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

Winding Down

Amie Grosshans

There are only two weeks left in the summer semester and I can’t believe it.  It’s gone by fast.  This is the first time I’ve taken only one class, and it’s been very nice.  It’s also been a bit weird, since I’m used to juggling two or three classes and having more work to do.  But I’m not complaining!  We’ve finished the last of the hands-on activities and will have lecture classes and a discussion with a conservator the rest of the semester. 

Two weeks ago, we had our most difficult assignment: making boxes out of heavy paper and corrugated cardboard.  Boxes are created for items that cannot be put directly on the shelves because they are too delicate or because they are damaged.  Creating a custom box for these items gives them physical support and allows them to be handled by the public (with a little bit of caution, of course).  Otherwise, these items would be unavailable.  The boxes have to fit the item perfectly to make sure the item will not move around and potentially incur more damage.  This involves a lot of accurate measuring and math, which is not my strong point. 

The corrugated box was very challenging because one side of the box has to be slightly smaller than the other side to let the box close properly.  That’s where I went off the rails a bit.  I had to measure the height, width, and length of my book, and then add or subtract miniscule measurements to that.  It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve had to add fractions and having to add 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch made my head hurt.  Still, I thought I had marked everything accurately, but after I put my box together, I realized that I had not been as accurate as I thought.  One side fit the book perfectly, but the other side was too small, and the box didn’t close over the book.  However, the box did close without the book, so at least it was functional, which I consider a win for this activity.  Despite the challenges and the headache inducing math, it was very cool to create a box out of a piece of cardboard.  I would absolutely try this again, though, hopefully after sharpening up my math skills.