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

Emily Boyd

My name is Emily and I am from Woodstock Vermont. I graduated from Northeastern University in 2012 and started at GSLIS in January 2013. I’m about halfway through the program and am really enjoying myself so far. Someday I hope put my MLS degree to use in a public library or perhaps a corporate setting. In my free time I love to read, explore restaurants and bars, cheer for the Red Sox, and spend time with family and friends. I really love that this blog allows me to share my GSLIS experience with prospective students.



Entries by Emily Boyd

  • How to be a Public Library Director in 5 Very Packed Days

    I got to spend last week talking about one of my favorite things, public libraries, with one of my favorite professors, Mary Wilkins Jordan. During my time at Simmons (so far) I’ve taken three intensive courses and I must say I love the format. While learning about the many aspects of library management (budgeting, outreach, programming, evaluation, collection development, and advocacy to name a few) in one week was a bit overwhelming at times, it’s also a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly and get to the heart of issues. Many people in graduate school, especially at GSLIS, are also working and do not always have a whole semester to devote to classes like LIS 450 Organization and Management of Public Libraries and the week-long intensive format is a great alternative. The class was structured in five jam-packed days over the course of one week and we covered a lot of ground in a very short time. This is a subject that I’m incredibly passionate about so it was wonderful to be…

  • Semester Wrap Up and a Library Gala

    My final “real” semester of school has finally wrapped up and it was quite a whirlwind! Had I known how difficult it would be to simultaneously juggle two intense classes and two demanding part time jobs I’m not sure I would’ve done it. That said, looking back I’m happy I survived and managed to find a reasonable amount of balance along the way. Next Friday I will participate in the GSLIS graduation ceremony and receive an empty diploma as I still have two courses left before I’m officially done. I’m looking forward to listening to our speaker David Weinberger and participating in the ceremony. The courses I’ll be taking over the summer are both week long intensives and should be a lot of fun. First I’ll be taking LIS 430 Organization and Management of Public Libraries the last week of May with Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan. I started this class in the fall semester but dropped it (because I signed up for too many classes) and I think it will be a fun and informative week….

  • March Madness

    Clever title, right? It’s fitting because of everything going on right now, I cannot believe March is almost over already! This semester ends in just about a month and I’ll have finished 10 of 12 classes to graduate. In fact, just this week GSLIS made an exciting announcement, August grads (like me) will be able to walk at the May graduation ceremony. Although it will feel weird to receive a (fake) diploma for a degree I haven’t technically earned yet, I’m so excited to participate in the graduation ceremony! The one downside of finishing in the summer was that I thought I wouldn’t get to walk at graduation, so props to Simmons for changing their policy. It wouldn’t feel real to me if I didn’t participate in a graduation ceremony to make it official. March madness doesn’t just refer to school and my basketball bracket, last week I accepted a full-time job starting in June! I’ll be working for a tech startup company called Green Mountain Digital working on an amazing (and free!) app called…

  • 180 Degree Perception Change

    In the fall of 2011, when I first started telling friends and family I was planning to pursue a masters degree in library and information science, the response across the board was something to the effect of “you need a masters degree to be a librarian?” I would reply by saying things along the lines of “well libraries are about a lot more than books” and “technology is so key now, I’ve got a lot to learn.” This all sounds well and good, but at the time I think I was more or less parroting back what I’d read and heard from those already in the field. I knew this was all true, but in the back of my mind a little voice kept asking “is it really about more than books?”. This self doubt was justified, especially given that the public image of a librarian is a matronly woman surrounded by books making shushing noises. That said, it didn’t take me long at Simmons to realize that, yes, it’s about a whole lot more…

  • Beginning of the End

    That’s not entirely true, I’ve got so much work to plow through between now and the end of spring semester that at times I feel like I’ll never be done. However, Wednesday afternoon I signed up for my last ever classes at GSLIS. True to form, I’m taking the road less travelled and finishing up my GSLIS career with two weeklong intensive courses over the summer, including one that I think is intended for archive students. My final semester as a masters student will be done in short intensive bursts. I’ll spend the last week of May taking LIS 450: Organization and Management of Public Libraries, a class I’d planned to take in the fall semester but timing hadn’t worked out. The second course will meet for two three day periods during the month of July, LIS 425: History of the Book. I’m most looking forward to LIS 425, in fact, it’s the class that made me originally decide I wanted to go to school to become a librarian. I remember very distinctly the day…

