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

New Semester, New Class

Sarah Callanan

Summer break is over, and the Fall 2020 semester has officially started!  I didn’t do too much during the break—the pandemic sort of limits your summer break activities.  I did a lot of baking, and I saw my sister for the first time since the pandemic started!  We had a socially distanced picnic.  I really enjoyed the time off from school, but I’m happy to be back in the saddle again!  

As I mentioned in my last post, I am taking LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers this semester, and we had our first class session this week!   This is an exciting new experience for me as the class is being taught live over Zoom, and I’ve never taken a class taught in this particular format.  I’ve said in several of my past blog posts that I’ve wanted to take an in-person class for a while, and this class was originally scheduled to be in-person in Boston—it was just adapted to an online synchronous live format because of COVID-19.  While I have had a few live sessions in some of my other classes, they were formatted a bit differently, were a lot shorter, and were more of a chance to ask questions.  Our first class for LIS 454 was more of an introduction session where we went over the syllabus, what the course was going to be like, and we got to know the professor and our fellow classmates.  While I really enjoy asynchronous online classes and I definitely feel that the participation forums are lively, one of the things that I have really missed from in-person classes is seeing and getting to know my classmates.   Even though LIS 454 is an online class, it is synchronous, and our weekly live sessions almost feel like being in a classroom because I can see and hear my classmates and professor, and we are interacting in real-time.  Something that I need to do before our next class session is brush up on my Zoom skills—I feel like I’m the only person who hasn’t been using Zoom religiously since the pandemic started (I’ve mostly been using other videoconferencing platforms).  I’ve used Zoom a few times, but I realized during class that I’m nowhere near as familiar with it as I would like to be.  In this class, we’re going to be learning about databases and different search strategies, as well as e-resources and the evolving roles of electronic resources librarians.  We learned about some databases and search strategies in LIS 407: Information Sources and Services and I’m pretty familiar with a number of health sciences databases and different search strategies because of my job in an academic health sciences library, but I’m excited to learn more about different types of databases!  I’m also really interested in e-resources and I find the work that electronic resources librarians do fascinating, so I’m eager to dive in!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress throughout the semester!  It looks like we have some exciting projects and guest speakers coming up so stay tuned!