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

Bryanne McArdle

I’m Bryanne and I’m an Information Science and Technology (IS&T) student at
Simmons SLIS. My focus is on increasing the ability for library users and
other information seekers to get access to the information they need,
especially for under-served populations.

Before studying at SLIS, I worked and volunteered in various museums in
their collections and curation departments, as well as building and running
an internship program for students from high school to college at one of
these institutions. Along with this, I also worked in software
documentation, and in working in these two fields, I found the lovely niche
which landed me in the IS&T concentration.

Other fun facts on me include: I was born and raised in Massachusetts; I
earned my BA from Hobart and William Smith in 2016 after studying Cultural
Anthropology and European Studies; I write short stories and poetry in my
spare time; and I’m an avid gamer of both the computer and tabletop

Entries by Bryanne McArdle


I am sad to say that this will be my last post to the SLIS Student Snippets blog, but not for any sad reason.  It is simply because as of May 20, 2022, I will have graduated and no longer be a Simmons Student, but an alum!  Quite an upgrade if I may say (okay, okay, sorry for the bad joke). Farewells are never my strong suite though and make things too bittersweet for my taste.  So, let’s not make this sign-off somber.  Mainly because I have loved every moment being a Simmons student and almost don’t want it to end.  But everything does come to an end, and it is time to move on to new things, and I hope the transition to being an alum is just as great as being a student. For exactly what the future holds for me is uncertain, like so many things right now, but I am embracing it.  I am looking forward to taking a calculated step in my career as I apply what I learned at…

Finals Approaching

My last set of finals is approaching and I’m both nervous and excited.  But I’m not too worried about what lies ahead.  I have a few group projects and to be honest, I’m really excited to work alongside my peers for this last set of projects.  I am not the kind of person to like group projects.  But I have built good friendships and working relationships with my classmates over the past 2 years, so working together with on these last things just feels right in a way.  It’s a nice way to wrap things up. However, it has been a tough past few weeks for everyone in my classes.  There has been some illness, stress, and just general life things that get in the way.  Having people to work alongside, even though we are all dealing with these issues, helping each other cross the line, just feels right. So as things wrap up, I am excited to work together this last time with everyone and hopefully everything will finish up really nicely. Here’s to…

Career Fair in Review

Last week I attended the Simmons SLIS career fair.  It was a really informative experience that allowed myself and other students to talk to current LIS professionals about current job opportunities and fields that we should keep an eye on.  I personally attended to get an idea of where the field was at.  I used to, before studying for my masters, work for a museum internship program and would attend these fairs on “the other side of the table.”  So, I was going to see what had changed since then, what my perspective as a student had changed, and hopefully to get some information on the state of LIS fields. I walked away feeling much more informed and confident about my job prospects once I graduate this May, regardless of where I end up.  Everyone I talked to was really kind, helpful, and happy to answer questions.  The best thing was a walked away with was interest in fields, like development fundraising research to law libraries, that I had not before.  And as someone who…

Assignments and Resumes

Now is the time in the semester where everything is busy and lots of assignments are due.  These past few weeks since coming back from spring break I have had at least one major assignment due each week.  It has been a little stressful and certainly busy. But even so, the amount of pride and excitement I get when I finish these assignments is great.  I always feel so much more accomplished than I did going into them and often, I am much more confident of my own skills on whatever the topic may have been, from metadata to programming to book reviews.  It is a wonderful sense to become more confident and surer in my abilities. This is also the case with me polishing up my career materials as I creep closer to graduation.  One of the ways I did this was by attending the Resume Revamp hosted by SLA this week.  I was a great event hosted by the Special Library Association Student Chapter at Simmons where they connected students who submitted resumes…

Spring and the Midway Point

The past few weeks have been your standard Boston spring weather.  Beautiful days sometimes going up to even fifty degrees followed by frigid windy days that sting at your face and snow that covers the ground, only to melt in the next few warm days.  Meteorologically speaking, it is a strange time, but so is coming back to classes after a weeklong spring break. For all my classes, we have officially passed the midway point.  It’s a great feeling and my classes have all been going really well.  But it’s also strange to be nearing the end of the semester and, in the grand scheme of things, my time at Simmons.  I’m starting to realize how much I will miss my classes.  I know that may be strange to say, but I did miss the lectures and discussions last week, and it made me start thinking about the future.  But let’s not dwell on melancholy topics. I am truly excited to really start getting into my assignments for the end of the semester.  I have…

Spring Break?

Next week will be Spring break, and the first one I’ve had since 2016 when I graduated with my BA.  It feels almost surreal as I haven’t had one since being an undergrad due to covid.  It’s left me wondering exactly what will I do with my time off? Of course, part of me will still be working on some course work.  I have some long-term books and projects that are due at the end of the semester that I would like to get a start on.  But I also really need to take this time to relax before the end of my last semester kicks into gear.  It will be a balancing act. But spring break is always a good midpoint marker and it’s weird to think that this semester is nearly half-way over.  It has gone by so fast and has been so great.  I hope I can continue to enjoy it as things turn towards the end and get ready for whatever lays ahead for me. But like I said earlier, I…

SLIS Townhalls

Most of the time when people think about townhalls, espeically now, they are often political events that lead to a lot of talking and side handed comments.  But that is never the case with SLIS townhalls.  In fact, they are usually the complete opposite.  I did not hear about townhalls until I joined SLIS, but not long after, I started to realize how great they are.  And last night’s meeting was no exception.  For anyone who might not know what a townhall is, traditionally, they are when the voting members of a town meet together in one space and disscuss and vote on issues for their town.  I grew up going to many and they have a whole section of literature on them in American politics.  If you’re interested in those topics, I highly recommend researching more. SLIS townhall’s follow a similar format, but because we are usually like-minded individuals all associated with SLIS, the usual bad blood between neighbors need not apply.  And that’s what makes them so great.  While I haven’t always been…

