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

L. Kelly Fitzpatrick

Full time archives concentrator at GSLIS Main Campus, Cambridge resident, and transplanted New Yorker – this graduate student, blogger, and scone conjurer explores the changing frontier of LIS and where to find a good place to finish that paper you’ve been thinking of doing for longer than you’d like to admit.



Entries by L. Kelly Fitzpatrick

  • Taking Care of Business: Finding the Right Spot

    When it comes to homework, where we work can often determine if we work. Moving to a new city for a new job or academic program can mean setting your roots deep into some academic and professional goals – and sometimes that can mean finding the perfect place to sit down with your laptop and coffee, and get to work. Let’s be real – coursework can grow to become an influential part of our lives. As someone who needs to leave Netflix’s sphere of influence in order to put words on a page, I know that going somewhere new, even without the comforting embrace of a wifi connection, can make the difference when trying to wrangle all those assignments. After becoming a regular in Western Massachusetts hotspots during my time as an undergrad battling a sea of footnotes, moving to Cambridge with the start of my grad program meant scoping out places where I could extract myself from my cozy apartment to get things done. Now entering my third semester at SLIS, I’ll share my…

  • Catching on Coding

    We at Simmons have been known to run the spectrum of professions and interests within the information sciences. Whether stemming from personal passion or outside necessity, developing your own sense technological literacy and pushing it to the limits is a huge part of your academic career and an even bigger part of your larger ambitions as an information professional. As we set our sights on post-graduation opportunity, we should start thinking about how we can become not only tech users, but tech creators. Growing up, coding was synonymous to me with being the forum regular with the coolest post signature – boasting countless animated sparkle fonts, flaming clip art, and the lime green courier font of 1337 h4x0rs of yore. Today, coding means something much bigger – and learning to code became the tether between the tech I use on a daily basis, and me understanding the tech I use on daily basis. Let’s be real for a second – looking at a code document for the first time can look like an insurmountable wall…

  • Dressing for the Interview: Feel Unstoppable, Be Unstoppable

    You got the interview – high fives all around. Applying and interviewing for jobs is without doubt a big part eventually becoming the unstoppable librarian, archivist, or information scientist you have set your sights on. After scheduling an interview, you’re prepared, you’re qualified, but there’s another secret level to securing that job that can produce undue stress and unease the day of – what to wear. It’s a couple hours until your interview and you’re amid a hellscape of button down shirts and khakis trying to piece together a puzzle which will somehow reveal the perfect interview outfit. The interview that might get you the job. You’re interviewing for a job that you see as an important step on your path to becoming an unstoppable librarian, archivist, or information scientist, right? If you want to be unstoppable, feel unstoppable. Sitting down with your interviewer, it’s easy to become unsure of yourself, and wearing something which will make you feel more confident during the process can make a huge difference. Equip the threads which will remind…

  • From the Harrowing Heights of Pizzacliffe: Naming Your Living Space

    Something that we’ve learned from literary classics is that all great living spaces hold even greater names. Moving onto a graduate program, there is no doubt that you’ll be spending a fair deal of time in your new living space between completing all those assignments, scheduling classes, and entertaining the occasional guest. When moving into a new city and onto a new campus, going the extra mile to make that dorm feel closer to home and exude you-ness can make all the difference. One thing is clear – your dorm needs a name. But what goes into a dorm name? Well, that depends on what flavor you anticipate your dorm having as you move through SLIS. Depending upon your anticipated trajectory, your dorm name could follow any of the following examples, such as: Pizzacliffe Citationview Napcrest Endnotewalk Moving into a new dorm or apartment with the start of a new semester, it’s likely that you already have a lot of thinking and preparation to take care of. But with a brand-new living space you’ve purposefully…

  • August Exploration

    In the areas surrounding Simmons’ Boston campus, there are countless neighborhoods to be explored. This past weekend, I took a step toward better exploring my own neighborhood of Somerville at the Somerville Flea. Every Sunday, vendors and visitors gather near Davis Square to engage in an exchange of goods from vintage scarves to bunches of carrots, peaches, and plums. Awash with Etsy-worthy ephemera, a stack of enormous volumes stopped me in my tracks. Unbeknownst to me, they weren’t books. They were boxes. And not the kind that butcher books to make them either –  stunning reproductions of War and Peace, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and other titles. Set on them lining my bookshelves within the hour, I made away with the two enormous false volumes clutched haphazardly in my arms. Arriving home, I soon placed my own copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace into the box boasting the same title in box format; the daunting pagination of the wartime epic finally matched by a cover of suitable size. Tucked away on my bookshelves, the remainder…