  • There’s Nothing Part-Time About My Schedule

    As of this semester I’m officially a part-time student, doesn’t that sound nice? It implies that I have tons of extra time when I’m not doing schoolwork. The same applies when I mention my part-time job, sounds like I’ve got all the free time in the world. The picture quickly changes when I start doing the math: one part-time job of about 25 hours a week and another of 10 or more hours and I’m quickly at 35 hours! Add in two classes, one in person and one online, a weekly commute to Boston and all these part-times are suddenly adding up. You thought being a full-time student was hard? Try being a part-time student. At first this seems like an oxymoron, how would taking fewer classes be more demanding? I’d never thought about this until I became one of the part-timers, and six weeks in I’m finding it incredibly challenging. It’s no wonder, just look at my schedule! When you’re a full-time student, school is your primary focus, this is no longer the case…

  • Write. Edit. Repeat.

    I started writing this blog just over a year ago, right as I started at GSLIS. When I had been a prospective student I enjoyed reading the posts of current students and was happy to be able to contribute experiences when I became a student. Lately I’ve been happier than ever that I got involved outside of classes in the form of this blog because my job is requiring a lot of writing. When I first started writing blog posts that would be posted at the end of the week I would write an outline one day, a first draft the next day and edit a third day before finally submitting. I promise I’m not a perfectionist, very far from it, but writing has always taken me a long time, and in order to prevent typos I need to look at it more than once. While this may sound excessive, I’m ultimately glad I spent so much time editing and reworking my writing last spring while I had more time to devote to it. Not…

  • 2014 Olympics Fun Facts

    It may be a stereotype, but in my experience it has been true, that librarians (and archivists) love their trivia. In anticipation of the Olympics starting this weekend I decided to find some Olympics fun facts for all your trivia needs. The student lounge on campus is a place where lots of great trivia tidbits are exchanged and I hope to put some of these to use in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to having lots of olympic action on in the background while I catch up on homework and try to keep warm in the bitter cold. So, because its 2014, I think its only appropriate to provide you with 14 fun facts about the Olympics, past and present, to use to impress your friends and family. 1. The Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece is rekindled every two years using the sun’s rays and a concave reflective mirror. 2. With a total of 303, Norway leads with the most medals from the winter games through 2010. The U.S. is second with 253….

  • Hidden Value in Boring Courses

     I’m about to say something that may shock you. Not all classes in library school are riveting. One in particular is considered by many to be the most boring class they could possibly imagine. This course has only recently been removed from the list of core courses and I’m here to suggest that when you come to GSLIS, you take that boring course. This infamously boring course is LIS 403 Evaluation of Information Services. Perhaps the name is a giveaway for why it might be considered a bit of a snooze. In truth, no it wasn’t my favorite class to sit through, for three hours, in the evenings, on Mondays, but I am now applying so much of what I learned to my current library job. Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan did her best to keep classes lively and interesting, and considering that the subject matter is dry, I’d say she succeeded most of the time. The real value of the class was the semester long assignment to create a research proposal for a theoretical evaluation….

  • Best of the Best: My Favorites of the 100 Books I Read Last Year

    I hope everyone has had a nice relaxing holiday season full of fun, food, and family. I for one enjoyed the break from classes but did not have much opportunity to slow down otherwise. As my last post suggested, 2013 was an incredibly busy year for me and 2014 promises much of the same. Of everything I accomplished in the last year, reading 100 books is one of the things I’m most proud of- even if it did take me a few days into the new year to complete. I read some awesome books this year so I thought now would be a great time to offer my suggestions. I had originally intended to summarize my top five favorite books, but then I went through my list and I had not five, but twenty books I absolutely had to share! Clearly that’s too many to summarize in a short blog post. That said, before I give my list of favorites I think it’s worth noting the range of genres represented on this list. Trying to…

