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

Maggie Davidov

Maggie Davidov

I am a part time Main Campus second semester newbie. Not only am I slightly new to Simmons, but I’m also new to Massachusetts. I moved here from New York and I’ll admit it, Boston could give New York a run for it’s money. When I’m not on campus, I’m either working at Dana Hall in Wellesley, cooking, sipping a cup of tea, or watching movies with my husband.



Entries by Maggie Davidov

  • New Adventures

    This is my last post for GSLIS as I’m graduating in December. I’ve enjoyed every minute writing for this blog and wish everyone well as they move on to new adventures. As for my journey I will begin this fall as the upper school librarian at Dana Hall school in Wellesley. To read more about my fun escapades check out my blog! I’m on a school library exchange at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Things are amazing here. Librarians are the luckiest people on the planet. Fact.

  • Perk of Being Here: Learning in the hallways at GSLIS

    I spent much of the spring interviewing candidates for the library assistant position at the school library where I work. I met a great many qualified candidates. I was impressed by extensive resumes, many filled with a plethora of technical prowess as well as life experience. The ideal candidate is meant to be entering the library profession but not have an MLS. I assumed that most of our qualified candidates would be attending Simmons or starting in the fall. I was mistaken. Most of our savvy candidates were keeping their options open by attending online degree programs through other universities. Their sound reasoning was that these programs were cheaper than many of their campus counterparts and left them free to pursue library jobs wherever they pleased. This is a completely valid argument. Anyone who goes to Simmons knows the cost all too well. Anyone who has ever looked at the trends in online education knows that it’s what’s next for GSLIS and most LIS programs. I tried to mine the library literature at Beatley to…

  • Breaking up is just so hard to do

    The librarian’s best friend and arguably ongoing nemesis is the never-ending task of weeding. To remain on the cutting edge or at least to remain in the realm of the present with your collection it’s important to evaluate all of the resources on and off the shelves that the library provides. This means, that in any healthy library there should generally be a project going on that removes, or weeds, outdated items. I am fortunate to work in a very healthy academic library, your very own Beatley Library at Simmons, and I find myself these days withdrawing beautiful, yet ancient, reference books. Let’s face it, the future of reference does not lie in the obscure tomes published 50 years ago with the solid leather bindings. However, I stand there in the stacks with The Encyclopedia of Fairies in my hand and I’m sure it’s not my imagination that I hear a little cry from within as I place it on the withdrawal cart. These books know where they’re going. They know their fate. I assumed…

  • GSLIS Tech Lab. AKA GSLIS Awesomeness

    You may have glimpsed its capacious depths in a class evaluation. Or maybe you remember it vividly from orientation. Either way, hopefully your travels have taken you once or twice into the Tech Lab at Palace Road. Having been on the job as a Technology Reference Assistant for a few weeks now I feel bound to tell you that the Tech Lab is far more that a room filled with computers for class evaluations. It is staffed by some of the coolest, smartest and funniest people at GSLIS who work hard to make sure our students are informed about the latest trends in Technology. Guys, this is not a required class but it should be. Knowledge and hilarity oozes out of every crevice of these hard drives. Much of my time here is spent posting to the Tech Lab’s Tumblr or watching Lynda tutorials. Did you know that the Tech Lab actually has Google glasses? For serious, they have a LOT of stuff. If you don’t like intelligent, hilarious people then come for the amazing…

  • Visit a New Library

    I haven’t been on a real vacation in over a year, but two weeks ago I unplugged completely and made the drive to Portland, Maine. Portland was everything I wanted it to be and more. I think I really needed to sleep and not look at my email for a stretch.  For anyone who hasn’t tried these highly attainable things…you really should. Sleep is luxuriously restorative.  Also, I never fully appreciated how much time I spend on email until I turned off my phone and spent time in the moment in the glorious outdoors. One of my other big takeaways from my mini-break was library tourism. I had never really been aware of this as a conscious act on vacation, but I realize it should be planned into almost any vacation. Check out the local library. See what they do differently. Open your eyes to the way they lay out their space. It’s fun to walk into a library that’s new to you. You have to experience it from the patron perspective and you can…

  • What’s Next?

    I am graduating in December. This is painfully evident to me as many of my friends are graduating this spring. I watch them as they introduce themselves at the job fair in their smart pant suits. I linger over their announcements on the last day of class: This IS my last class at GSLIS. I jump for joy when they reveal in triumph: I GOT A JOB! This is what’s next this week: parties, life without homework, and the jobs on the horizon.  But what about after that? What happens after the cheering is over, the reading for fun begins and the day-to-day routines of library jobs set in?  This is inevitably what is addressed, or should be addressed, in any last class rant by a professor of substance. My two professors, both crazy intelligent beings, Amy Pattee and Linda Braun, spent their last moments with us pronouncing those fateful words: THIS IS NOT THE END! They’re right, it is only the beginning. I pass their words of wisdom on to you, dear readers, as…

  • Public Spaces in Macedonia and Boston

    When I lived in a country that had a strong socialist history, I spent a lot of time in one of the remaining relics from that equalizing time: the dom na kultura. This translates from Macedonian to the house of culture. It’s a place where people come together for concerts, art exhibits, dance  recitals, poetry readings, and other such endeavors.  This is a public space that can be used by anyone. You can book the space and it, and all of it’s resources are available to you. I happened to take dance classes there as well as hold a photography exhibit. It was one of my favorite places. I remember walking down the main street on a Wednesday afternoon when the director of the dom na kultura saw me, crossed the street and thrust a postcard into my hand, “COME!” he said with such enthusiasm that I could not refuse. The postcard advertised a band named “Amniotic Fluid” (no joke) that was playing that night. I went. It was the most intense jazz trio I…

  • Let it Go!