A Snowy Boston Day

Over the weekend, a huge blizzard hit the area and blanketed everything in snow.  I’m a born New Englander, so this weather doesn’t faze me at all.  I actually really love all kinds of storms, but especially snowstorms, since you can ski and snowshoe after.  But there is always an issue when the snow falls, and if you aren’t used to snow, you may not realize it.  Where to put all of it?  Snow stays around, especially when it’s cold.  And after the storm on Saturday, there’s was a lot of snow that’s wasn’t going anywhere. For me, I simply just strap on my boots, put on my warm jacket, and off I go.  Sure, the commute into Boston took longer and the trains had some issues, especially since some plows accidentally took out a few of the crossing guards while cleaning up (oops).  But I realized when I got to campus and chatting with fellow students, that my attitude of how normal this is, is not always the case.  For the Simmons students who…

Returning to Campus, freeform style

The sound of the train pulling up to the platform, ~~~ The squeak of metal, ~~~ The quiet and noise of the people in the ancient subway, ~~~ So many people, but with so little interaction, ~~~ The way the car weaves and bobs, ~~~ Jerking me awake from time to time, ~~~ Until my stop comes, ~~~ And I walk the streets, ~~~ Filled with busy people, frantic cars, and bored buses, ~~~ The cold air feels refreshing, ~~~ Until campus looms, ~~~ The smiles of students, ~~~ the hum of excitement, ~~~ the murmuring of studies, ~~~ and the focus of lunch, ~~~ Makes this place feel like an oasis in the city ~~~ Of learning, of fun, and of community ~~~ I’m glad to be back.

Why I Enjoy Finals

I’m probably one of the few people who really enjoys when the end of a semester approaches and all our final projects and papers are due.  I understand why others don’t share this sentiment; all of the deadlines are certainly stressful.  But there’s something about that chaos that creates this comradery across the students. I noticed this at Simmons when my classes were online last year, but now that I am on campus, there is no denying it.  There is something I personally enjoy walking through the hallways and seeing everyone studying, helping each other, offering seats to people who need them so you can go over those notes before the exam, to just letting people nap when they need it.  There’s just something so, I would say magical, but really, it’s that sense of community everyone gets and encourages each other to push through it to make it through to the other side. And that’s what I really enjoy, this sense of community that everyone gets around this time.  All of the students, regardless…

Making Sense of Misinformation in our Everyday Lives

With Thanksgiving coming, here, or past (whenever you the reader are oriented date-wise), I’m always thinking about how when I was in elementary school in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Thanksgiving was always about turkeys with multi-colored tails, or pastel colored-fake Native headdresses, or black construction paper Pilgrim hats.  All of which are wrong on many levels.  And when you’re attending a school of library and information science, emphasis on the information part, the level of wrong only becomes more clear, and uncomfortable. As a native New Englander who grew up with wild turkeys in my backyard, even as a child I could tell you they do not have tail feathers that are bright yellow, red, green, and blue.  Real turkeys are terrifying miniature dinosaurs that will attack you for so much as looking at them wrong.  So why did I take that lie as nothing, and not think that maybe all of it was wrong, or at least off?  The true answer was I was a child, and as much as I would…

Ode to the SLIS Lounge

Opine for gossip The long knowing microwave beeps The sound that fills the space before a bite or sip ~~~ Discussions of theoretical leaps Of job postings that best fit our skills The latest weekly crisis crawls in, seeping ~~~ It all shows the academic hills that we climb everyday Trying to understand our own desires within what the world wills ~~~ But this is the point of spaces like this, the way for us to connect, whether physical or digital we find to connect and stay ~~~ It’s multifunctional And never illogical

Taking a Moment to Enjoy the Semester

It feels like only yesterday that the semester started, even though I know that’s not the case.  I could get into the semantics of how short in reality a semester is, usually a mere 14 weeks, and how much shorter seven weeks are.  But debating time and how long (or what it is really) doesn’t have much of a place on a Library and Information School blog.  Unless we’re discussing the concepts of cataloging or creating dates for Metadata. This is the first semester that I have had an on-campus course, mainly due to the pandemic.  Last year they were all online and mostly asynchronous, with the exception of one that had a synchronous lecture via Zoom.  And while it was not how I originally intended to study for my MLIS, I wasn’t too bothered by it.  I had always intended to take a mix of online and in-person courses as I wanted to continue working a day-job while working towards my degree, the pandemic just made me change the percentage I envisioned with more…

The Pandemic Effect

I’m sure this is a buzz word in some circle.  Maybe it’s a phrase that’s used so much now it just counts as normal vernacular at this point.  I’m not quite sure.  Just like I’m not really sure how during a global pandemic I was able to apply, enroll, and succeed at a Library Science Program.  It’s all kind of…a nebulous mystery.  Just like the where on Earth this past year a more has gone?! But at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I enrolled to study ways to increase people’s accessibility to resources and information, just as everyone suddenly needed access to resources and information in an extremely turbulent time.  When politics and divisions were highlighted, I got to see clearly where I had wanted to shine a spotlight focused on by others too.  It was incredibility reaffirming in my choices. So, all in all, the pandemic effect has not been a bad thing for me.  You just have to look at it differently, like looking at the pretty colors…