Second-year iSchool student Oluwademilade Oloyede has LIS interests that range from public to academic libraries and archives. Hailing from Nigeria and a member of the Yoruba tribe, Oloyede’s experience with libraries looks a little different from those in North America—although some things, like funding, are familiarly difficult territory.
Once her interest in libraries was piqued, Oloyede decided to pursue her master’s degree abroad. On discovering UW-Madison’s iSchool, she had an epiphany that this was where she belonged—one that coincided with her learning of Wisconsin for the first time.
After working in an academic library for a couple years after getting her bachelor’s degree, Oloyede’s interest in archives and public libraries blossomed, and she knew she wanted to further her education in librarianship. Part of her reason for this is the lack of funding for library institutions in Nigeria. “Public libraries are underfunded and so cannot afford to fill their shelves with information materials that would benefit the community they serve,” she said, “and a government that doesn’t understand or appreciate the importance of libraries in a society cannot prioritize funding it.”
Oloyede learned more about the issues facing libraries during her time volunteering with Nigeria Connects, a nonprofit organization that organizes book drives to help stock public and school libraries throughout Nigeria. “It’s my little way of giving back to my community,” Oloyede added.
With her MA in Library and Information Science from the iSchool, she’ll go back to Nigeria with plans to continue improving library and archives services there—a plan that will be bolstered by her experience working at the iSchool Laboratory Library as a library assistant. “It’s given me firsthand experience working within an academic library in a first-world country,” Oloyede said.
Watch to learn Oloyede’s favorite part of the iSchool.