Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Interning in the Outer Banks: An Archival Analogy

An analogy for archival work that they don’t teach you in 438 is this: archival processing is cleaning up other peoples’ messes. Without a key, without a blueprint, without any inkling of what, potentially, the original organizational system that the donor, maybe, possibly, hopefully attempted to follow for at least part of their document-generating life. You, the intrepid archivist must venture through boxes, pulling out sheaves of paper that seem to share nothing in common except the rusty paperclip holding them together, dusting your black pants with the glitter of deteriorating fax paper, and puzzling over the names of repeat characters in the documents like a crime scene detective building profiles for each murder suspect.    Or so I’ve felt these past few weeks processing my first collection. In the midst of the chaos, though, I stumble across little gems that make me forget about the filing conventions my donor seemed to create and then drop on a whim or the fact that desperately-relevant online records for certain local government officials don’t exist. An inspirational quote…


Summer Courses

June 20th marked the first day of an online summer course I’m taking at SLIS. The course is LIS 439: Preservation Management, and involves seven weeks of lectures, projects, and discussions on the topic of collection preservation mainly within archives. I am extremely excited for this course because preservation and collections management is what I want to do for a long-term career goal; my concentration is Cultural Heritage Informatics and I am trying to follow the Preservation track. I ultimately want to be caring for a museum collection or historical site’s archive, making sure that cultural heritage artifacts can continue being used to educate.  This first week has focused on classmate introductions and a preview of the theoretical aspects of preservation: why do we preserve archives? How do archivists’ biases affect our cultural history? What is permanence and can it ever be achieved? What does preservation look like in the 21st century? Many people are sharing their real-world experiences with archival preservation, whether it be at a job or internship, and what that exposure has…


Year One, Wrapped: reflections of my first year at SLIS

This is my first Student Snippets blog post, and I am very happy to be a part of this bloggingteam here at SLIS! I am a remote student, learning about Archives Management all the way inPennsylvania. Even though classes ended a month or so ago, I have been reflecting upon myfirst year of library school ever since. Exactly a year ago in late June, I committed to coming to SLIS. I keenly remember the feelings I had going into the fall semester: excitement to learn more about archival work, a fair amount of anxiety and nerves, questioning whether or not I would be able to handle the graduate level workload while balancing everything else in my life, and finally determination to do the best I possibly could. My first week of graduate school at SLIS, I remember calling my dad, panicking at the amount ofreadings and assignments I had on my to-do list. I’m fortunate in the fact that my parents areboth librarians and have been through the gauntlet that is graduate school. In that…


Interning in the Outer Banks

Billowing white sand dunes, salty sea breezes, and Elizabethan history lurking at every corner – welcome to Manteo, NC in the Outer Banks! Today marks my second full week interning at the Outer Banks History Center (OBHC) on Roanoke Island after I spent my first week virtually due to an outbreak of COVID in the guesthouse I am staying in. A satellite archive in the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the OBHC collects materials about the history of the region – often maritime in nature – ranging from oral histories about life on isolated Ocracoke to extensive photo archives of the generations of beach goers in this late-blooming tourist destination. While Manteo, the town I’m working in, touts itself as the “birthplace of English-speaking America” and as the birthplace of the first English baby born on American soil – Virginia Dare – the collection I’m processing is decidedly more modern. It was donated by a prominent local who served two tenures as mayor, led on a variety of boards and commissions, spearheaded…


Summer Plans and Projects

Hello and happy (almost) summer! I hope everyone is resting and recuperating from the semester and enjoying their break! I’ve been adjusting to my new work schedule and taking advantage of my free time to spend it on passion projects.  I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends so I have two campaigns starting next week and will be starting my own campaign in the coming months. It’s definitely been a stretch outside of my comfort zone to run my own campaign since I am in charge of creating the entire world and subsequent creatures, but I wanted to challenge myself and ultimately get better at it. My campaign is run through Monster of the Week, which is less mechanically heavy than D&D and is more beginner friendly. It definitely has my recommendation if anyone is interested in games similar to D&D but finds D&D overwhelming. I also recommend this to anyone who enjoys writing and world building, definitely allows for skillset growth!  I’ve also been adjusting to my new move with my partner…