  • #curatecamp and harnessing the hashtag

    Sometimes when you can’t make it to a conference, browsing through updates as posted on Twitter might be the next best thing. As a grad student, conferences can be far away, expensive, and dare to tempt us away from professional and academic obligations – even if existing as professional and academic obligations in themselves. When the forces align to make your attendance to a conference or convention happen, those select days of talks, panels, and cordial coffee intermissions can be great – but when the time just isn’t right to hop on the conference bandwagon, catching wind in the sail of their hashtags can suffice. CURATECamp quickly approached in a flurry of hyperlinks. After weeks of registration forms sitting in browser tabs forgotten amid wishy-washy indecisiveness about travel reservations, I regrettably made the decision not to attend. But that didn’t stop my desire to be tuned into the talks, project sharing, and collaboration stimulated by conference events like Curate Camp. As threads began erupting under the hashtag #curatecamp, I was suddenly enabled to click and…

  • This is What a Librarian Looks Like

    It’s not news that popular aesthetics of librarianship are steeped in stereotype. Between visions of bibliographic babes with starched collars, pulled back hair, and horn rimmed glasses – librarians break these archetypes on a daily basis every time they get of bed in the morning to reveal looks as diverse as our professional responsibilities. The blog This is What a Librarian Looks Like has accepted the mission of displaying the real face of librarianship across the globe. On their about page, blog creators Bobbi Newman and Erin Downey Howerton write “Think you know what a librarian looks like?  Go beyond the bun and challenge old, outdated librarian stereotypes. In the spirit of This is What a Scientist Looks Like, we bring you the ultimate complement to Library Day in the Life: This is What a Librarian Looks Like.” Through photographs and personal blurbs submitted by librarians from Norway to Oregon, this blog reveals a face of librarianship that spans across different ages, genders, and national boundaries. In development for over two years, This is What…

  • Cracking the Lock on Open Access Collections

    It’s no secret that accessibility is a big part of what we do here at GSLIS. Within libraries, museums, archives, and information institutions – many of us act as the tether between information and patrons. In recent months, a handful of influential institutions across the globe have begun jumping on the Open Access bandwagon – a movement which the Public Library of Science defines as “unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse.” A burgeoning topic on the horizon of information science, we as GSLIS students can acquaint ourselves with Open Access collections and create OA projects of our own. While a number of considerations lay between institutions and the creation of online open access collections, they reveal new opportunities for research, engagement, and scholarship. Once an institution has determined which objects or collections qualify, they start working forward from there to reconfigure the terms applied to the pieces within their OA initiative. For an example of these terms, browse through the specifications stated within the Getty Open Content Program. While many factors go into the creation of…

  • Serious Business

    Twenty-something and caught between earning that graduate degree and staying sharp in a competitive job market – I know the feeling. When navigating a sea of internships, interviews, and conferences while completing full or part time classes, that extra boost of professionalism and confidence can make a difference. While all of those qualifications featured on your well-rendered resumé speak for themselves, having a business card can help have your bases covered on the perilous and formidable frontier of professional networking. For a long time, the word business card alone evoked imagined landscapes of beepers and shoulder pads for as far as the eye could see. But sure enough, after seeing peers arrive to events with a business card in tow changed my ideas upon seeing their convenience and functionality in action. When you meet a someone that you’d like to collaborate with in a professional context, writing their number on a nearby receipt or popping them a friend request just won’t cut it – and that’s where business cards come in. Okay, we get the…

  • THATCamp New England and the Rise of Digital Humanities

    Coffee was stirred, bagels were nibbled, and discussion had  begun filling the twittersphere. This past weekend I attended my first professional conference – THATCamp New England. Between May 30th and 31st, individuals gathered to the Boston College General Studies campus to talk about one thing: digital humanities. Digital humanities, otherwise known at DH, has been creeping across institutions and campuses in recent years and leaving untold innovations in it’s wake. While there is no single static definition of DH, it can can be described as the interdisciplinary meeting ground between technology and the humanities. Unlike other events on the conference circuit, THATCamp is structured around the idea of a “not-conference”. Traditionally, conferences often follow a strictly structured format. THATCamp has diverged on a few key elements to follow a different approach through fluidity, collaboration, and engagement. In all realness, I’ve never considered myself to be an at-the-last-minute kind of person. Especially one who would sit down and organize an informal panel with a recent graduate from my alma mater aiming to open dialogues about stimulating…

  • Here and There: Visiting the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

    It’s no secret; events and conventions are a big part of almost any interest group. Whether it’s through the relay of colorful lore, mailing list messages, and social media coverage – conventions and events are an exciting part of life and times at Simmons GSLIS. From presenting new projects to raising questions and dialogues, attending events can be an important step to rooting yourself into your professional field. Unbeknownst to me, I came face to face with my first professional event by complete accident. This past April, I was in Manhattan walking home from none other than my high school reunion. Passing the Park Avenue Armory, the banners adorning it were unmistakable, reading: New York Antiquarian Book Faire. Heart be still –  I knew I had a couple of hours before evening plans, and I fully intended to spend those hours inside that building, seeing all that was humanly possible between now and then. I picked up student admission and quickly encountered a sea of exhibitors hailing from locations from Austria to Washington state which…