Sharing Skills: Opportunities to Learn and Volunteer

We frequently work with practicum students, internships, and volunteers for skill-building and professional development. If you have a project in mind or a skill you’d like to practice with our data, get in touch! Please send us a resume and some suggestions of what you’d like to accomplish or learn.

Potential projects

If you’re interested in one of the following projects, please email us with a copy of your resume and a short cover letter outlining your qualifications and interest.

Promoting Community Newspapers on Wikipedia

This is part of a multiphase project to populate and reciprocally link ODW-hosted newspaper collections with Wikipedia articles and links to promote and increase discovery of the online collections, with an eye to sharing what we learn with our member organizations.


  • Identify and prioritize appropriate access points (i.e. article types) in Wikipedia for new or updated information about Ontario community newspapers (i.e. links to existing VITA and INK collections)
  • Review VITA collections and add appropriate links to Wikipedia articles
  • Identify gaps in existing ODW-created articles and create new article material or edit existing stub articles for input to Wikipedia
  • Identify ways forward for future promotion of Ontario Community Newspapers on Wikipedia by ODW and partner organizations


  • Interest in heritage newspapers and community collections
  • Interest in targeted promotion of online collections
  • Research, reading, and analysis skills
  • Ability to manage large amounts of information and identify priorities
  • Excellent writing skills (English), grammar, and spelling
  • Experience writing in an online environment, especially Wikipedia

Access and Preservation of Community Newspapers

OurDigitalWorld is working with other Ontario cultural heritage organizations on preservation and access to newspapers, with priority given to newspapers that have closed in the past year.


  • Research and update an inventory of newspapers
  • Survey and contact libraries, archives and museums for follow-up
  • Research and test newspaper index prototype (already in beta)
  • Possibly work with newspaper publishers to identify location and listing of archives of shuttered newspapers


  • Research skills
  • Ability to manage large amounts of information and identify priorities
  • Excellent writing skills (English), grammar, and spelling
  • Experience with databases an asset

Building capacity at school

Working with students at the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Mississauga, University of Michigan School of Information and Mohawk College, we are proud to have had a varied series of practicum projects over the years.


  • Clean up and replace obsolete Zoomify files in VITA Collections (Christine Anderson, Mohawk College)
  • Beginning of decolonization work to update VITA Thesaurus terms (Victoria Scioli, UTM, & Christine Anderson, Mohawk College)


  • Research & develop handbook for decolonizing VITA metadata records (Melisa Ersoy, iSchool)
  • Re-vision the VITA Toolkit dashboard screens (Mikayla Yiu, iSchool)
  • Develop and implement Multicultural Ontario History Timelines (Victoria Scioli, UTM)



  • Survey of Northwest Territory organizations to determine digitization needs (Melani Adams, Mohawk College)
  • Comparative analysis of digitized heritage newspaper software platforms (Ryan Van Leeuwen. Mohawk College)


  • Analyzing the results of a survey on digitization in Ontario public libraries
  • Impact of promotional events and routes of access on ODW’s digital newspaper collection
  • Developing promotional strategies for online historical newspaper collections
  • Updated resources for digitization
    Read about their final presentations here.


  • Making online ‘help’ more helpful: Improving training and support for VITA Toolkit users


  • Rights for Cultural Heritage (Mark Fellin, iSchool)
    Research and report on new opportunities for digital heritage licensing and permissions, specifically options for the traditional knowledge of Indigenous communities in Canada. Mark’s report reviews Creative Commons, RightsStatements, Mukurtu Traditional Knowledge labels, a licensing scheme proposed by the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and Carleton’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, and other exciting projects and tools.


  • Marketing & publicity for local digital collections
  • Community Digitization Manual (Jelena Stankovic, iSchool)
    Redesign & update of our Community Digitization Days event planning manual, researching and adding content on crowdsourcing material, copyright and Creative Commons, and event assessment.


  • VITA Thesaurus/Subject Authority file content management
  • Ontario Library Association – Archives & Community Engagement Planning (Jessica Samuels, iSchool; Xiaowei Yin, iSchool; Kathy Robson, Seneca College; Dr. Sabri Elhaj)
    Digitization of photo albums and Super Conference catalogues, including OCR, to build the first iteration of the OLA Archives online. This project is ongoing and in partnership with the Ontario Library Association.
  • Prospect research

Previous Internships and Volunteer work

Previous activities include:

  • Website revisioning
  • Digitization and digital collection building like the OLA Archive
  • Client support documents
  • Data manipulation
  • Prospect research
  • Conference booth support
  • Marketing  strategies

VITA Community Forum
Jill Ruby helped ODW migrate 8 years’ worth of our VITA Toolkit Network support site forum conversations into the new VITA Help site.

Systems Assistant Intern
Patrick Stitt joined ODW as a Systems Assistant Intern for 2015-2016 and was involved in many activities related to OurDigitalWorld’s client projects, data management, and infrastructure maintenance. Activities include large-scale data assessment, management, and manipulation; large batch image manipulation and quality control; as well, all tasks will involve creating technical documentation. Working as part of our virtual team, Patrick is gaining aptitude with different coding languages, efficiency with complex data analysis and management, as well as creating written & video documentation about ODW processes.

Including Historical Newspaper Information in Wikipedia (Alexandra Marino, iSchool)

Create Wikipedia entries for some of Ontario’s most notable local newspapers, incorporating research done for our INK platform of full-page digitized news.

VITA Data Management Interface Usability (Nikki Sutherland, iSchool)

Survey users and make recommendations for improvements to the VITA Digital Toolkit data management interface and functionalities. Curriculum Project (Hilary Scroggie, iSchool)

Using content from the portal, design and implement a series of online exhibits about how to use the portal to provide tips for researchers and students.

Digitization opportunities in Ontario’s North (Rachel Beatty, iSchool)

Survey of northern community libraries, including First Nations libraries, to determine interest and ability to undertake digitization projects.

All-in-One Newspaper Digitization Pilot Project (Milton Public Library)

In 2012-2013, Milton Public Library digitized more than 150 years of the Canadian Champion as a pilot project for ODW’s All-in-One Newspaper Digitization service. The pilot involved processing microfilm and  fiche amounting to 150,000 pages. Since then, update batches have been added to the collection, with 2015 underway.