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

Three Courses and a Practicum 

It’s been a while since I last posted; I moved out of my old apartment in Allston, moved into a new one in Needham, and started the semester off on a very rocky foot. Who knew having a lease end on August 31st and the next lease not starting until September 15th would be so stressful? I also have a habit of completely rethinking all of my classes the second the semester begins. Thankfully (and hopefully), I feel like I’ve reached the point where I’m really enjoying all my classes, have cemented my schedule in place, and can now thrive! 

I’m currently taking two online classes and one in person. On campus I’m taking LIS 443/HIST 527: Archives, History, and Collective Memory. It’s a fascinating class that dives into how record-keeping and the writing of history entangle with the complexities of social memory. The course culminates in a semester-long project in which groups must break down an event, person, or era in terms of how it has been collectively remembered over time. 

In terms of online classes, I am taking LIS 453: Collections Development and Management, a course that analyzes how libraries develop and manage their collections (obviously). Along with readings, video lectures, discussions, and activities, my professor has been inviting guest speakers from the field each week to answer questions relevant to our class based on their own experiences. Over the course of the semester we’ll be formulating a collection development policy for a real institution of our choosing; I’ve chosen the Fleet Library at RISD as I’m very interested in academic art libraries!

I’m also taking LIS 438: Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice, a required course for students in the Archives and Cultural Heritage Informatics concentrations that includes a 60-hour internship. Before the semester started, we were all asked to fill out a personal profile in order for the field placement coordinator to find us an appropriate position. Unfortunately my current schedule did not match with that of my assigned supervisor’s, so I got placed in the remote practicum conducted by Simmons. I was a little worried at first about not getting the real-world experience, but I’m very excited about the collection I’ll be working with! I’ll be surveying and creating a processing plan, a finding aid, and a digital exhibit for 250 records originally from the American Textile History Museum. When the Museum closed in 2016, the Simmons University Archives took on 1,500 of their documents. I have an undergraduate degree in art history, conducted a lot of work in museum studies, and am in love with textile history, so I am super excited about this practicum! Hopefully my next update will be how well these projects are going.