  • Year in Review

    Wow, what a whirlwind 2013 has been! It feels like yesterday I was starting my first class at GSLIS and now I am 2/3 of the way done with my degree. Instead of a usual post, this week I decided to follow the trend of year end blog posts and write a list of everything I’ve accomplished in 2013. This year I: Moved back to Boston and started the Simmons GSLIS program Started writing for the Student Snippets blog Experienced the horrible events of the Marathon Bombing with friends, classmates, and fellow Bostonians Travelled to Rome with GSLIS and then visited Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary with an old friend Visited Chicago for the first time and attended the American Library Association’s Annual Conference Spent a week in Northern Michigan with one of my best friends and her family Started working as a Reference Assistant at the Norman Williams Public Library Watched the Red Sox win the World Series!!! Commuted between Boston and Vermont for four months without going (too) crazy Started another job working for…

  • Confessions of a Book-Loving Librarian

    I have a confession to make, I wanted to become a librarian because I love books. Shocking, I know. If you are new to the profession this may not seem odd, of course librarians love books. However, one of the first things I learned when entering the library world is that books are far from the main focus. In fact, librarians are actively trying to work against the misconception that working in a library means sitting around and reading all day. Alas, part of me wishes that were the case, but in the short time since I began work in a public library I have spent maybe thirty minutes of work time reading. That said, the larger part of me is glad to have discovered that working in a library involves so much more than helping patrons find books. Although reader’s advisory and chatting with patrons about their latest reads are among my favorite parts of working in a small library, I like the tricky reference questions much more. To be successful in this profession,…

  • Where were you 50 years ago?

    My answer to this question would be nowhere, my mother was six and my father was thirteen so I was not even a thought fifty years ago. Despite their young ages both my parents remember exactly where they were, and so do the majority of patrons walking into the library today. The mood is really interesting as each patron sees our book display and instantly starts to reflect about where they were and how they felt when President John F. Kennedy was shot. With all the media buildup to the anniversary of this infamous day I have become somewhat desensitized and didn’t give any thought into how I would feel on the actual day. I’m so interested to hear more stories as the day goes on and to reflect on how one event changed our country’s history. Working with the public every day as many pros and a few cons, today the pros most certainly outweigh any cons. Today I am so grateful to get to work in an environment where I can learn more…

  • Bad Grade? No Big Deal

    I’ve mentioned once or twice that advising and personal connections with professors was severely lacking from my undergraduate experience.  Now in my third semester at GSLIS I’m still amazed by the dedication professors exhibit to each student. My professors not only want me to succeed at GSLIS, they are truly invested in making sure I come out of my time at Simmons with skills to thrive professionally. A couple weeks ago I wrote a literature review as part of a large assignment for my evaluation class.  After we turned in our assignments, my professor, Mary Wilkins Jordan, explained to the class that things had not gone well and most of us would need to revise or entirely rewrite. She kindly told the class not to stress about grades, the goal is to learn how to write literature reviews and she offered to help us create literature reviews worth reading.  With that heads up, I was not at all surprised to see that my literature review came back with a horrendous grade and I knew I…

  • World Series Champs!

    In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days: THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!! One of the best things about living in Boston is the sports culture. People here are passionate about sports, and our teams are among the best (the best if you ask me!). Of all the Boston teams the Red Sox are my favorite, in fact, during the 2007 playoffs I camped out overnight outside of Fenway Park in order to get tickets!  Needless to say, when the Sox won on Wednesday evening I was beyond thrilled. With everything the city has gone through this year it felt really wonderful to see everyone come together to celebrate a big win. In honor of my favorite sports event of the year here are some fun facts and historical tidbits about the Red Sox and historic Fenway Park: The first World Series took place in 1903 in Boston at a long gone ballpark on Huntington Avenue, today part of (my alma mater) Northeastern University’s campus. Opened in 1912,…

  • That Time Already?

