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

Welcome New Blogger Isabelle

Lindsey Clarke

Hello Readers, We have a new blogger starting with us for the semester. Here is a little bit about Isabelle. You will start seeing Isabelle’s posts next week! I studied English and Classics at Wellesley College, just outside Boston, and moved into the city to attend Simmons SLIS in 2019. I came to the program with some library and museum experience, as well as an interest in the role of technology in the field. I’ve taken courses on a wide variety of topics, from User Instruction (LIS 408) to Data Interoperability (LIS 487). Getting to know other students at Simmons has been a great experience, and I’ve learned so much from my SLIS classmates as well as my professors. It’s always interesting to hear my peers’ perspectives on material we’re covering in class, since everyone comes to the classroom from different professional backgrounds. I’m excited to be sharing my last semester at SLIS on Student Snippets.

Virtual Internships: Fun, Valuable, and Worth Going For!

Lindsey Clarke

It is 2021 now and thank goodness last year is over! As 2020 ended, I completed my coursework at SLIS and I have been reflecting a lot on how positive my experience was at Simmons University. While I enjoyed all the courses in the Leadership and Management track I was on, my absolute favorite course was LIS 512-Advanced Field Experience in LIS and the virtual internship with Boston Public Library’s Teen Central that I got to do through it. I must admit, I was skeptical of doing a virtual internship. With so much uncertainty in 2020 and so much of everyday life shifting into a new, virtual environment, I had so many questions about what a virtual internship would entail. Would I be able to get a sense of how the library functioned? Would I be able to contribute to the work being done? Would interaction with staff and patrons be possible? Would the experience be as beneficial as I perceived in-person internships to be? After wrestling with these questions, I sought the advice of…

End of the Semester and End of the Year

William Crouch

Hey everyone. It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog. My semester has been pretty crazy as I imagine everyone else’s has been. Trying to keep up with the election, the pandemic, and continuing classes fulltime has been pretty stressful so I began to limit the amount of time I am on social media each week to basically zero which has been pretty helpful I would say. In my Collective Memory course, our final project was a group presentation on a historical event, person, or group that our understanding of has been affected by the idea of collective memory. My group chose to do our project our Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre, and how his identity as a runaway slave and martyr helped with the abolitionists and even in the Black Lives Matter protests. In Archival Access, our final project is to create a MARC record and Finding Aid for a collection. We’ve been learning about how to create Finding Aids with XML code and MARC records so…

That’s a Wrap!

Amie Grosshans

I am almost done with my last paper for the year.  I just need to double check that all my citations were done correctly, and then I’ll be all set to turn it in!  I had to choose six books (three nonfiction and three fiction) to include in my library’s collection.  To do this, I read fiction and nonfiction book reviews from the January 2020 issues of Booklist and School Library Journal.  It was a much more daunting task than I had anticipated.  A lot of books were reviewed, especially fiction books, and it was overwhelming.  Luckily, I printed out the reviews so I could write myself some notes.  I highlighted the most important parts of the reviews and noted my overall impressions of whether to book would make a good addition to the collection or not.  Otherwise, all the reviews would have run together.  I was impressed with the variety of books that were reviewed.  There were many genres and books that featured diverse or marginalized voices.  I recognized several of the titles, but there were many more that I didn’t know about.  I added several books to…

The End is Near

Sarah Callanan

Can you believe it’s almost the end of the semester?  The end of the semester is always such a crazy time, with due dates and projects.  Since my last post, I’ve had two assignments due, and my big semester-long project is due next week.  It is definitely crunch time! As I discussed in an earlier post, my semester-long project is the Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project where we do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offering with a partner.  My team is investigating the resources of MCPHS University, as that is where both of us work.  It’s a huge project—we’ve had to interview the electronic resources librarian, thoroughly investigate the databases, the research guides, the different ways to search the library’s resources, and more.  My team has been working really diligently throughout the semester and having regular virtual meetings to check in and go over our project, so we’re doing pretty well progress-wise.  I’m not too worried about our actual written report, the thing that I am nervous about is our presentation.  I’ve done plenty of presentations at Simmons;…

