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

Picturebook Analysis

Amie Grosshans

I had my first assignment due this week.  It’s a three-to-five page paper that analyzes a two-page spread of a picturebook of our choice.  I chose a book called Pete with No Pants by Rowboat Watkins.  It’s about a little elephant named Pete who likes to pretend he’s something else: a boulder, a squirrel, or a cloud.  Pete does not like to wear pants, though, so he only pretends to be things that don’t wear pants.  It’s a fun book with cute illustrations and I would recommend reading it.   I initially thought three-to-five pages was a lot to write about a picturebook, though.  After all, the two-page spread had only twenty-six words.  How could I spin that into three-to-five pages?  As it turns out, that might not be enough for me to write about everything I want to.  That’s because there are many levels on meaning in a picturebook, both in the language and the pictures.  I noticed more and more detail every time I read the book.  Even though there weren’t many words on the page, those words had a pattern and rhythm that I only noticed…

Welcome Blogger Andrea

Lindsey Clarke

We have a new blogger joining our team. Her name is Andrea, a Design Your Own student who recently moved to Boston from central PA! Since graduating from Vassar in 2020, Andrea has been searching for ways to bring her somewhat disparate interests together. She thinks of librarianship as something we as people are always practicing, and is more than excited to think through the implications of how we seek, sort, and use information—both within library walls and beyond. Other passions include learning new languages, listening to music, and crafting recipes around my impulse grocery purchases.

Walking around the Fens

Isabelle Raposo

I can’t believe I just finished the fourth week of the semester! I got a lot done this week and tried to front-load some assignments in advance of my job starting soon. I also ran errands to Fenway and Brookline, since when I’m working I won’t be able to go to stores in the middle of the day. Walking around the Fenway area was fun and stimulating but also a little sad. I miss being on campus! I returned a book I’d had for over a year (for pandemic reasons) to the library drop box in the Palace Road building where I used to go to classes. It was nice to have a reason to visit campus and peek at the construction happening in the quad. The area around Simmons is really lovely, and these days I gravitate towards it for reasons other than the big box stores across the Fenway from campus. I used to go to a coffee shop called Neighborhoods, which changed hands and turned into Phinista, a really cool Vietnamese cafe, this…

New Class!

Sarah Callanan

Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring Semester!  At the time of writing my last post, I had not started classes yet, so now you get to hear all about how it is going!  I’m taking LIS 621: Conducting Research this semester.  It’s another “live” class being taught over Zoom, which is really great!   This course is all about conducting research in the social sciences—according to the course description list, “This course addresses the theories, principles, and practices of social science research. It examines reflective inquiry (including the development of the problem statement, literature review, theoretical framework, logical structure, research objectives, and questions/hypotheses) and research design, data collection methods, and data analysis. The course also covers generalizability, reliability and validity, and the report and presentation of research results. Methods in quantitative and qualitative data analysis are introduced. Students are able to develop their own research proposals and select appropriate methods based on specific research questions.”  It’s a doctoral level class that’s being taught by the same professor who taught my LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers class last semester.  I…

Week 3

Isabelle Raposo

Week 3 of the spring semester went by really fast! I’m reading a book called Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam, about how we perceive time. Apparently units of time that are similar to one another seem shorter in retrospect than times when exciting or new things happen. I guess it makes sense that the third week of the semester would seem shorter since it was similar to the second week!  My team for Systems Analysis (LIS 621) met on Monday night and set that as our regular meeting time since we have collaborative work due every week. This week, we developed interview questions and then role-played with them as if two of us were the Simmons registrar and the rest were systems analysts figuring out requirements for a new registration system. I volunteered to play one of the registrar roles, since I enjoy making things up and acting. It was fun to improvise answers to the questions and try to keep a straight face. We recorded the conversation and posted it to our class slack channel. …

Picture Books!

Amie Grosshans

This week in class we’ve been examining picture books.  I still have vivid memories of the picture books I read as a child, so it’s been very interesting to learn about how they are written and illustrated.  Picture books are much more complex than I ever realized.  The words and pictures have to work together to provide information that isn’t expressed in words.  Though they might look simple, the pictures provide a lot of information through color and style.  It’s a complex relationship that we don’t notice as children but that we do notice as an adult.   We had to read six different picture books for our homework and needed to pay particular attention to all of these little details.  I took my time with the books, examining each page and looking at how the words and the pictures worked together.  Sometimes this was in a literal sense, because a few books had text that was not aligned to the left.  It’s easy to miss all these details in reading picture books, because they have so few words, but stopping to notice all…

Full Time Work Full Time Student

Isabelle Raposo

Last week was memorable because I got offered a job that I’m really excited about! I’ll be starting work in a couple of weeks, so I predict I’ll be extremely busy until I graduate. After spending most of the past year feeling like I had too much time and not enough to do, it will be a big change but definitely a welcome one. I know that many people work full time while enrolled at Simmons SLIS, so while it won’t be easy, I know it’s doable.  Wednesday is the official start of my academic week, as well as the day when I typically have no events scheduled. After completing the work for last week, I had a sense of how long the repeating assignments for each course should take, and how they relate to each other. For instance, I knew that I should watch the lecture videos for my Systems Analysis (LIS 486) class before doing the readings or the other assignments. Lecture videos and text lessons that I can read through always help…

Let’s Go!

Amie Grosshans

            Classes started this week and I’m ready.  I’m taking LIS 481: Library Collections and Materials for Children and it’s my last class at Simmons.  I’m excited and a teeny bit nervous.  I can’t believe I’ll be graduating in May and officially starting my librarian life.  I feel like I just started but that was actually two years ago.  Time really flies!   Books were incredibly important to me as a child, which is part of the reason why I chose to take this class.  I got my first library card when I was four or five years old and spent many happy hours in the children’s department of my local library.  It’s been a long time since then and my nephews are both teenagers now, so I haven’t read any children’s books in a while.  But I have been working once a month at my local library and seen many children’s books with adorable titles and illustrations, and I just love reading through them.  The topics, styles, and points of view have changed a lot since I was young.  There is also a lot more diversity in children’s…

Snowy First Week of Classes

Isabelle Raposo

I kicked off my final semester at Simmons by joining a doctoral-level course, Conducting Research (LIS 621), a few days before classes started. I became interested in biomedical research data management and medical librarianship this fall, and my research project for this course will allow me to explore that area of the library field. I’ll also learn the foundations of how to conduct social science studies! The first meeting of LIS 621 on Tuesday was really exciting, especially after six weeks without classes. As always, it was fascinating to hear about everyone’s background and reason for taking the course. After some in-depth introductions, including sharing our research interests, we talked about the logistics of the course and then broke into small groups. In the Zoom breakout rooms, we developed definitions of the word “research” that would be helpful in the context of this course.  On Wednesday, as soon as I had syllabi for all my courses, I put all the assignments for the semester into my calendar. I’m taking three courses (or nine credits, which…

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!

Sarah Callanan

Happy 2021 everyone!  We’ve had a nice, long break, and the Spring 2021 semester starts this week.  With the end of the Fall 2020 semester, I completed three years at Simmons!  Can you believe it?  I now only have three classes left, and if all goes according to plan, I will be graduating in December!  The end is in sight!   After completing my first two years at Simmons, at the end of each year I did posts of the lessons I learned, and some of my takeaways from the program, so I thought I would do it again!  Third time’s the charm!   I learned so much in 2020!  I took three classes—LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics, and LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  I learned how library collections are developed and maintained and I got a thorough understanding of the collections process in LIS 453, I learned all about information and organizational ethics and the ethical implications of decisions within organizations and management in LIS 475.  And, most recently, in LIS 454, I learned all about different types of databases, search…