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

Welcome Incoming Student and New Blogger – Johnna

We are welcoming an incoming Fall 2021 student to our blogger team! Here is a little bit about Johnna: Johnna is in the History + Archives Management dual degree program at Simmons. Although born in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, she is the least Texan-Texan you’ll meet and has also lived in the Twin Cities, D.C., Dublin, and Heidelberg. She is excited to now call Boston home! Her passion for reading has been a lifelong love, but my interest in libraries did not begin until college when she interned in Rare Book and Special Collections at the Library of Congress and the Early Printed Book Division in the Long Room Library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. While her writing credits include creative non-fiction essays printed in college-level literary journals and a publication with Rowman and Littlefield, she is eager to blog for the first time here! When she’s not wandering the stacks, she enjoys singing classically, performing in musicals, immersing myself in sci-fi novels, writing up new worlds, and reading poetry, especially war poetry from…


Adventures in Repairing Books

Guess what everyone?  I have found my favorite summer class that I have taken at Simmons.  This summer I’m taking LIS 447: Collection Maintenance, and I am loving it!  This is my fourth summer class that I’ve taken at Simmons and I can truly say this is my favorite, yet it is the one that is the furthest out of my comfort zone.  This class is completely different than anything I’ve taken at Simmons and I think it’s a great way to finish my last summer term.   While I can say this is my favorite of the summer classes I’ve taken here, it is by no means the easiest.  Even though I started Simmons as an archives student, I never actually took any archives classes before switching to the DYO concentration so I have never taken a class like this.  I also have no professional experience with collection maintenance, preservation, or conservation.  Despite my complete lack of experience, this class is so much fun!  So far, we have learned a variety of methods to repair…


Out with the Old and In with the New!

Can you believe that it is June already?  The Spring 2021 semester ended about a month ago. Ten classes down, two to go!  LIS 621: Conducting Research Methods and Design was one of the best and most interesting classes I have taken at Simmons, yet also one of the most challenging.  I definitely recommend taking it if you have the opportunity, because having the chance to learn about the research process while applying those skills by doing a hands-on research project is such a rewarding opportunity—with that being said, the class was definitely a lot of work.   As usual, there’s was a break between the Spring and Summer 2021 terms. I attended and volunteered to cohost a few sessions during ACRL NEC’s 2021 virtual conference which was really exciting!  I’ve never actually done anything aside from attend a conference (virtually) before so that was a new experience for me.  Aside from that, I didn’t do much over the break aside from work!   The Summer 2021 session began this week and I’m taking LIS 447: Collection…


Closing Remarks

My snippets posts the past few weeks have been in list format, and here’s one more: five highlights from the program. User Instruction (LIS 408), Data Interoperability (LIS 487), Information Sources and Services (LIS 407), and Database Management (LIS 458) were my favorite classes, with fantastic instructors and challenging assignments. These courses changed my perspective on the world and on what I could accomplish.  My professors at SLIS have been knowledgeable, kind, fair, and engaging instructors. They encouraged me and helped me get on track when I struggled with difficult material. They gave me comments on my work that helped me improve. Reaching out for advice and information from Simmons alums and current students when I was job searching this year was both interesting and fun. The people I reached out to were ridiculously generous with their time, their networks, and their expertise. From dissecting a computer and writing simple one-line programs in Technology for Information Professionals (LIS 488) to writing sophisticated Python programs that performed multiple tasks in Data Interoperability with Professor Catherine Dumas,…


Looking Back, and Looking Forward

I’m officially done with school!  It’s been quite a journey over the past two and a half years.  I knew when I first read about Simmons SLIS that it was the right fit for me, and I was not disappointed.  I enjoyed all of my classes, and I would have taken more if I could have.  I am so glad that I completed the program and that I decided to blog about my experiences.  It’s been fun to write about all my experiences, and it’s been even more fun to read them again and see where I was when I started.  My expectations and interests evolved over the semesters, but I’m happy with where I’ve landed.  The world of library science is vast, and there is something in it for everyone.     To my fellow 2021 graduates, let’s go take on the library world!  To those who will start in the Fall, good luck!  And to those who are contemplating making a change to their life or their career, don’t be afraid to go for it! …