    So, I’m going to come clean. I watched Frozen for the first time this weekend. I don’t want to say it changed my life, but I’m definitely in some sort of magical place. I was thinking about the last time I was in this euphoric state and I remembered it exactly. It was when I finished the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. No, I’m not a sadist. I don’t enjoy suffering and death. It was just such a wonderfully romantic story. It filled me with hope and I think pushed me to further understand the human condition. I tell you all this because I think libraries are in a unique position insofar as they are the dispensaries of these emotionally transformative materials. Amazon is not the only peddler of these fine products. We too share these artistic treasures, and what’s more, we put a human face behind it all. We have the opportunity to share our opinions about these books and films with patrons in a number of forums: blogs, reference…

  • Storytelling Semi-Finals this Weekend

    This is a shameless plug for a certain storyteller (ME) who is competing in the MassMouth Story Slam Semi Finals this Sunday at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge at 6:30 pm. I’m telling a story from my days in the Peace Corps, so it should be …hilarious. A story slam is every bit the event you are conjuring in your imagination: a forum where people from the audience tell personal stories, within a time limit and people cheer for a well told tale. In this particular story slam there will be no judges. The audience decides! So come out to hear some great stories and support a fellow GSLISer. Storytelling is a big part of our society these days thanks to organizations like MassMouth and the Moth. Librarians should stay involved in an arena they championed so many years ago. Let’s get back in this game and begin telling our stories!

  • Being a Librarian 20 years ago… today

    Today I worked in a library system 20 years ago. Ok, that’s a lie. I don’t wake up every day, hop in my time machine and travel back to the simpler age of the card catalog. Though, if I did have a time machine I would choose a much simpler time with cooler clothes and become friends with Billy Shagspar (see Bill Bryson’s biography of a certain Elizabethan playwright). No, today my colleagues and I were mostly immobilized by the World Wide Web (the birthday present it re-gifted to us). Our circulation program, Millennium, just decided not to work. We began running around like chickens with our heads cut off for a good fifteen minutes, calling every supervisor under the sun to no avail. What could be done? Without computers how do we run the library? Technology is not the maker and breaker of libraries these days, although it seems like it. If it were the only thing holding a library together then there would be very little point to getting an MLS degree.  The…

  • What Happens When I Fly Away?

    Is anybody else amazed at how fast this year is flying by? Yes, spring break is upon us and we are all grateful, but speaking as someone who will be graduating in December (heaven help us if I don’t) I feel these days slipping away faster than usual. I’m losing track of time. Every email whizzes past my inbox and I begin to crave and fear the future. What happens after graduate school? I imagine big paychecks, tomes that in no way resemble textbooks, and oodles of time to sit down in a garden somewhere.  These are the lies that we tell ourselves. Life will be easier after graduate school. Will it though? Will you receive updates about the latest technologies enhancing our profession? Will you have the opportunity to network on a weekly basis with super smart people? This is all food for thought for you, but mostly for me. I’m aching to leave and begin my life as a fully-fledged librarian. I want my wings soooo badly!  I think the question I continue…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen – Nicole Cunha!

    Every semester I interview someone so fantastically excellent from the GSLIS program so I can share him or her with the Student Snippets fan base. This semester I have chosen a friend and colleague of mine from Beatley Library at Simmons. Nicole Cunha, a graduate of Simmons College, has been working in the library since her junior year. She is now a dual degree major in Children’s Literature and Library Science at GSLIS. She is a constant inspiration to me. She works in almost every department at Beatley and when she’s not working, she’s here working on all of her homework. She is a rockstar. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nicole Cunha. 1) What made you choose the GSLIS program and what is your focus while here at Simmons? How did you get here? Long story short, my hometown/elementary school librarian told me about Simmons when I was younger; or she at least tried to get me interested in it. If I remember correctly, she had mentioned Simmons to my mum because she recognized…

  • Get in Line for Story Time

     Are you sick of hearing me write about stories? Too bad, friends, because here comes another event too good to pass up. Next Saturday at Boston Public Library in Copley Square, MassMouth will host its 3rd Annual Storytelling event. Why do I get so amped about storytelling? I suppose it’s the rush I get when I go on stage and share an experience from my life with hundreds of people. It could also be the looks of surprise on the faces of the kids that come to my story time when I tell them that a WITCH has come to the window. BOO! Mostly, I tell you about these events and the glorious hilarity of it all because when it comes down to, it stories are meant for sharing. I tell this to you as I tell my 6-year olds at storytime: we are storytellers. All of us.  Come to a storytelling event at MassMouth. Stop by Copley next Saturday for a half an hour. In a half an hour you can hear 2 or…

  • The Future of GSLIS: Blended and Online Courses

    You haven’t heard from me in a long while because I’ve been in class every day for the past three weeks. No, I am not taking more than my usual part time load. However, I am taking my first online class this semester. The online class is taking up most of my time. I spend a good hour every day following my class discussion on twitter. Check us out #lis460. I also listen to podcasts from my professor, the ever so talented Linda Braun. After the podcast for the week is over I watch her explain a new trend in social media through multiple screencasts on youtube. I then do my readings. Thankfully they are more relevant than a textbook on reserve at Beatley; they are blog posts or magazine articles from the LIS, technology or education field. I then take all of this knowledge and discuss it with my group on a collaborative google doc. There are of course other projects, but that is the bare bones of what we do every week. I…

  • Inspiration at the Start of Spring Semester 2014

    I’m getting the 5th semester itch and I’m starting my semester off all wrong. Anyone know the feeling? I sit on my couch staring at the stack of books that has accumulated in the past few days and I think how good it would be if I actually read them. Then I think about how there is this vast vacuum of time waiting for me and whatever happened to weekends? Oh that’s right I’m a grad student and weekends don’t exist. I don’t know any friend of mine at GSLIS who has what normal people call a weekend. We work hard at usually more than one job. We write papers and read ridiculous amounts of professional literature. We do all this and I don’t know about everyone else but sometimes it all feels like nonsense. I’m paddling to stay afloat and I never imagined that would be what my education would look like. Then, the most amazing thing happened to me: my boss quit. That’s right, my boss, the most incredible woman, the most awe…

  • Let Me Tell You a Story

    As librarians, storytelling is baked into the scrumptious goodness that is our career. It’s not so much inferred that we will all be storytellers with puppets or flannel boards, but anyone who has ever explained a job to a colleague or trainee at work can attest to the regular occurrence of a tale being told: There was this one reference librarian who never looked up from her book…nobody ever asked her a question. Right off the bat you’re intrigued and you want to understand what happened to this librarian and what was it that made her so incredibly bitter. Humans are tellers of tales. There is an incredible amount of research verifying that human beings understand concepts and connect to material more effectively when taught through story. I digress, but my point to you, oh library professional, is that stories make us who we are. I say all this also to underline how amazing I feel after completing LIS 423, Storytelling, with Melanie Kimball. I spent the semester learning about story in its various formats…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Allison Driscoll

    It’s that time of year. The end of the semester when I feature one of my favorite classmates from the semester. As usual, I can’t resist the intelligent dual degree children’s lit and library science people. Allison was in my storytelling class and she blew us all away the first day with her interpretation of Don Coyote and the Burro. Please meet the lovely and talented Allison Driscoll… Q: What made you choose the dual degree Children’s lit and LIS program? A: I’d thought for a long time that I’d like to be a librarian, because I could see myself being satisfied doing it for a long time. Still, I held off on applying to any programs because I was hesitant to invest time and money into something if I wasn’t 100% positive about it. Then I found out Simmons had a dual-degree program, and I immediately started getting my application together. I’ve always loved children’s lit, and the idea of spending time with others who felt as strongly about it was really the last push…

  • Bring Your Classes to You!

    I get a lot of sass from classmates when I talk about my work. Yes, I happen to work at the greatest library on the planet. Yes, my boss is the most incredible mentor and knitter in the continental U.S. Yes, I am rather lucky to be surrounded by a library with unlimited resources. No, you cannot have my job. Still, it has been a year of ogling the wondrous resources at my disposal and I have begun to ask myself: What I am bringing to this incredible community ? Tentatively I have begun to propose small programs and evaluations to my director. And do you know what happened? She was thrilled! Now, I am NOT saying I am God’s gift to programming in the library. However, I have begun to use my projects and papers from Simmons as springboards for ideas to bring to my director. Why is that, you might ask? Simply put, it is because every professor I have ever taken a class with at Simmons has only ever assigned practical assignments…

  • Study Break

    I believe Jack Prelutsky speaks for all of us with this poem. I leave it to you on this Saturday of endless study. Homework! Oh, Homework! Homework! Oh, homework! I hate you! You stink! I wish I could wash you away in the sink, if only a bomb would explode you to bits. Homework! Oh, homework! You’re giving me fits. I’d rather take baths with a man-eating shark, or wrestle a lion alone in the dark, eat spinach and liver, pet ten porcupines, than tackle the homework my teacher assigns. Homework! Oh, homework! You’re last on my list, I simply can’t see why you even exist, if you disappeared it would tickle me pink. Homework! Oh, homework! I hate you! You stink! Prelutsky, Jack, and James Stevenson. The New Kid on the Block :Poems. 1st ed. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1984. Print.

  • Savor Your Time at GSLIS

    Are we there yet? I keep asking myself this question. When I started at GSLIS, I thought I would be at a great advantage over the full-time students. Here they were rushing through a very full and complex curriculum, while I would be plodding along, taking stock of my interests as I went. This, fundamentally is true. However, with both sides of the coin it seems I shall mix metaphors and say that the grass looks greener on their side! I want so much to be DONE.  I have learned a great deal here and I’m enjoying my classes. But I’ve finished almost four semesters and the thought of three more is weighing me down. So, what’s the remedy here? Who can I turn to? In this case I turn to everyone and anyone who’s worked full-time and gone to graduate school at the same time. Most of the teachers at the high school I work at completely feel my pain. We sit over lunch and ask ourselves, “When does life get easier?” When we…

  • Rivalries

    This whole week has had me thinking about competition, about the deep-seeded rivalry that forms for no reason other than loyalty and pride. I mean, let’s face it, why do we get so worked up? Most students aren’t from Boston who go to school here, so why are there so many heated exchanges at the bar? I think back on the golden years of SNL with Rachel Dratch and Jimmy Fallon as the diehard Sox fans. So this week and last we saw governors placing food bank bets, the St. Louis Symphony and the BSO brassing off, and other such competitions in defense of their beloved teams. Back to Jimmy Fallon: No, you aaaah! No, you aaaaah!! Nomaaaah Garciapaaaaraaa!!! So, my question is this: if competition is healthy, and rivalry is about demonstrating loyalty and devotion then where’s the rivalry in libraries? Who are the Sharks and the Jets in the ALA? Is it YALSA versus AASL? That would be a fun librarian-off to watch. Ok, it would be a fun competition to watch for…

  • I Dream of FRBR

    Have you ever gotten down and dirty with the people who put the numbers on books at your library? You know, those call number people who keep to themselves and in the words of Ron Burgundy, “have many leather-bound books.” I assumed with the aid of the World Wide Web, cataloging and classifying would be a cinch. Sadly, I was very wrong and those catalogers that sit in the back room of the library should be revered as Gods who walk among mere mortals. The organization of the data associated with things like books, DVDs, periodicals, and all the other fabulous stuff we house in our hallowed halls can take many forms. And get this: the experts in our field cannot agree on the best way to do it! It is said that the best kind of classes are the ones that make you question many things. All I’m questioning is why organization has to be so difficult. I could talk to you about Dublin Core (not from Ireland, but Ohio), MARC, AACR2, RDA, and…

  • Better than Thanksgiving or Christmas…It’s Registration Season!

