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

Giuliana Gilbert-Igelsrud

Hi y’all! I’m a millennial Northern Californian with an undergraduate degree in linguistics. I’m in the MLIS program at Simmons, focusing my studies on children’s and youth services in public libraries. I’m particularly interested in youth empowerment, arts programming (I have a music and theatre background) and the social services that libraries can provide. I’m a fan of cats, bugs, science fiction, Pokémon, Steven Universe, and Janelle Monáe. I love learning about New England culture and I think fall here has ruined me.



Entries by Giuliana Gilbert-Igelsrud

  • Scholarship Appreciation Time

    I’m extremely thankful to have a merit scholarship from SLIS. Every semester (when I take at least 9 units) I receive $6,000 from Simmons; that’s $24,000 over four semesters, which is nothing to scoff at. As a scholarship recipient, I have been tasked to write a short thank you letter; I thought I might post it here. The cost of higher education has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, and the only reason I have been able to afford Simmons (and with relatively low financial stress) is the SLIS Merit Scholarship. Simmons was one of two schools I applied to that offered me any financial aid, and by the time I received my acceptance letter, had become my top choice. I was thrilled to see that my academic efforts had paid off, literally! I cannot overstate how much I value the unique experience I’m having at Simmons. I’m from California, and I went to UC Berkeley for my Bachelor’s degree, so you can imagine how different it has been living here and attending Simmons. I never…

  • Don’t Let School Get in the Way of Your Education

    One of the greatest benefits of library graduate school that nobody tells you about is the breadth of experiences people come from. Some students are straight out of college, others have been working as librarians for years, and many (like me) are in between. I highly recommend just chatting with the people around you; it can sometimes be more useful than readings and prescribed discussion. Just from chatting with classmates, I’ve learned about the many, many different ways to set up children’s storytime, the radically different administrative structures of rural and big city libraries, the pushback against “controversial” projects from supervisors and the public, and much, much more. I often wish there was a space designated specifically for swapping stories, tips, and resources with classmates and colleagues. We grow so much more as a profession when we share information (I mean, that is kind of our whole deal, right?). Give feedback to your professors related to this. In my experience, they will usually respond graciously. If you find certain assignments unhelpful, tell them. If you have a…

  • Connection

    At a small college, opportunity for connection is everywhere. Currently, there are under 1,000 students in the Simmons SLIS program, and only about 600 on-campus students in Boston. A small department means more interpersonal connection per capita; now that I’ve finished the core courses, I see the same folks over and over again during the week. When you’re so immersed in a space with the same handful of people, and those people have the same interests that you do, and those people are kind and interesting and great, you can have discussions you may not be able to have elsewhere. Where else would those around me take interest in linguistic gatekeepers, adultism, architectural design, and bias in higher education? I’m grateful to be able to have these discussions every day with people who are passionate, opinionated, and kind. Here’s the secret truth about librarianship: nobody is here for the money, glamor, and prestige, because there is none to be had. My friends in law school and medical school frequently run into folks they don’t care…

  • Decisions, decisions, decisions…

    Enrollment has rolled around for Spring 2018, and I’m completely torn apart. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m definitely struggling. Every semester there seems to be at least six classes I want to take, even though I’m limited to four, and self-limited to three due to money. It feels like I can see infinitely branching paths in front of me depending on what I decide. Young adult collections? Collection development? Information services for diverse users? Everything sounds so great! Let’s say there are six classes I’m interested in, none of which create scheduling conflicts (totally hypothetical, definitely NOT enrolled in three classes and on three waitlists right now…). We can determine the amount of possible course combinations by using a non-ordered combination formula. This results in a whopping…twenty combinations. Okay, so not quite a staggering number, but maybe an almost-tripped-but-caught-myself number? Anyway, each of these twenty paths could lead me to a totally different future, depending on my classmates, my professors, my assignments, and of course, the content. One of these combinations would…

  • Mass Effect

    Last fall, I moved out of California for the first time in my life.  I’d visited Boston once, years before. I had vague memories of quaint brick architecture. But travel ≠ transplantation. When I said I was from California, people warned me about snow. But I’ve been to Minnesota. My culture shock came from other sources.   1. Fall. On the west coast, fall means everything dies and it gets colder. It’s a short transition between summer and not-summer. But here, fall is an event. People go “apple-picking” and “leaf-peeping,” everyone dresses up, cider is consumed. Oh, and IT’S INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL. 2. Darkness. In my hometown, we get 300 sunny days a year. Did you know the sun can set at 4:15? Did you know it can be overcast for a week straight? I didn’t. 3. Sense of distance. Here, I can visit four states in two hours. A trip to Maine can be shorter than a BART ride to SFO. 4. Regionalisms. I’ve mentioned “apple-picking” and “leaf-peeping”; other terms that tripped me up include “turnpike,” “bodega,” and, yes, “wicked”. 5. Drivers. Californians are not good…