Our alumni work all over the world, using the knowledge and skills they learned in their iSchool courses. Dalal Rahme (MS '14) is sharing her knowledge of data curation with students and faculty at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
Where do you work and what is your role?
I'm a research data services librarian at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. My main duty is to help researchers find the data they need, organize it, preserve it, and make it accessible for future use through our DataBank. I also assist in the writing of data management plans when required. As a data curator, I work closely with the digital initiatives department, where I am involved in several digital preservation projects. In addition, I teach a digital preservation course at the Graduate School of Library Science at the Lebanese University, which is another great opportunity to be in touch with future librarians.
What do you like best about your job?
What I like best about my job is the continuous learning, diversity of projects, and the everyday challenges that come from working with different types of data, projects, and personalities. All of this helps me learn a great deal of things and acquire new technical and interpersonal skills.
How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?
I came to the iSchool with an interest in data curation. I became interested in the socio-technical data analytics (SODA) in the first semester and ended up with two concentrations: data curation and SODA. The master's program at the iSchool exceeded my expectations. It equipped me with what I need to specialize in what I do, and it helped me gain new perspective and see more opportunities in the profession.
What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?
Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the School and University. Get involved in sessions, internships, training, alternative spring breaks, and volunteering.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures. I also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, sailing, and canoeing. I was recently elected a board member of the Lebanese Library Association, and I am very excited to be part of a team working voluntarily on issues related to librarianship in the country.