Scholarship Winner Scott Boyd Connects with the Indigenous Canadian Community

Community Profile

Scott Boyd has a keen desire to make a valuable contribution to society, along with an interest in libraries and their important role in communities. Winning the Connie Constantino iSchool Scholarship allowed him to achieve scholastic and internship goals, while continuing on a Public Librarianship career pathway.

Boyd’s career path has led him to varied, community-oriented positions such as college instructor and coach, recreation director in a Canadian aboriginal community, return-to-work therapist, and community volunteer. But everything led him back to the library. “For me,” Boyd affirms, “There has been nothing like the library to get me in the mood for discovery and the mindset for deep concentration, and for connecting with information and people.”

Boyd’s decision to apply to and then attend iSchool in the United States rather than his native Canada was fostered by the flexibility of the asynchronous e-learning instruction, which allowed him to pursue multiple concurrent extracurricular interests. “The SJSU iSchool offered an international experience, including worldviews and perspectives I know I would not have encountered at the Canadian SLIS. And with that, the opportunity to nurture a cohort of colleagues from across many cultures, backgrounds, and locations.”

A 2014 recipient of SJSU’s Connie Costantino Scholarship, an iSchool scholarship awarded to “commemorate the work of the former faculty member in the areas of library education and library services,” Boyd stresses that, “as with many things available at SJSU, finding and applying to the iSchool scholarship, award, and grant program was very easy, not at all intimidating, and well worth the effort.” The scholarship helped defray the costs of transportation to and from local libraries and scholastic opportunities, allowing Boyd to be successfully considered for an internship at the Edmonton Public Library, which had the honor of being named 2014 Library of the Year. Adds Boyd, “Until last year, I had never been in a position to apply for any award or scholarship, so to be a corecipient [along with student Heather Lanctot] of such a prestigious scholarship on my first attempt was, well, surreal. The message I received from Dr. Bernier informing me that I was a recipient will be framed and hung alongside the MLIS degree.”

Boyd credits his SJSU iSchool education with assisting him in all aspects of his professional growth. Prior to starting the program, Boyd served as a library trustee in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, and as a volunteer emcee for the library’s film society. That experience, combined with his general interest in libraries, allowed him to to implement a multimedia resource center for members the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Central Alberta, where he served as executive officer. “It was designed to create a learning environment, and to provide access to provincial and national building standards, regulations, and credentials,” says Boyd. “At the time, my concurrent volunteer work for the Banff Public Library’s sixtieth anniversary and for their Paws for a Story children’s literacy program reinforced my view of the effectiveness of library-based, multicommunity efforts.” Additionally, library advocacy was integral to Boyd’s work chairing the Central Alberta Welcoming Communities Initiative, an experience that Boyd believes solidified for the community “that the public library was the one universally accepted, unbiased, nonthreatening, nonpartisan institution where people could freely gather and access information.”

Boyd plans on graduating in spring 2015, finishing up by taking extra courses simply because they’re both helpful and interesting. Since 2012, he’s been contracting with Canadian Human Movement Solutions on research, instructional design, staff development, newsletter production, and website content management. As for iSchool, Boyd is “grateful for the international experience, education, and opportunities that will allow me to continue my work in multifaceted community development through the integral fixture within any community—the library.”

Career pathway
“Given my background I had initially thought of the health (Special Libraries) or Academic Librarianship career pathway; however, and perhaps like many, I have strayed. Through coursework, conversations with instructors and classmates, and especially the internship opportunities. I have decided to pursue a practice in Public/Community librarianship, ideally at a cultural college, and through that help build community libraries with indigenous peoples here in Canada.”

Boyd was the first SJSU intern at Yellowhead Tribal College Library, and the Edmonton Public Library, “so I made all of the mistakes that should make for smooth sailing for any future SJSU interns.”

On winning the scholarship
“I would be remiss not to express my gratitude to the family, friends, colleagues, and supporters of the Connie Constantino Scholarship. Thank you so very much.”

Best piece of advice for current students
From his own experience, Boyd suggests building and nurturing friendships and professional collaborations, which help enhance your worldview and overall perspective. Other advice for helping build relationships and develop prospects for post-graduate careers includes: