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

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…


Adventures in Weeding

We’re focusing on weeding this week.  I’ve covered this topic in two other classes, so I am pretty comfortable with it and know most of the criteria used to weed.  But I’ve never had first-hand weeding experience until this week.  I’ve been working as an on-call librarian assistant at my hometown library once a month since August, and I love it.  I’ve been working mainly at the circulation desk, checking out books, preparing holds for curbside pickup, and answering the phone.  But in a fun coincidence, this week I worked on weeding!  The library weeds here and there on a regular basis, but every few years there is a larger weeding project.  While weeding is based on several criteria, including the condition of the book and whether it contains outdated information, the main criteria my library used was checkout data.  If the book had not circulated in the past ten years, then it was on the list to be weeded. I had to weed the books in the 300’s, which is the social sciences.  This…


Planning and Researching for IPI

This weekend, I walked to Brookline to run errands and lingered in Brookline Village, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods and pretty near Simmons. The old buildings (especially the Bank of America at Coolidge Corner) and bustling streets are really nice to explore, even these days. It’s also the only place I can find quarters to do laundry! April has been extremely busy so far, since my research partner and I are conducting a lot of focus groups. Over these four hour-long interviews, we’re planning to build a comprehensive understanding of student and staff experience in the Inter-Professional Informationist post-masters certificate program at SLIS. This pilot program is for librarians who either currently hold or want to take on inter-professional informationist roles, as librarians who embed with biomedical research or clinical teams.  Planning and carrying out this research has been really rewarding and challenging so far. Working with my amazing research partner has also been a highlight of the process, and I’m so glad not to be doing this project alone! As I’ve mentioned…