Jamie Kim: Exploring identity and institutions of cultural memory

By Kelly Wang

Jamie's hometown: London, Ontario

Western University student Jamie Kim says his key areas of interest in the MLIS program are publishing, surveillance studies and critical librarianship.


From consuming media to designing online content, Jamie Kim has shifted his perspective on many aspects of digital life ever since he enrolled in Western University’s Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS) program in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

“Everything I look at in my everyday life, it’s sort of from the perspective of user experience, or how I would’ve designed or organized something in order to make it make more sense,” he says. “So, products, video games or services like websites—I’m looking at things based on how they’re delivered.”

“Ever since I began studying in MLIS, I’ve developed a user-centric eye for all kinds of things I do everyday, even things like organizing my house or playing a video game.”

Jamie says he didn’t expect to gain so many new perspectives about everyday design from MLIS’s course offerings, but he’s thankful it has.

“So far, this program has offered me the best of both worlds – training in practical library skills coupled with robust engagement with theoretical concepts.”

The MLIS student says his key areas of interest are publishing, surveillance studies and critical librarianship.

One of Jamie’s favourite aspects of his program is the freedom to pursue research topics that pique his interest. His favourite piece of work thus far is a final paper for one of his courses.

“I wrote about document theory and how it can be placed in an interesting dialogue with queer theory,” he explains. “The paper sought to explore how we can understand documents in different ways, and how theories of queer experience and identity might complicate our understanding of records, archives and information management.”

Jamie’s journey in the MLIS program began in Sept. 2020 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Fun Fact

Jamie is currently attempting to learn how to crochet.

Despite never meeting his profs and peers in-person, Jamie appreciates how supportive they’ve been.

“The sense of community that this program offers has just been incredible. Meeting new people and spending time in virtual Discord sessions to chat and catch up has been really helpful.”

“Also, the profs are amazing!” he exclaims. “A lot of faculty members in MLIS and FIMS bring critical and commitment to social justice to their teaching.”

Jamie says he’d recommend the MLIS program to anyone who’s interested in working in a library, gallery, museum, or archive — “places that are fundamentally about how we store and manage information that in turn constitute our identities, histories, and cultures.”

“I think that this relationship between identity and institutions of cultural memory is also part of the reason I was interested in joining this program.”

In terms of his career goals, Jamie is not quite sure what his next steps are after graduation.

“Currently, I envision myself working at an academic library,” he says, “but I am constantly learning about different aspects of librarianship, and so it is quite hard to tell where I will end up.”

Profiles in the Meet Our Students section are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.