    It’s hard to believe, but yes, this week I chose my courses for the spring semester! My new classes don’t start for nearly three months but I’m sure that will go by in the blink of an eye. I did not sign up for any online courses but who knows if that will change in the coming months. While looking through past course evaluations to determine which professor might be the best for the dreaded and difficult LIS 415 Information Organization, aka Cataloging, I got some great advice from the all knowing Student Services Manager Richard Gates. Prior to Wednesday I had never interacted with Richard other than reading his many emails providing students with crucial information about course registration and events on campus. He is such a wealth of knowledge and I gladly accepted his advice about potential courses and professors. Once again I was reminded how different my graduate school experience has been compared with my undergraduate. At Simmons it seems like there is always someone available to help, from advisors to professors…

  • Long Weekend!

    This semester started just over a month ago (although it feels like longer) and I’ve been going nonstop, this weekend it’s time for a break. Three of my closest friends from college are coming up to Vermont to enjoy the long Columbus Day weekend and I cannot wait for them to arrive! On Sunday we will be running in Harpoon Brewery’s Annual Oktoberfest Road Race and enjoying the festival afterwards. I am researching the Boston Beer Company (aka Sam Adams) for my Business Reference class so I can count sampling Harpoon beers as research, right? In more library related news, both of my Monday classes will be online this week instead of meeting in person. This works well because it allows me an extra day off to enjoy time with friends and a great opportunity to experience an online class. Registration for the spring semester starts next week (hard to believe) and I’m hoping this week of online classes will help me choose which format will work best for my schedule next semester. Finding balance…

  • Closed Until Further Notice

    The government shutdown this week has me reflecting on my work with the National Park Service and what it means to be a public servant. With this partial shutdown has come a great deal of confusion and frustration from the general population and government employees alike. The National Park Service seeks to provide access and interpretation to our nation’s most treasured and unique places, something I think we can agree appeals to members of all political factions. The shutdown came mere days after “Forest Festival Weekend” at my national park, the biggest event in our calendar. This year the event was an absolute success, with perfect weather and visitors from all over the country. It was truly a weekend when I felt proud to be a federal employee and represent my country as I shared my amazing park with so many visitors. On Monday my boss sent an email to our staff expressing how he thought the weekend went: “I wanted to pause for a moment to recognize and thank all of you for providing…

  • Banned Book Week

    This year the American Library Association (ALA) has deemed the week of September 22-28 to be Banned Books Week. According to the ALA website: “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.” (Get more info at: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek) The lofty goals of this movement are very noble. Censorship is a huge issue that needs to be discussed more openly and this week brings a lot of awareness.  That said, in my opinion, talking about banned books can quickly become very dramatic. The concept of Banned Books Week seems somewhat…

  • My iPad is Mad at Me, and Other Fun Technical Things

    Last week my iPad and I got into a fight. I’m not sure what I did to upset it but it refused to cooperate. This led to a long (but thankfully free) visit to the Apple store. As it turned out, there was a software issue that wasn’t my fault at all, and the Apple Genius even told me he could tell I take great care of my iPad. I was less excited to learn that I have been using the “iCloud” storage function entirely wrong. I added insult to injury when I mentioned I should know better seeing as I’m working towards a degree in Information Science! The Apple Genius laughed and kindly taught me how to use the storage function more efficiently in the future. Although it’s never fun admitting that you don’t know something I’m glad to have had the whole system explained to me, not only for my own selfish reasons but also so I can explain it to other people who have difficulties. Despite having some technical mishaps in my…

  • Back to the Grind

    One week of commuting down and three months to go… Does that sound pessimistic? I really don’t mean it to. On the contrary, my week of commuting went better than expected! I used both two hour bus rides to catch up on my leisure reading and had three full days in Boston for classes, schoolwork and catching up on errands (including lunch and a shopping trip to the Copley Plaza with my aunt). After a full semester in the spring and my trip to Rome over the summer, GSLIS is finally starting to feel like home. I already know at least one student in each of my classes and a couple of my professors as well. As I mentioned in my last post, I have signed up for four courses with the intention of dropping one and this decision is proving more difficult than I had anticipated. I had hoped after the first week of classes I would have a clear idea of which course I should drop. That was not the case, I absolutely…

