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

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…


Graduating Soon

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  Trying to graduate and get a job is my goal. One of the main reasons I chose Simmons University for my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) is because of the vast network of connections in the Boston area, and the 100% job placement rate for library teachers. Yes, you heard that right: 100%. I had two close friends in the program with me since the start of my studies in 2018, and they were both offered library teacher jobs within two months of graduating from the Simmons Masters in Science SLT program in May.    I’ve been put in the deep end struggling to stay afloat with my first library job in a Boston suburb, not too far from where I live in Newton. Creating a new process for book checkout with COVID restrictions (no students can browse the shelves in the library), book returns, safely quarantine the books, and lots of other details that were not a part of the job before COVID-19 came along. The teachers have to get used to having students at…


It’s That Time Again!

Sarah Callanan

We’re coming up on everyone’s favorite time of the semester—registration!  We’re going into the registration period for Spring 2021 with a bit more information than we did for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 regarding COVID-19.   When we were registering last spring, it felt like we were going into this huge unknown, and admittedly it still kind of feels that way, but at this point we have a lot more information about what next semester is going to be like both from Simmons and from SLIS.    After this semester, I have three classes left so I have to really think carefully about what class I choose for Spring 2021.  Here’s the problem: there are a lot of classes that I want to take being offered next semester.  As of right now, here’s what interests me: LIS 408: User Instruction and Information Literacy, LIS 414: Special Libraries, LIS 417: Subject Cataloguing and Classification, LIS 445: Metadata, LIS 450: Public Libraries, LIS 490: International and Comparative Librarianship, and LIS 532: Reader’s Advisory.  I think I’ll probably end up taking LIS 408—it was my back up class…


Spring Courses!

Amie Grosshans

It may be the end of October, but I’m already thinking about January because the Spring 2021 course list is out!  And thus beings my analysis (or over analysis, because I’ll be honest, it could be either one) of all the course listings.  First off, LIS 458, Intro to Database Management is indeed being offered online.  I’m still undecided about whether I want to give it another chance.  I’m leaning towards not taking it, because I don’t think I’m a database person, and because there are a few other options that I think I would enjoy more.   There are two classes about digital objects: LIS 448, Digital Stewardship, and LIS 447, Digital Asset Management.  I’m not exactly certain what the difference between the two is but they are both taught by the same professor, and I’ll probably send him an email asking for more explanation.  I am interested in finding out more about how to manage digital collections, because I took LIS 462, Digital Libraries, last year and really enjoyed it.  But that was about creating a digital library, not about managing…


Book Reviews!

Amie Grosshans

This semester we are required to write three book reviews and post them to our class Google site.  We can read any YA books we want, but one of them has to feature a minority and/or LGBTQ+ character and one has to be a non-fiction or an informational text.  There are two parts to the reviews: the first is a very short blurb, two or three sentences, that explains the gist of the book, and the second is a more thorough review.  I have written one review so far and am working on the second.  Surprisingly, I had a much easier time writing the small blurb than I did the full review.  For me, it was fun to think of how to condense the book down to two or three sentences.  It forced me to think of the overarching theme of the book and what the main character is experiencing.  I knew I only had a limited amount of space to use and that helped me focus on the most important details and themes.  I love playing with words, so I really enjoyed…


Skills learned from SLT

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  I am so close to being done with my studies at Simmons. When I look back at my courses at Simmons, I feel like all I want to say is thank you. I have one step into the door of working professional and one foot still in the door of graduate student. As I am slowly creeping into the role of a library teacher, I am using the skills that the Simmons School Library Teacher program has equipped me with to be a library assistant in an elementary school library.     In my LIS 406 course Management of School Libraries, I learned valuable skills in outreach to the community. When you work in a school library, it is good to partner with local bookshops for book orders, but most importantly the local public library. In the school where I work now, we are working very closely with the public library’s children’s librarian to give children access to information resources.     LIS 461 the Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the SLT (School Library Teacher) gave an overview of…


Project Time!

Sarah Callanan

Can you believe that we are six weeks in to the semester?  Six weeks!  We’re almost halfway done with the Fall 2020 semester everyone!   As promised, this post is going to be all about the semester-long project in LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  Our big project is an Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project, where we split up in to teams to do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offerings and management.  We interview the library’s electronic resources librarian and learn more about the workflow, operation specifics and skills needed for managing electronic resources, and learn more about the library itself.  We will ultimately write a case study report based on the interview and investigate how the electronic resources are described and introduced on the website, how everything is connected and covered in research guides and tutorials online, and what library services are provided and offered.   This project really reminds me of LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, except for this project we are solely focusing on electronic resources and the role of the electronic…


First Weeks

crouchw

Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user.  In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to…