal employee intervention. “I recently built my first script to perform an API call and it felt like magic,” she enthuses. “I can’t wait to figure out more ways to automate transfer of electronic records for secure storage!” Indeed, iSchool alums like Jennifer Mundy are helping to moving records management and the information sciences field towards a bright future.