  • Whirlwind Summer Wind Down

    Yesterday I was getting on a plane for Rome, right? It feels that way anyhow. I cannot believe it is the end of August and summer is coming to a close. I don’t remember a summer in recent history where I did so much or went through so many changes in such a short period of time. What a ride it has been and now, just as my routine feels settled, things are about to shift again. I am in the midst of my last full week at my job with the National Park Service and I start my new public library job on September 5th! The fall promises to be full of challenges that come with a new job, new classes, and a new schedule, but I cannot wait to get things started. I will be working a few more hours per week this semester than last and with three classes, my time management skills are going to get a workout. That said, I will finally have personal experience working in a library to…

  • Bookstock 2013 and My New Job

    Last weekend marked the fifth annual literary festival in Woodstock, Vermont, whimsically named Bookstock. This event brings together many community groups and businesses including the public library, both of the independent book stores in town, the National Park Service, and private vendors. I’ve been able to participate in this weekend long celebration of the written word through my job with the National Park Service and it is absolutely a highlight of the summer. The event appeals to tourists and locals alike and really offers something for everyone. In addition to a tent of exhibitors there is also a huge used book sale; I was able to get 6 books for $10! Quite a steal! I am so happy to see this event thriving and expanding every year because community events like Bookstock are why I want to work for a small public library. (Interested in learning more? Check out: http://www.bookstockvt.org/) Starting in September I will have a new job that I hope will allow me access to more behind scenes details of similar community events….

  • ALA Conference: Chicago Summer 2013

    My fantastic summer of adventures has come to a close. I am home in Vermont settling back into a routine of working full-time for the National Park Service and part-time as a waitress at the local (only) restaurant in town.  I have been home for two weeks already and my brain is still buzzing from my experiences in Chicago attending the American Library Association’s Annual Conference.  So many librarians in one place! I had a fabulous time traveling with new friends from GSLIS and catching up with old friends from undergrad during spare moments away from the conference. Highlights from my trip include: Opening remarks from Freakonomics author Steven D.  Levitt Attending a panel of graphic novel authors and artists who discussed the growing popularity of the graphic novel format Trying my first ever Chicago style hot dog Engaging in a heated discussion about the role of prison libraries at the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable Listening to nominees for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction praise the role of libraries as important…

  • GSLIS Goes to Rome!

    Ciao! I’ve been absent from blogging for the last few weeks because I have been on a whirlwind tour of Europe. My travels took me to Rome and the surrounding countryside; including day trips to Florence, the Mediterranean Sea, and a day of wine tasting in Orvieto. After the course ended, I extended my visit further east to Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary. I’ve returned to the states inspired, overwhelmed, and reassured once again about how much I love GSLIS. This was the first time Simmons has taken GSLIS students to Rome and while the trip was not without its glitches, overall the experience was wonderful. We stayed in a beautiful neighborhood full of cafes, wine bars, and restaurants and had easy access to all of Rome’s historic sites. Highlights of the trip included our day trips outside of the city, a fabulous tour of the colosseum, and eating my way through the city of Rome. Lest I forget, I should also mention that we were in Rome to take a class. My Intellectual Freedom and…

  • Let the Adventure Begin: Summer 2013

    This week has finally arrived! I leave for Rome on Thursday and I could not be more excited to get this adventure started! I look forward to sharing all my stories when I’m back from my European travels. I’ve spent the last few weeks recovering from my first semester at GSLIS, preparing for my trip to Rome, and getting a kickstart on my summer reading list. Other than the short course I am taking in Rome (LIS 493 Intellectual Freedom and Censorship), I will have a school-work free summer and I plan to spend the extra time reading everything I can get my hands on. I recently stumbled upon a great blog called “Beerbrarian” by a librarian in the DC area named Jacob Berg. “The Four-and-a-Half Types of People I met in Job Interviews in May” is a recent post that caught my eye about his experience interviewing candidates for a position at his library (check it out here http://beerbrarian.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-four-and-half-types-of-people-i-met.html). The post raises a lot of really interesting points about the interview process in general…

  • Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

    It seems like only yesterday I was starting my first day at GSLIS.  This semester has flown by and left me invigorated to learn more.  All four classes I took this semester have reassured me that the GSLIS program is absolutely the right place for me and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I started this semester with no friends in the program, very little knowledge of the library profession, and no specific academic focus.  Only a few months later, I am finishing my first semester with good grades in all my classes (fingers crossed!), a great group of friends, and a decision to focus on public libraries. When I first started classes in January, I had no idea how much my life was about to change. I leave for Rome in just under a month and could not be more excited. In addition to taking three classes in the fall and continuing to write for this blog, I have also accepted a leadership position in a student organization. I have been…

  • Awesome Advising

    I have reached the inevitable point in every semester where all I can think about is how excited I am for next semester. In addition to being very excited about my upcoming trip to Rome (less than seven weeks to go!), I am looking ahead to courses for the fall. With class selection right around the corner I turned to my advisor for some advice (go figure) about the best classes to take in the fall. The GSLIS program only consists of twelve classes and with five core courses already spoken for we only get seven electives. This may seem like a large number but considering the fact that those seven courses represent your focus and areas of expertise it is important to choose them carefully. For a student such as myself who is very undecided about my future career path choosing classes becomes an even more delicate task. It is for this reason that I am so thankful to have my fabulous advisor. My experience with advisors during my undergrad was less than satisfactory…

  • Restaurant Week

    Other than all things library and literary, I am also very passionate about food. I love exploring different restaurants and trying new things, I will eat just about anything. Although I’m absolutely loving library school thus far, I realize I’ve been spending nearly every waking moment thinking about school and need to spend a bit more time relaxing. Enter restaurant week. Boston is a fantastic city with lots of fun events throughout the year and one of my favorites is restaurant week. Twice annually, once in March and again in August, this event is a time when many of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in the city offer a limited three course menu at a fixed price, check out http://www.restaurantweekboston.com for more details! Many of my friends enjoy food as much as I do and over the past few years we have developed a game around restaurant week to select our destination. We start an email chain where, after pouring over the menu selections online, we each list our top five or ten choices….

  • Book Talking

    Last week was spring break, so I took the week off from blogging. Most of my break was spent catching up on schoolwork and working, but I was able to escape home to Vermont for a couple days of much needed relaxation. One of my favorite parts of my trip home was visiting my local public library and attending a meeting of the “What is on Your Nightstand?” book club. The premise of this book club is that it is not a book club, at least not in the traditional sense. There is no chosen book for each monthly meeting. Instead, on the second Tuesday of every month, anyone who is free to talk about books is welcome to come to the library and share what they are reading. The librarian running the meeting keeps a list of all the titles discussed and the conversation is always lively and interesting. Before moving back to Boston to start school in January I was home in Vermont for eight months and had the opportunity to attend almost…

  • Librarians vs. Archivists

    There are two camps in the library profession, the librarians and the archivists. Sometimes it feels like they are rival gangs and everyone has to pick sides. This doesn’t seem to be much of a problem because most students enter GSLIS with a clear idea which side they are on. But what about the rest of us? I see so many interesting ways to pursue this profession and I have wavered back and forth about whether to choose courses with an archives focus or take the librarian path. Two roads diverged in a wood one could say. After much internal struggle, I have chosen to take the librarian track with an emphasis and goal of working in a public library. Given that I had six different college majors, only time will tell if this current path ends up being my ultimate direction. If I end up in a public library I may very well be responsible for maintaining a small archives collection. Especially in rural communities, it is common for the public library to also…

  • Study Abroad: Not Just for Undergrads Anymore!

    After years of missed opportunities to travel abroad during high school and undergrad, I am so excited to finally say that this summer I will be going to Rome with GSLIS!! For several years Simmons has provided library students the opportunity to study abroad with courses offered in Yonsei, Korea, and this summer the program is expanding by adding an additional trip to Rome, Italy. Simmons GSLIS is collaborating with St. John’s University Division of Library & Information Science in New York and each school will be offering two courses from which students can choose. The program runs from May 23 through June 10 and I will be taking Intellectual Freedom and Censorship (LIS 493) with Professor Laura Saunders. The course will begin with readings and online forums several weeks prior to our departure and conclude with a research paper due after our return to Boston. This way our time in Rome can be spent focusing on discussions in class, and of course, exploring all of the wonderful culture, history, and food the city has…

