Meeting Madeline Conrad

Baton Rouge – Madeline Conrad is a 2021 Graduate of the College of Human Sciences & Education’s School of Library & Information Science from New Orleans, Louisiana.  

InvolvementImage of Madeline Conrad

Conrad worked as an archival graduate assistant at LSU Special Collections, where she was previously a public services student assistant while getting her bachelor's degree in Classical Studies. As an archival graduate assistant, she worked in several different departments and was able to form a comprehensive understanding of what a special collections library entails.

In the Fall of 2020, Conrad participated in a directed independent study under Dr. Edward Benoit to explore how non-Native cultural institutions, such as LSU Special Collections, can ethically highlight materials pertaining to local Indigenous nations. She has created and published a research guide on materials in LSU Special Collections pertaining to some of Louisiana’s Indigenous nations.

“This directed independent study has opened up many opportunities to network and promote my work, but, most importantly, it has provided me with the experience and knowledge I’ll need to conduct similar research in my future career.” - Madeline Conrad, MLIS 

Conrad received two scholarships on account of her work. She presented a poster on this research at the Society of American Archivists' conference and will be co-presenting at the Louisiana Archives & Manuscripts Association's conference in September. 

Why Library & Information Science?

Conrad was inspired to pursue her Master's in Library & Information Science (MLIS) and Certificate in Archival Studies after working as a public services student assistant at LSU Special Collections during her junior and senior years of college. She was also driven by her interest in our region’s long and rich Indigenous history. Conrad knew that she wanted to find a way to study and promote these cultures not only as a part of her master’s research but in her future career as well.

Goals After Graduation

It is Conrad’s hope that she will be able to grow into a position where she can implement the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, develop tribal liaison programs, and form ongoing community partnerships with our region's Indigenous nations.  

Advice for Fellow Tigers

Conrad warns that LSU’s MLIS program is entirely remote, so getting involved can be intimidating. She encourages other students to resist moving through the motions and completing their degree without taking advantage of all the resources available to them.

The SLIS professors are all incredibly knowledgeable, accomplished, and eager to connect with their students.  

“Sometimes, all it takes is shooting your advisor an email and setting up a Zoom meeting. My suggestion is to enroll in a directed independent study, which counts for three credit hours.” - Madeline Conrad, MLIS  

Through a directed independent study, students will work directly with a faculty advisor to develop a research project based on their interests. This is a great option for those students who are unable to participate in internships or assistantships.. 

Closing Thoughts

If you would like to view the Indigenous Materials in the LSU Special Collections research guide, it is available here.