Alexandra Johne has come all the way from Mannheim, Germany to study at the University of Waterloo for one year as part of a joint MA in Intercultural German Studies (IcGS). Since arriving in January, she has also been working at the Library as a Research Assistant, helping to update the German Canadiana in Ontario Bibliography (GCO), a resource that is a joint project of the Library and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies.
“The bibliography needs to be updated to include important English-language records up to 2010,” Alex explains. “Additionally, I’m adding records for German-language items in all years.”
Alexandra’s German and English-speaking skills make her a perfect match for this position. She is able to search for records in both languages and across various English and German sources. An added bonus is that while building the GCO database, Alexandra is also building her own research skills too. The work requires her to search for citations across many databases, often ones that she uses for her own studies. “It has been great for me. I have learned a lot about searching,” she says. “I have also learned a lot about German people in Canada. It’s all new material and is really interesting.”
Alexandra is also very familiar with libraries. She has worked in the library of her home institution, the University of Mannheim, for three years. It was there that she first met a visiting uWaterloo professor who later connected her with the opportunity to work on the GCO.
Alexandra will be at the University of Waterloo until the end of December. During this time, she’ll be working hard at school and on the GCO, but will also be taking time to explore Canada and Canadian culture. She has already travelled to Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto and is hoping to make it out west to see the mountains.