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

The History Thesis or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Research.

Well after 2 years in the archives and history program, the culmination of all my history work is finally here: The History Thesis. The Master’s Thesis is an original piece of research that is intended to utilize the skills you have developed in both the history and archives programs. You are expected to primarily utilize and build off of archival material in developing your work and contribute to the field that you are doing your research in. Now after getting the formalities out of the way, let’s talk a little more about my topic. While it is expected to develop over the course of the next few months, currently I have been researching Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe’s roles as social activists and newly professional athletes. With the pandemic leaving many things in a somewhat gray area in regards to accessibility, it has been difficult to determine what archives are allowing visitors and which ones are not. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a push to digitize many archival holdings to prevent…


Three Weeks In…Reflections on the First Semester

            We’re three weeks into the semester over here at Simmons! At times it feels as if I’ve been doing this forever (I’ve already completed my first group project!) and other times it feels as if I still don’t quite have a regular routine established (how should I use my after-class afternoons this week…?). I remind myself that it’s early in the semester still, and, as such, I – and my fellow first-years – are still figuring out what our individual “grad school rhythms” will be. During these weeks I keep returning to thinking about natural adjustments and the way my courses fit into my “master plan” for the three years of my program. Since this is my first semester of grad school, I have had to adjust to many different aspects of schooling – living in Boston, learning a new commute, being the student instead of the teacher, making new friends from scratch, finding groups and activities to participate in, and balancing work and study schedules. Amidst this change, I have most had to…


The Final Countdown and the Return

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since my last post. A lot has happened since then. I’ve begun my final semester in the program and started my final master’s thesis as the culmination of my history degree. After brainstorming and trying to plan on what to write about, I’ve settled on the topic of tennis. Specifically, once tennis turned professional in 1968, how did this change allow activists like Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King to succeed as athletes and even more so as leaders for social change when previous marginalized groups did not have the same degree of success in an inherently elitist sport. But I’ll write more on that later. The other courses I’ll be taking as the finale to my archives degree will be LIS 437 Legal Information and Sources and LIS 442 Establishing Archives and Manuscripts. The Legal Information sources class is going to be really interesting and already pretty timely with how much the law is changing. The need for librarians who understand how to navigate these complex sources is…


My Last Semester at Simmons!

Hey everyone!  We wrapped up LIS 447: Collection Maintenance a few weeks ago and ended the course with enclosures!  In the last few weeks of the course, I made a pamphlet binder, a wrapper for a book, a two-piece lidded box, and mounted paper objects with both photo corners and tissue T-hinges.   Honestly, Collection Maintenance was one of my favorite classes at Simmons, which is kind of surprising because I am not really the most crafty person and this was a very hands-on class.  Every week I managed to surprise myself with what I was able to accomplish and with how much I had learned and how much I had grown from previous weeks.  One of the reasons why I wanted to take LIS 447 is because I want to get the most experience that I can out of my Simmons education and this class was so different than anything else I’ve done before at SLIS. I think that collection maintenance is a fascinating subject and that it is a really useful and practical…


“Sharks, Left Hands, and Goodbyes”

The past year has felt like a global season of goodbyes, each of varying magnitude – goodbyes to old routines, goodbyes to our understanding of the way society functions, and even in some cases, goodbye to loved ones. The biggest goodbye for me during this turbulent time is the goodbye to my old professional life as I make room to begin my studies at Simmons. For the past six years I have taught in a Title One public high school in Texas and, as an AP Literature teacher who works with seniors, said goodbye to my students annually as they graduated into the next phase of their own lives. Many of these students I taught for two or three courses and while I felt proud of their personal growth from their sophomore to senior years, sadness at the ending of so many relationships came too.  Not only did I say goodbye to my students this year, but I also said goodbye to my colleagues. To kick-off my own personal season of goodbyes, my family surprised…


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! …