Advice for group work at Simmons SLIS

Group projects have been one of the defining features of my time at Simmons SLIS. In the past four semesters I’ve come up with some best practices that I try to follow (often based on mistakes I’ve made while working on teams!).  Get everyone’s phone number ASAP even if it seems invasive when you first meet, even if you’ll be communicating primarily by email. Having a backup method of communication is crucial. Collaboratively set an agenda for meetings when you schedule them and review it when you start. Book a study room if you’re meeting in person, or set up zoom ahead of time if you’re online. Make sure everyone knows where you’re meeting. Start meetings with informal conversation. Don’t wait more than five minutes after the start time to start taking care of business, even if everyone hasn’t arrived yet. Be aware of your own habits in meetings and how you respond to different group dynamics. Assume the best if things aren’t going smoothly. Nobody wants to let down the group and disappear. In…


Changes Ahead

I have exciting news: I got a library job!  I now work 25 hours a week at the circulation desk in a mid-sized public library.  I’ve been there for a month now and I am loving it.  The library is not fully open to the public yet but is providing curbside pickup for patrons.  They request a book, and when it comes into the library, we check it out to them and put it on a cart outside the library’s front door.  It’s been a big hit with the community!  It’s a great example of how libraries have found creative ways to be of service during COVID.  The lobby is also partially open and has a selection of books for patrons to browse.  If they want any other books, we can go back into the stacks and get them if they are there.  People have been so happy to come back inside the library, and it is so great to see the smiles on their faces and the excitement in their eyes when they check…


Counting Down

I officially have one paper left to complete this semester!  It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.  It’s the last big project I have to do before I am done with all my classes, but I’m still anxious that I’ll struggle with it or somehow not pass and won’t be able to graduate.  I know it’s not realistic, but the fact that I’m so close to graduating is making me overthink things.  Once I start researching and writing, I’ll be fine.     The past few weeks we have covered weeding, collection development, and creating text sets.  This final assignment, as well as the previous one, deals with choosing a text set for a fictional third grade class’s unit about weather.  It was an interesting assignment.  We had to choose 7-10 books that addressed the specifics of the curriculum as well as the needs of the students.  There is a lot that goes into choosing the texts.  It’s important that the texts are fun and engaging, because they need to make students excited about learning.  It’s…


Collecting Data

It is the busy part of the semester, everyone!  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking LIS 621: Conducting Research: Methods and Design for the Spring 2021 semester, and it is crunch time!  My research partner and I’s project is on public library services and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Boston area, and we’ve been deep into the data collection portion of our study for a while now.   Our project is a two-phase study: the first part consists of a content analysis investigating information regarding COVID-19 policies and the services each library in our sample is offering during the pandemic. The second part consists of semi-structured interviews with local library directors via Zoom or email, whichever works best for their schedule.   The overall purpose of our project is to investigate what services public libraries in the Greater Boston area have been offering their patrons throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand the leadership strategies utilized by local library directors when crafting COVID-19 policies and making service model decisions.  It…


Typical Week in the Life of a SLIS Student

There are only five weeks to go until the end of the semester, and at this point I feel like I can present a pretty accurate view of my typical week! There are two basic genres of LIS program schedule blog posts: working full time while in school and working part time. This is the former.  For the sake of simplicity, I’ve left my work every weekday from 8:30-5:30 off this schedule (see Tuesday for the exception to this). Typically, I take a full hour for lunch three out of five days a week and a shorter break the other two days.  I’ve also left out most errands, cleaning, and my social life, but I usually have way more time than you would think to spend quality time with other people (safely). My social network in Boston includes a lot of people I’ve met through Simmons. I also get enough sleep! Monday:  5:30-6:00: Go for a short walk. 6:00-7:00: Standing meeting with my group project team for Systems Analysis and Design. 7:00-7:30: Homework. 7:30: Dinner…