    If you’re like me and you’re finding the Christmas fliers in your mailbox irritating, then I invite you to celebrate a new season: Registration! Yes, ’tis the season to be planning your future. What classes will you take, and with whom? Talking to friends and colleagues is a great way to get started but another option when checking out professors is look at their ratings. Ever wonder why we fill out those reviews in the tech lab at the end of every semester? It’s so people like you can say, “Hey, I’ve heard that Storytelling (LIS 423) is a hoot and a holler. Why shouldn’t I take that? It should be an easy A.” If you read the evalutations though I’m sure it would say the opposite. Storytelling is an intense class involving a lot of research and performance.  I know this because I’m taking it, and I also reviewed the class in those handy binders outside the student lounge on the second floor of the Palace Road building before I took it. It is…

  • The Horn Book Awards at Simmons

    I am always marveling at my good fortune. I live in a beautiful city, rich in history. I have a wonderful job that challenges me. I have supportive family and friends. I do not, however, appreciate enough the opportunities that Simmons provides to its student body (that includes me) every week. Between the lunchtime lectures, the LISSA conference sponsorship, and all such other offerings it is sheer neglect that I don’t give a shout out now and again to Simmons and GSLIS itself. Today, though, I’d like to offer up praise to my forsaken program, the department of Children’s Literature. While I was only in the dual degree program for a day until I dropped it like a hot potato I do appreciate all the unique opportunities the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature offers YA junkies like myself. Last night at The Horn Book awards I got to listen to nine of the best authors and illustrators in the world speak about what they are passionate about. Robert Byrd, author and illustrator of…

  • Getting Involved

    It’s September and all around us we are inundated with announcements. Don’t forget, tomorrow on the quad, the annual picnic to save the squirrels! Save the date for next Friday’s twister mixer! And then there are the events that you really do want to attend.  All GSLIS students automatically receive LISSA updates, and orientation is a swathe of sign-up sheets that put us on a million list-servs that remind us that there are learning opportunities for GSLIS students and librarians all the time. Weeding out the good events from the bad, rather the ones you’re interested in versus the ones you could not care less about, is a chore. It takes time to slug through the many, many emails you receive in your school inbox, your work inbox, and your personal inbox. Pretty soon, you’re ready to call the whole thing quits and give up on professional development altogether. I wouldn’t say that I have the whole thing figured out, but I do know that I need to participate in the dialogue that’s happening outside…

  • Autumn in Boston

    Why does cold weather feel collegiate? Walking into school yesterday was preposterous. It’s September. There’s a reason people fall for the “Back to School” sales at the mall. Autumnal wind, the smell of crisp leaves and the feel of a brand new notebook beneath my fingers is infectious. Don’t you just want to sharpen some pencils? I’ve gotten into the habit of arriving at my classes 15 minutes early, mainly because I like to people watch. I like to observe my new GSLIS cohorts lay out their new pens, write their name on the top left hand corner of their new composition notebook, and stack their textbooks underneath their chair. There’s something comforting about getting it just right on the first day even though, full disclosure, you don’t need any of these things for your first class. You need to come with an open mind and the capacity to listen to others. And yet, is there anything more refreshing than walking to class with the crisp morning air brushing your cheek, know that your backpack…

  • The Library Lady

    All stereotypes come from somewhere. This, we all know to be true. How many of us, though, work with all of our might to confound the stereotype when it comes to being a librarian? I believe that many of us do. We despise the stereotype that all librarians are surly wenches with their hair wound so tight it seems as if it never gets let down. We counter that librarians are a force for positive change in this world of information overload, not the gatekeepers of dusty, musty books. Then I ask you why, why oh why does every librarian I know own a cat?! Now, before I am pegged as the cat-hater in GSLIS let me first just say that I myself just got a kitty at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Her name is Eva. She jumps on my face. She naps on my tummy and her arch nemesis is a ball of tin foil I rolled off the counter a few nights ago. I am quite the opposite of the naysayer….

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Graham Herrli

    I have fallen into the habit of falling in love with fellow classmates in my past few semesters at GSLIS. I share my crushes through this blog to you, the GSLIS community. I first met my friend Graham in LIS 408, User Instruction. While there were many talented people in the class with lots to contribute, Graham always intrigued me because of his usability perspective on library science issues. Graham is one of those students that blows you away with his passion and genuine interest with the way patrons interact with information. I want more Grahams in my next class, though I suspect he may not be taking storytelling in the fall. Regardless, I am thrilled to present Graham Herrli. 1) What made you choose the GSLIS program and what is your focus while here at Simmons? I came to GSLIS initially because I was interested in how people interact with information and I thought I might want to become a librarian.  Since arriving, I’ve found that librarianship isn’t for me, but I’m still intrigued…

  • I locked myself out of my bathroom…and other tall tales.

