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

Blogs: The Perfect Remedy to Academic Article Overload

I know that as grad students, we are never in short supply of something to read. Between class work, research, any reading for the plethora of part-time jobs and internships we take on, and just trying to keep up with the latest work coming out in our particular field, it is truly surprising that our eyes don’t just go on strike and refuse to read one more word!

But if, by some miracle, you should find yourself in need of something to read, might I suggest exploring the vast world of the blogosphere? With writing of every skill-level on every topic imaginable, there is no shortage of 500-word snippets to tempt any literary palette. I know the selection pool can seem overwhelming, so allow me to suggest a few of my personal favorites to get you started. In no particular order, here they are…

  • Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac

Link: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/

This blog is perfect for a librarian in search of a book for read-aloud time, a parent browsing for a new book for their little ones, a teacher looking to plan a themed lesson for the day, or anyone else looking for some new book recommendations. Every day Ms. Silvey (who happens to be a professor at our very own Simmons College in the Children’s Literature department) highlights a new children’s book every day of the year. She somehow manages to tie the book’s theme or author to the significance of any particular date, whether it be via a little-known holiday or an author’s birthday. Besides providing a summary and a snippet from the text, Ms. Silvey delves into her many years of experience in the publishing field and tells us a delightful or inspiring tale about the writing or publishing process of the particular title for the day. Trust me, there are some fun stories lurking in the archives of her blog, just waiting to be unearthed.

  • Oh My Disney

Link: http://blogs.disney.com/

So I’m a child at heart…don’t judge 🙂 Anyone who knows me knows how much of a Disney fan I am, so when I discovered that Disney maintains a fan blog, I was immediately hooked! With daily posts on everything from why we all love Pocahontas’ hair to the newest park attractions, this is the site for the truest of Disney fans. Take a quiz to learn which Disney princess’s style you should channel, browse a new collection of mugs from the Disney Store, learn how to make a pair of DIY personalized Mickey ears, or read up on the limited-time treats available during Christmas at the Disney parks. And if you need a reason to justify your reading, just tell yourself you are doing market research for the children-centered field you are pursuing. That sounds adult enough, right?

  • VSauce

Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/Vsauce

Ok, this one is actually a vlog, rather than the traditionally written blog, but I will argue it still counts…it is a method of communicating a set amount of information on a particularly-chosen topic in a compact format. Unlike the other blogs, VSauce’s topics of exploration are pretty far removed from the literary world. The creator of the Youtube channel and the host of all the videos, Michael, does an amazing job of breaking down scientific and psychological questions and principles into universally understandable and (surprisingly) entertaining language. Answering questions like “Why are things cute?” or “Who owns the moon?”, Michael succinctly breaks down volumes of research into beautifully-constructed 10-minute videos. This vlog is perfect for those moments when you are missing the hard sciences in the midst of literary critical interpretation.

So if you’ve read every entry here on Student Snippets and are still not ready to go back to your homework, take a gander through a few of these blogs and expand your mind…but then get back to business! 🙂