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

Back at It

                Summer break #1 is over.  It was nice to have a few weeks off, even though I was lazy and didn’t do a lot of the things I meant to do.  But I got to relax, which is great because I don’t think I’m going to relax again until the end of summer term.  I’m taking two classes, LIS 407: Information Sources and Services, and LIS 404: Principles of Management.  Each week of a summer course is equivalent to two weeks of a fall or spring course, so there is a lot of work.  I was expecting this, but I was still shocked when I saw the syllabus for each class.  There is a ton of reading.  A TON.  It’s pretty intimidating.  I am going to have to be super organized to fit in all the reading and the assignments each week.  I know I can do it, but I’m probably going to be miserable the whole time.

                Having said this, I managed to make it through my first week unscathed, and only a teeny bit grumpy ?   Luckily, both classes are extremely interesting and have already given me a lot to think about.  LIS 407 is about how to help others find information, and this week we learned about reference librarians and the reference interview.  The main thing I learned is that there really is an art to helping people find what they are looking for.  You have to ask open-ended questions, closed questions and evaluate the needs of the patrons in a relatively short period of time.  You also have to be a quick thinker.  I am slightly terrified by reference work, because I like to be prepared for everything and couldn’t handle being in a situation where I was asked questions I didn’t know the answer to all day.  But a part of me also thinks that it would be exciting and a great opportunity to learn about a lot of diverse subjects.  I’m looking forward to learning more in the weeks to come.

                In LIS 404, we looked at classical and modern management theories.  I have very little knowledge of systems of management, and everything was pretty new for me here.  One of our assignments was to find an image of a specific theory, post it to our class board, and then comment on the images.  That was overwhelming.   Most of the images contained a lot of jargon and were very busy and not straightforward.  All the arrows and circles and flourishes left me pretty confused, and I wasn’t the only one.  The general consensus among my classmates was that most of the images were ineffective and confusing.  We’ll be expanding on a lot of these concepts in the future, and it will be interesting to look back at these images at the end of the semester to see if I understand them any better. 

                I have two papers due at the end of next week, which I’m already a bit stressed about.  I want to finish at least one of them before the week is over, so that I don’t have to juggle both this weekend.  Fingers crossed I can manage it!