    So when I say “tall” I mean true. I am sitting in my apartment, cautiously drinking water owing to the fact that I may not be able to relieve myself as I have somehow locked the bathroom from the outside. This all comes at the end of my seven day recovery period. Recovery from what you might ask? Oh, just the removal of the superfluous organ we call the gallbladder.  But didn’t you have a ticket to Chicago for the ALA conference? Did you get to go? Why yes! And no I did not get to go to Chicago. The stars and my gastro intestinal system have chosen to align to combust this summer barring me from travel. And so, this is the time I chose to reflect on my life. In this summer of heat and nothing but time to muse in my pain reliever haze I reflect on my time at GSLIS. As I look back over my year of posting on this blog I realize I came into this program with a…

  • Just a Liberian

    I talk about the school library I work for far too much. I think this is mostly because I love my job and its challenges. My students’ unreturned laptops haunt my dreams and their evaluations of my teaching darken my doorstep, though I have no doorstep to speak of in a 4th floor apartment. When asked what they would most like to change about their information literacy class, my 9th graders deemed the professor, me, to be the element that needed changing the most. “You need to just chill. You have to remember you’re not a real teacher, you’re just a liberian.” For further clarification, I am not a citizen of Liberia. Nope, that was just a real punk of a student trying to set my teeth on edge. Just a librarian?! Not even a librarian, a LIBERIAN! It is at this moment that I am choosing to see the up-side of the upcoming summer vacation. My students’ resentment of bibliographic instruction and citation styles is reaching maximum capacity. I am losing my patience. Teachers…

  • Does Your Job Feed Your Soul?

    It is often the topic of many GSLIS classes whether we know it or not, this question of feeding the soul. However, it is frequently discussed because vacancies do not often arise in libraries. Why is that? Why don’t librarians retire? They must have dreams of seeing those places from the books on their shelves. They must long for the hot sticky air outside the airconditioned hum of the library…well, maybe not. STILL, it’s brought up time and again. Any professor worth their salt will discuss life outside of grad school and the job market. They will discuss this, and as a result, come to the conclusion that librarians are generally happy in their jobs, hence the lack of job opportunities. A healthy library will not yield a great many vacancies. And when I say a healthy library, I mean a library that is well-managed and where people feel that their work is valued.  I only bring this up because quite a few job listings have popped up on the GSLIS_info list-serv. And if you’re…

  • School’s out for the summer… or is it?

    I remember telling a friend, way back in September, that I couldn’t possibly think about taking a class in the summer. I wanted to prevent burnout and make sure I had time to recharge my batteries for the coming year. However, the further I went in the program the more I realized EVERYONE’s here in the summer! Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I would say at least 75% of my friends at GSLIS are taking at least one summer course. I, myself, am VERY excited about my summer course with Vivienne Piroli: User Instruction. I’ll keep you up to date on the many pearls of wisdom that will undoubtedly come my way. I’m also excited about my new summer job at Beatley library. HUZZAH! That’s right ladies and gentlemen; I am staffing the reference desk this summer at the Beatley Library. I am delving into the realm of academic libraries. I’ll also be reporting on the awesomeness of recording every reference transaction I have, the new subscription databases I learn about as well as Beatley’s…

  • Do Grades Matter?

    As I check Moodle like a fanatic, waiting for the final verdict on my grades for this semester, I am reminded of a talk my professor had with my class a month or two ago when  all of my classmates and I thought we were going to fail. We had all just received sub-standard grades for literature reviews. For most of us, this had been the first time we had written a literature review and its vastness was terrifying. Our professor described our journey to this paper’s end product like a walk in an unfamiliar wood: every time we turn the corner we should expect to find more woods, an ever deepening void of nothingness. As I said: TERRIFYING! My professor, who shall remain nameless, indicated that it didn’t matter what grades we got. At that point there was a collective sharp intake of breath. Grades don’t matter?! What! Of course grades matter. This is what I assume was the general mutterings or internal protestations of the group. Grades matter because we all want to…

  • World Book Night

    What a week this has been! I’m overwhelmed with relief, grief, exhaustion, and patriotism. It’s been a week. Incidentally, aside from being the week of the Boston Marathon Bombing, this week was also Library Appreciation Week, and this Thursday was also Poem in Your Pocket Day. How I wanted to celebrate these holidays. Yet they slipped through my fingers, and got away from me. Today, as we breathe a collective sigh and remember what’s important in life I’d like to point out another way to celebrate books, Boston and general well being. Next Tuesday evening, as you’re walking home from school or work keep an eye out for the ladies and gentlemen giving away free books in celebration of World Book Night. While April 23rd (this Tuesday) is UNESCO’s Day of the Book as well as Shakespeare’s birthday the people of World Book Night give away books, donated by a variety of authors, to promote the love of reading. This program is only 2 years old! It’s free to sign up to be a distributer…

  • The Mysterious Line

    Have you ever driven or walked past a Shake Shack? What is the most distinguishing characteristic of this place of business? Picture it in your mind. See the line. Do you see it? I went there last night to see what all the fuss was about but gave up when I saw,  l wondering what it is exactly they put in those burgers and fries. What’s the x factor? I read in a magazine about the Shake Shack CEO who talked about how the line builds character. How people want to conquer the line. It’s a “challenge accepted” concept. again, a line around the corner outside of the restaurant. Though it is spring, you really wouldn’t know that at night. So instead I chose a local burger place and was quite satisfied. But here I am stil You’re probably wondering what this has to do with library school. Nothing. It has nothing to do with library school, unless you get reeeeeally creative. Think about that longing and desire to cross the threshold of the Shake…

