We’re happy to introduce our first Roselani Media Preservation Intern at ‘Ulu‘ulu! April Rodriguez is from Selma, California. April earned a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Technical & Design from Cal State Hayward in 2005 and a MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2015. During her 6 week internship here at the archive, April will mainly be cataloging videotapes and assisting with other processing responsibilities.
Continue reading below to learn more about April and what she hopes to learn during her internship at ‘Ulu‘ulu.
What brought you here to ‘Ulu‘ulu? What are some of the things you’re hoping to learn during your internship with us?
How do I begin to answer this question… ‘Ulu‘ulu has been on my radar for a while as one of those archives I needed to work at some day. ‘Ulu‘ulu is so appealing to me as an archivist because of its mission to preserve cultural material and because it is a moving image archive. Those working at the archive are about preserving the materials first and respectfully providing access second. There has been much discourse about access and about the duty of the library or archive as a public good to serve their community. I have been taught about protocols guiding accessibility to cultural materials and so I appreciate the sensitivity with which the people here at ‘Ulu‘ulu apply to the donors and the materials in the archive.
Also ‘Ulu‘ulu collection is mostly video and as a freshly minted grad student we learned that this type of format is in danger of being lost due to decay of the tape or the numerous parts within it. Thus, I’m fascinated about how a fairly new archive on an island deals with this kind of dilemma?
Could you please share a little about the film preservation project you worked on with the Oneida Nation?
The Oneida Nation Film Preservation project involved collaboration between a federally recognized sovereign nation, the Oneida, of Wisconsin and graduate students in the Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) course at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Libraries and Information Studies. Oneida Nation has hundreds of boxes of film in their archive from a mid-1970s educational show called “Forest Spirits.” Members from the Oneida Community such as their tribal historian and historical archivist wanted to digitize portions of the film in order to provide access. This included assistance with gathering the technology to view the film and a framework for prioritizing which films to digitize.
This project is just one example of the kind of sharing and learning that goes on in the TLAM course. I hope someday that a similar TLAM course based on Native Hawaiians will be offered by UH Mānoa’s library program.
What are you working on at ‘Ulu‘ulu ?
My days at the archive have been all about MAVIS. Merged Audio Visual Information System (MAVIS) is a program built specifically for audiovisual materials to be cataloged. Before I go more into MAVIS I should point out that
there is a lot of behind the scenes work that isn’t pretty that goes on at libraries and archives. Just like when I use Netflix or shop at Foodland, I search for what I want without giving it another thought as to how all this stuff was organized.
My job is to use MAVIS to organize parts of the collection so that it can be found when searched for.
What are your career goals?
Much like the ‘Ulu‘ulu moving image archive, I want to work for an archive that is affiliated with a creative entity. My focus is audiovisual material and I enjoy handling both the analog and the digital media.
I strive to develop into an excellent audiovisual archivist so that I can one day help underserved communities, be it indigenous peoples or performing artists, preserve their stories. In essence I want to be an archivist without borders.
So you’ve been here for a week or two now, what are you enjoying most about Hawai‘i?
I look at this island as a person not from here and I see beauty in the sky, in the ocean, in the green mountains, and in the sunsets. I love the ocean and any chance I get I catch Bus 40 to the water.