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

Changing Direction

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to when I was applying to college for the first time.  I had several conversations with my dad that went like this:

             DAD:    You should major in computer science! 

            ME:      Ugh, no!  I’m artsy, not techy!

My dad is a computer engineer (happily retired now, although still the go-to computer troubleshooter for everyone in our large extended family), and he wanted me to major in something useful that could get me a job after graduation.  I, on the other hand, wanted to major in something that I enjoyed, like history and writing.  I majored in art history and ended up working at an accounting firm, which was not what I was expecting, but I have no regrets.

I’m bringing this up because I had a full-circle moment last week.  I decided to switch out of the archives concentration and into a design your own concentration focusing on…drumroll please…computers.  Specifically, my focus is going to be on digitalization, digital libraries, and programming.  I’m excited about it, and surprised, too.  The technology course was the one I was most worried about heading into this semester.  But programming is not as scary as I thought it would be.  In fact, it’s actually quite straightforward and logical, as long as you follow the rules.  All the code has to be entered in a particular order, and if you forget a single comma or add an extra space somewhere, it will not work.  That is very frustrating and can take a long time to troubleshoot.  I’ve had a few assignments that I spent unnecessary hours on because I made silly mistakes.  But it’s gotten easier with each assignment and will hopefully continue to get easier the more I practice. 

The most important thing is that I love it, and I want to learn more.  Libraries are integrating new technology all the time, and someone needs to keep up with, teach, and develop that technology.  I want to be that someone!  So last week I spoke to my potential new advisor and he answered all of my questions and gave me good advice.  I’ve made a tentative plan of classes I want to take, including metadata, digital stewardship, digital libraries, and social informatics.  I’m looking forward to learning everything that I can, and I can’t wait to see where this is going to take me in the future.