End of the Semester

Peggy Hogan-Rao

This week has been crazy busy, especially Wednesday. For my first time working almost full time while in grad school, balancing school and work this semester has been hard. And this struggle is only with only one class! Next week is my last weekly meeting for the semester-long group project in my Information Services for Diverse Users course. This project has been an interesting study on how to work with the information needs of those who have low digital literacy skills.     Work at the elementary school library is now very busy. Instead of 3-5 kids having library class once a week and checking out books during library class, kids get a book as soon as they return a book. So, if a student returns a book they finished reading on Tuesday, then they will get a new library book when they are back in school on Friday. This is more work for me and keeps me running down the halls to bring books to each of the classrooms!       By the time I finished running around…

Almost There!

Amie Grosshans

I’m on to my third (and last!) paper of the semester.  It’s not due until December 15 but I want to complete it early so I can get it done and enjoy the holidays.  Plus, the assignment has several parts and is better done one step at a time.  The assignment incorporates much of what we’ve learned in class throughout the semester, and deals with collections development, which I love.               In the first part of the assignment, we choose a library and examine its collections development policy. Each library has a unique collections development policy that explains how it will build its collection.  The policy is heavily geared towards the library’s community.  For example, a school library will tailor its collections development policy towards its students, and a public library will tailor its policy towards its community.  If a community has a large Spanish speaking population, the library might focus on buying Spanish language materials, whereas a community that does not have a large Spanish speaking population would not focus on this area.  This is where the community statistics from the census come…

Back to Class

Sarah Callanan

We’ve had some time off from live (Zoom) classes since I last posted, and it’s felt really weird.  We had two weeks off—the first week we had off because of the election, and the next week was planned in the syllabus.  I’ve gotten really accustomed to the live classes, so not seeing everyone each week has been odd.  I know, this is the first live class I’ve taken at Simmons–I should be used to not being in class each week!  However, in the absence of live classes, things have been quite busy with some recorded lectures to watch in lieu of being in class, readings to do, and we have two big assignments to work on, not to mention our big semester-long project, as well as registration for Spring 2021!  This week marked our return to live classes, and a start to what I consider to be Part Two of LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  Part One was all about learning about different types of databases and search strategies.  I’ve briefly spoken about this before, but this was a…

One Month Left

Amie Grosshans

            I was surprised when I looked at Moodle the other day and saw that there were only four more weeks left in the semester.  It’s only three weeks of class, though, since there are no readings or assignments over Thanksgiving.  It’s really getting down to the wire!  I have two papers to write between now and the end of the semester, and luckily both of them are very interesting.   The paper due first deals with analyzing a fictional library’s collection of young adult materials.  To do this, we’ll be using a spreadsheet from our shared Google drive.  The spreadsheet is a list of 25 books and corresponding information about publication dates, checkout data, renewal data, and various circulation information.  We can use this information to determine a lot of about the collection, including which books are the most popular, the least popular, or the oldest.  We can also use it to find areas of the collection that need to be weeded or expanded, or to deduce whether the collection is adequately meeting the needs of the community.  But this assignment deals specifically with…

More Statistics!

Amie Grosshans

I was introduced to the fascinating and overwhelming world of statistics in my Collections Development class last year.  I used data from the US Census and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for an assignment that and got to see a wealth of data about all aspects of libraries.  I loved doing that work, so I was thrilled to have another statistics-based assignment for my YA class.  This time, I have a new source: the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDOE).  The MDOE has a ton of statistics about public and charter schools in Massachusetts, including a breakdown of student enrollment by race, gender, and ethnicity; the amount of money spent per student and where that money comes from; standardized test results; and average class size.  There is also attendance and discipline information, as well as information about advanced coursework opportunities.  Each school also has an “accountability profile” which rates it in relation to other schools in the state.  This information is very useful, but also very overwhelming.               Luckily, the assignment has clear directions of what information is needed.  It involves…