  • Transferable Skills

    Last week my reference professor asked how many of us had ever worked in a restaurant. At least two thirds of the class raised their hand. The point he was making, quite successfully I might add, was that we already have skills from past work experiences that will help us succeed in this field. Excluding a few hours volunteering for my hometown high school library, I have no firsthand experience in this field. That said, my résumé boasts a long list of service based positions. I have worked as a ranger for the National Park Service, as a customer service representative over the phone, as a server in a local restaurant, and currently as a hostess, and I’ve realized it’s all the same. Whether you describe your clientele as patrons, guests, customers, clients, or visitors, it really is all the same. Being kind and helpful is just as important as understanding the needs of a patron regardless of context. My reference class has devoted a lot of time to practicing the proper way to conduct…

  • So Many Books, So Little Time

    I have always prided myself on being well-read. I imagine most people considering a career in the library profession feel similarly. Starting the GSLIS program at Simmons has led me to question whether I really am the great reader I have always claimed to be. Sometimes it feels like all of my classmates are better readers than me. One of my favorite classes this semester is Young Adult (YA) Literature with Professor Melanie Kimball. I love learning about working with young adults but this course is certainly putting my reading skills to the test. Along with professional development readings targeted towards young adult librarians, we are also required to read two or three YA books per week! So far I have enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with all of the readings but my speed and efficiency are being put to the test. Although I have moments of insecurity because I do not feel as well-read as some of my classmates, one assignment allowed me to gain some perspective by making me spend time reflecting…

  • Happy Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

    This Monday marked the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  In honor of this milestone, NPR featured a number of stories analyzing the history and popularity of this epic novel over the past two centuries.  My favorite related story was a cartoon depiction of Pride and Prejudice by Jen Sorensen (check it out: http://www.npr.org/2013/01/27/170253360/pride-and-prejudice-turns-200). While NPR celebrated the continued relevance of this Jane Austen classic in its Arts and Life programs, All Things Considered ran  this story: “New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College – But At What Cost?” (listen here: http://www.npr.org/2013/01/19/169798643/new-reading-standards-aim-to-prep-kids-for-college-but-at-what-cost?sc=tw&cc=share). The program discussed new attempts to raise reading scores for high school students by exchanging English class curriculum based primarily on literature to a greater focus on nonfiction. The timing of these two stories seems too ironic to ignore. How can we be celebrating the importance of a piece of classic literature, one that has been enjoyed for two centuries, at the same time as our education system decides to move away from a curriculum based on…

  • Technical Difficulties

    There seems to be an assumption that all twenty-somethings are incredibly tech savvy.  I wish I could say I fit this stereotype, but in actuality I have a lot of room for improvement.  I don’t want to suggest that I am living in the stone age (I do have an iPhone and an iPad after all!), but troubleshooting gadget mishaps and searches more complex than Google can be baffling to me.  Truth be told, I was initially attracted to the library field because I thought it would be a way to escape technology.  Could I have been more wrong?  Technology is the backbone of this profession and it is crucial for librarians to keep up with constantly evolving new developments.  Although I am nowhere near where I need to be, I have become more open to experimenting with and embracing new technologies since starting at Simmons. All new GSLIS students are required to take a self-guided course called the Technology Orientation Requirement (TOR for short) during their first semester.  The course takes you step by…

  • First Week at GSLIS!

    Hi! My name is Emily and I am a new addition to the blogging team for the January 2013 semester. This is my first semester as a GSLIS student and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with all our readers. Many admissions departments hope to attract a diverse group of students by the use of cliches such as ‘every student’s experience is unique’ and ‘there is no such thing as a typical student.’ Simmons GSLIS is no exception, however, if my experience thus far is anything like the average student, these statements are not simple cliches, they are  the reality.  Right from the get go, I have been encouraged to make the most of my experience regardless of any ‘normal’ progression. True to form, I decided to take a nontraditional route when starting classes. My first experience with a GSLIS class was a weeklong intensive course in Corporate Librarianship (LIS 414) with Professor Jim Matarazzo.  It has been incredibly fascinating to jump right into things with a class consisting primarily of students nearing…