Navigating Off-Campus Housing in Boston

Moving out of Boston has been weighing heavy on my mind recently; I live with my boyfriend in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, and we are both itching for a bit of freedom from the hustle and bustle. My boyfriend has lived in the city for a few years and grew up in a town nearby, while I on the other hand grew up and lived in various parts of Connecticut until December of 2021. Now that the Spring semester has ended, I’m realizing that I’ve actually been extremely homesick. Not necessarily for Connecticut (no one is homesick for Connecticut, I can vouch for that), but for my high school and college friends, parents, grass, space to move, the sun! Our 450 sq. ft. basement apartment that seemed very cozy in December is now suffocating us. Compounded with us both getting covid recently, we are very ready to look outside and see greenery instead of traffic.  I should say, I do really love Boston. It is a beautiful, walkable city that has so many parks,…


Into the Library-Verse

Why care about virtual reality? If you’re a current or aspiring librarian, VR might be morerelevant than you think. Simmons professors Catherine Dumas and Rachel Williams areresearching the use of virtual reality in library crisis training, and I recently got to be one of theirguinea pigs!Virtual reality is “the computer-generated simulation of images or whole environments that canbe experienced using special electronic equipment,” according to the American LibraryAssociation. In this case, an Oculus Quest and Mozilla Hub brought me to a simulated publiclibrary.I’ve only used VR technology a few times, and each time I’ve been blown away. Moving withinVR is very intuitive to me, which I don’t take for granted. Growing up, I hated when computergames moved from the point-and-click to 3-D model because I could never get my avatar or thevisual field to go where I wanted. With VR, there’s less need to translate my movement toartificial controls. Love this avatar of me that Professors Dumas and Williams created! As a research guinea pig, I entered the library-verse to watch a presentation on crisismanagement…


New Blogger Welcome!

We are welcoming Elizabeth to our team starting this summer! She is entering her second year at SLIS! She is currently enrolled in the Archives Management concentration and is a fully online studentliving in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. She currently works in anacademic archive as a processing assistant while she completes her degree remotely. In her spare time, she love to spend time with her husband, bake and cook, inaddition to reading as much as she possibly can. Writing has been apassion and a hobby of hers ever since she was very small! Her love for socialmedia and blogging came later in high school, and she haven’t stopped since. We are so excited for Elizbeth’s perspective. Look for her first post soon. A warm welcome to Elizabeth.


The Finish Line!

Well first I would like to say, congratulations to everyone who is graduating! Also congrats to everyone else who is finishing the semester! You should be proud, graduate school is no joke so take the next week to celebrate yourselves! I know I definitely will be, and not just because it’s my birthday next week. I also wanted to bring everyone’s attention to the Panopticon Spring 2022 Art Show! Many students, staff, and faculty added their beautiful creations to this project, so please go show them some love. Does anyone have any fun plans for the summer?  I’m excited to be working my two part time jobs and hopefully re-learning Spanish! It’s been a goal of mine to re-learn a language since Library Science is so customer service focused. I also want to work at a university, hopefully once I graduate, and I want to be more accessible to all students and visitors.  On top of birthdays and finals, I’m also moving to Watertown at the beginning of June! I am unbelievably excited. I’ve loved…


Onwards

I am sad to say that this will be my last post to the SLIS Student Snippets blog, but not for any sad reason.  It is simply because as of May 20, 2022, I will have graduated and no longer be a Simmons Student, but an alum!  Quite an upgrade if I may say (okay, okay, sorry for the bad joke). Farewells are never my strong suite though and make things too bittersweet for my taste.  So, let’s not make this sign-off somber.  Mainly because I have loved every moment being a Simmons student and almost don’t want it to end.  But everything does come to an end, and it is time to move on to new things, and I hope the transition to being an alum is just as great as being a student. For exactly what the future holds for me is uncertain, like so many things right now, but I am embracing it.  I am looking forward to taking a calculated step in my career as I apply what I learned at…