  • I Love GSLIS

    5 Reasons I love my Simmons Experience I love the man passing out copies of Metro at the Copley Square T stop. Every morning I come into Simmons I look forward to his high five and kind comment, “Your smile blows me away! Have a great day!” We need more people around like that every day.  I love the reference librarians at Beatley. I love their desire and commitment to search for anything I need. Whether I’m talking to them on “chat with a librarian” or at the information desk I know their on a quest on my behalf.  LISSA. They help me get my ALA membership dues and tickets for the summer conference reimbursed. How lucky are we to have a student group that advocates so powerfully for us and part of their job is to facilitate reimbursements for our professional development? Incredibly lucky! My professors! My professors who write back to me on the weekends. My professors who encourage me to go to their office because they really want to work on my…

  • Apps-olutely none

    I know. It’s a terrible pun, but here’s my question: where are the amazing apps for librarians? Where are the “must-haves”? Where is the list that circulates around blogs by amazingly talented librarians, who stay informed on this topic? So far, I have found nothing. I was given an ipad this week at work to integrate into the information literacy course I teach. All hate/jealousy mail may be forwarded to [email protected]  So, I’m playing around on the ipad this morning and I’m surfing the magazines offered on the app store and American Libraries, the official magazine of the ALA, doesn’t show up! I also searched YALSA, and found nothing. NOTHING! What gives, people? I know we all love the incessant naggings of the list-serv emails that crowd our inboxes everyday, but frankly, I’d rather access all the latest library buzz and book trends from an app. Isn’t it about time a fantastic app was released by the ALA? I’m going to write them a letter, or an email, whatever form of communication from the past…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen…the lovely and talented Nicole Giroux

    I have come across many fascinating people during my time in the GSLIS program. The majority of these awesome people turn out to be from the dual degree program. So I can’t help but want to get inside their brains. Seriously, what’s in the water in the Children’s Literature department? Is there an awesome ratio they require upon acceptance? They are sharp, creative and fiercely brilliant. Seriously, don’t cross a dual degree student. And with that, I present Miss Nicole Giroux from the dual degree Children’s Literature program. Q: If you could be a character in any book who would you be? A: Oh, sure, start with an easy question! This is so torturous to have to choose. I’ve gotta go with Hermione Granger (do I even need to say what she’s from?!). I could certainly use her time turner and magical skills. Besides, she’s named after a Shakespearean character and is an intelligent and strong female. What’s not to love? Though, I must admit, I totally identify as a Ravenclaw instead of a Gryffindor. Q:…

  • Challenge accepted?

    So… I’ve always loved this youtube video. The more time I spend in Beatley, the more I really, REALLY want this to happen here at Simmons. We deserve some musical theater spontaneity in our lives. This is all there is from me today. This blog is a plea, nay, a challenge! Sing in your local library TODAY! It’s probably best to clear all box steps with the librarians first. Just a thought.

  • Infographics make me smarter

    What are infographics and why are they awesome? This customermagnestism.com post is an infographic, you guessed it, about infographics! Wild, I know. Essentially the infographic distills all relevant statistics and facts about a topic into one pretty picture that relaxes the mind. Margaret Rouse says it best when she defines infographics: “Infographics (information graphics) is the display of information in such a way that it can be easily understood at a glance.” You’ve probably come across a bunch of infographics in your information consumption lifetime. I did, but didn’t really know why I was more likely to process the information from an infographic than from say a 30-page journal article my professor wanted me to read for next Thursday. Both are valid forms of conveying information. I just think that after reading 400 pages for classes this week I’m way more likely to read an infographic post sent to me by a colleague than a New York Times article about the exact same topic. Think about it then next time you get a fascinating article sent…

  • One more step toward adulthood (AKA inflaming PPS)

    I don’t know why I was holding back. Maybe I thought that without an official MLS I wouldn’t be allowed in. Perhaps I was I was afraid that pledging my time, money and inbox space to this organization cemented my career choice more than paying $6,500 a semester ever did. Whatever the reason I have been avoiding the ever watchful, and professional eye of the ALA, a lidless eye, wreathed in flame. Wait, no, that’s the eye of Sauron. I don’t equate the ALA with Mordor. Really, I just fear that being a member of a professional organization is the final step toward adulthood. To a certain extent, I am right. My inbox is overflowing with invites to email lists, print and e-publications, and various webinars about the latest happenings and developments in the field of library science. SCARY, right?! Ok, I’m overreacting. I’ve always had PPS, Peter Pan syndrome, and growing up on any level really inflames my condition. The boy in tights inside of me wants to cut and fly away. Then I…

  • Library Lovers Month

    That’s right folks! It is indeed that time of year. Love is in the air! Love for LIBRARIES, that is. I genuinely resent the Hallmark holiday that gets us all hot and bothered. In college I remember taking my friends out for margaritas, mocking the holiday and celebrating my love for them. While margaritas are always an excellent idea and cherishing friends is always at the top of my list I think Library Lovers Month offers a new way to channel my love. First, take a second to think about the following questions. Why do you love libraries? What have libraries done for you lately? Have libraries changed your life? Those reading this blog, besides my mother, are most likely interested in the field of library science. And why not? Library science is where it’s at people! So I think it’s time we remembered to honor those hallowed halls of learning and discovery that brought us to this field of study. Your library deserves a hug of some kind. Here are some ways in which…

  • The United States of YA

        In this week of festive, inaugural, bi-partisan activities I thought I’d let everyone know about a fun list of books lingering out there on the interwebs. This is a list developed by the brilliant minds over at epicreads.com.  A question was posed: What is your favorite young adult book? Name the state in which it takes place. Thus, the United States of YA was born, or at least, the list. Then the blogger made this amazing graphic (see above). The graphic and the list were made readily available for display makers, like me, and I stumbled across them on pinterest. I thought it would be an easy display. I wouldn’t have to do any list making. I could just pull the books and let the graphic speak for itself…WRONG. In the end it took me a WEEK to put up. But let me just say, it was worth it. Check me out.

  • The one thing we ignored in our syllabi this week…

    It’s the first week of classes! I spent my week looking deep into the future of my semester. Oh what fun projects I will do this year! The possibilities are, pardon the cliché, endless! Oh, the places I will go! Yet, as I reflected at the end of the week, every class had one commonality that I think doesn’t get talked about enough. Ever hear of the Simmons honor code? If you’ve read a syllabus in the past week you’d remember teachers dutifully reminding their students that plagiarism is taken seriously at this institution. I suppose in light of the recent cheating fiascos across the river you can hardly blame them. However, I remember skimming that part of the syllabi I had the fortune of reading this week, or rather skipping that part. It has occurred to me that this behavior is probably typical and symptomatic of the academic arena we were all raised in: DON’T COPY, DON’T CHEAT, DON’T STEAL…but most importantly, DON’T GET CAUGHT! I teach an information literacy course for high school…

  • All but the best laid book plans…

    A few posts ago you may or may not recall my assertion that what GSLIS students should be doing during their break was to take some time to professionally develop. Well develop I did, but in the exact opposite way I intended. You see, over the break I read prolifically (for me, anyway). I read books I had been dying to take home and snuggle with. I read when I woke up every day. I read after my luxurious mid-morning naps. I read next to my family’s Christmas tree with a cup of tea in hand. ‘Twas glorious! Now, while this wasn’t strictly professional reading. I think it’s SO VERY important for librarians, who have very little time for pleasure reading (BIG misconception about the profession in my opinion), to read their hearts out. To read until their eyeballs pop right out of their sockets. Readers advisory is a skill to be honed and the only real way to get anything done on that front is to read and share. This, I have done. This,…

  • Do we still need libraries?

    It still blows my mind that the New York Times still thinks that this is a controversial question, worthy of their op ed section. And yet, every couple of months the topic rears its ugly head. This time, the conversation has four professionals arguing in favor of libraries from many different perspectives. One  of the voices in this pro-library dialogue is Buffy Hamilton, school librarian of Canton, Georgia. I am a huge fan of Buffy’s, and her Unquiet blog. She speaks about how libraries are not just about book collection, but about connecting with a community and providing a learning space for that group. Lest you think that this is the only valid opinion posited, there are three more. All are wonderful, and use all those buzz words we hear in class: digital divide, marketspace, technology access and that echoing refrain, “…of the people, by the people and for the people.” There are also plenty of comments by the people like you and me. It’s a quick, interesting read that will get your engines revved…

  • Do you dare?

      While I continue my efforts to make myself a well rounded library student I have started to target blogs. I set up my google homepage through my Simmons mail so that I’m alerted to their newest posts etc. As you well know there are a ton of most excellent blogs run by libraries and librarians alike. I love the bloggish library site I work on at my job. In what other job can I spend a good half hour on a well crafted “Hey girl” post, complete with graphic and cuddle speak from the man we all know and love? Really…only in libraries. God, I love my job! In this spirit I comb the web for blogs to inform my studies and my work. Multiple times a blog is shows up in other librarians blogs, exciting webinars cite a guest speaker most commonly known as the daring librarian. She defines her commentary on what works in school libraries as “sweet, snarky freshness”. She’s tech savvy and embraces the massive changes taking place in the…

  • ‘Tis the Season to be Reading!

    Indeed! Classes are over. Perhaps  you have a vacation of sorts on the horizon. Whatever shall you do?  Well, I’ll tell you what I’ll be doing. I will be doing some professional development. Wait! It’s not as boring as it sounds. Here’s my rationale: I’m going to a wonderful school that costs a lot of money. I’m not fully taking advantage of everything the school/faculty/facilities have to offer. I’m going to get on that. Here’s a holiday list of books to read about the library profession, libguides to peruse, and people to bug about how to really get the most out of your Simmons Education. Also, I’ve included a fun list of holiday reads. What’s Christmas without a giggle or two 🙂 1) The Librarian’s Guide to Writing for Publication by Rachel Singer Gordon I’m loving this book that reminds every librarian, and librarian to be, that it’s important to contribute to the field of library science scholarship. Gordon quells the reader’s fears, by putting forth a baby step approach to writing about a field…

  • PIN IT!

    Yes, this is about the field of library science. For serious, it is. I promise. It just takes all those pesky listserv emails to a whole other visually pleasing and not annoying dimension. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of the idea of sharing and consulting with other professionals in the field when it comes to library questions. But does anyone get tired of the incessant emails? Because I do. Between all the clubs, the Simmons info, the tech lab, and my Moodle classroom forum posts, I’m awash in a sea of email that I must wade through to get to the nuggets of pure gold. As it is officially the holiday season and the end of the semester I am BEAT. I have no patience. All I want is pretty, shiny, sparkling lights and peppermint cocoa and “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” I want things that make it easier to be inspired.This is how I came to pinterest. Ok, this isn’t how I came to pinterest. There was actually a…

  • Stress Busters for the End of the Semester

    I am a stress champion. Normally, I take a break from stress at Thanksgiving before the season of giving and stressing begins. This year, however, I took the reigns for Turkey day and fed 11 people with a 20 pound turkey. So, my stress levels are still pretty high and everything is coming to a close. I always tell my students not to stress: all will be well in the end, and if all is not well then it is not yet the end. A little bit of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that never hurt anyone. I tell them this but never heed my own advice. In an effort to do just that I am passing on study tips, stress busters, and words of love I have compiled for all those who are feeling the end of the semester crunch. TIPS: Teach what you’re studying. If you can teach it, you know it. Teach your dog, your brother or your roommate, or look in the mirror and teach yourself. Remember, no one can ask any more than…

  • Dude…that’s hot

    Today is exam day at my school, so the library is chillingly quiet. Not a creature is stirring…not even the cockroaches we sometimes find under the desk. EW! In celebration of this peaceful respite from the sound and the fury my colleagues and I are catching up on wonderful YA blogs/excellent blogs/pinterest/goodreads quizzes. It really feels like a two hour holiday. The following blog post is a snapshot of 12 of the “hottest” and most talented male authors on the YA scene today. Marginalized by their gender, they’re exerting their manliness and proving that the YA realm isn’t just a game played by lady writers. It’s pretty hilarious. Enjoy! The Dudes of YA, a “Lit-Erotic” Photo Spread    

  • Do you buzz?

    Yes, do you buzz around like a bee? You see where I’m going with this? This week I represented the school I work for in the Wellesley Spelling Bee. With thirty lists of words to study I was engrossed and could talk about little else for the past few weeks. No joke, ask my friends and family who are glad it’s over. I learned words like butyraceous, jeroboam, tabetisol, and my personal favorite kakistocracy. I spent time with my colleagues/teammates from school as we chatted, studied, and laughed over the silliness of the words we were spelling. It was bliss for a true spelling bee nerd like me. You see, I was in the Peace Corps a few years ago. While I was there one of my biggest accomplishments was founding the National Spelling Bee of Macedonia with my friend Matt. We were both very passionate about making language learning engaging for students of every level. We knew that our students loved competition and this seemed the most logical way to make learning English fun.We put together…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Hannah Gomez

    I met Hannah while dissecting the motherboard of a PC in LIS 488. I think we had the most fun of anyone in the class because we made up names for the parts we didn’t know. She is a dual degree Children’s Literature/Library Science student here at Simmons, so she’s a superhero in my mind. Enjoy meeting Hannah Gomez, with these incredibly serious interview questions that really get to the heart of who GSLIS students really are. 1) If you could be assume a role in a book who would you be? As I kid I was always jealous of Dinnie in Sharon Creech’s Bloomability because she got to go to international school, which seemed so much more exotic and intellectual and independent than plain old school. Now that K-12 school is behind me and that’s not an option, I can’t think of anyone in a book I really love whose life I’m not already living (hence my liking them). 2) What’s been the most exciting part about being in the dual degree program so…

  • Seriously Folks, It Only Takes ONE

    I wonder if it’s common for anyone in their chosen profession to watch someone else in the same field with trepidation. And when I say trepidation I mean fear. And when I say fear I mean an acute sensitivity. Pre-Story information/philosophy: I’m a new resident of Brighton. One of the first things I did upon moving was go to the library to get a library card. For some people, it’s internet or electricity. Me, I wanted to have a library card because that’s how I connect to a community. The library is the place where people can come to learn about what their neighborhood has to offer. The library is a space to see new things and meet new people. None of this can happen if librarians are barricaded behind the desk. I say all this because I believe in libraries. I think that much is plainly true. I go to library school. I work in a library. AND, AND, I don’t buy books on the principle that anything I want to read I should borrow…

  • GOOOO Team!

    To be a GSLIS student is to be a team player. Group work, as I am finding out, is an essential part of this program. In my undergrad years I was a theater major so I guess I was working on group project, or plays, all the time but I never thought about it that way. Lately, as I wind down one group project and start up two more, it truly has been tickling my fancy, this whole idea of a paper or project’s success or failure linked with someone else’s. I think it pushes us to do better, forces us to swim harder because we’re buoyed to one another and it’s sink or swim together. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I am constantly dreading the evaluation at the end where my fellow teammates will rip me to shreds and tell the professor I was one very bad person to work with and I should be shunned to the dungeons of Moodle to await trial by Zotero (seriously, don’t those programs sound like fairytale locations…anyone?)….

  • Instant Gratification

    Yes, we live in that kind of culture. Yes, our society demands satisfaction from us RIGHT NOW. I have never been more aware of this need for speed now that I assist 13-year-olds with their research every day of the week. What is it about waiting for answers that makes us so itchy? Has Google gotten THAT good? Have we gotten that lazy? I ask myself these questions as I sit at this reference desk after I’ve had three different students ask me in a matter of 15 minutes what the difference is between reference and reserves, and why in the world they can’t take these books out of the library. I suppose the library does seem antiquated with it’s rules about not being able to take certain books out and only being able to take out only so many books/dvds/cds to a generation of young people who get whatever they want whenever they want it on the world wide web. This younger generation doesn’t want to be limited. They want access…to EVERYTHING. In my…

  • Happiness, already rampant at a library near you!

    Does anybody else feel incredibly lucky? Seriously, does anybody out there feel like they’ve hit the profession jackpot? I do. I mean, it’s been quite a year for me in general. I finished 3 years of serving in the Peace Corps, married the love of my life who I met in the Peace Corps (yeah, those statistics are real), started a new job at a school library, and began my first two classes at GSLIS. I really don’t know how next year could compare by any small stretch of the imagination unless I sprout wings and fly to Neverland. However, I don’t think it’s only me that feels this way. I’ve spent the last three weeks getting to know my first year peers in my core courses and they couldn’t more jazzed about what they do. I remember all of our introductions on the first day of class and everyone’s talking about how they came to love libraries. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone has a story about how they came to the library….