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

William Crouch

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Hi everybody, I’m William Crouch. I am from Denton, Texas and moved up to Boston in September 2019 so that I could experience a real winter. I am part of the History and Archives Management Dual Degree program. I chose to attend Simmons because of the opportunity to get a strong education in both History and Library Science at the same time. I completed my undergrad in 2019 at Austin College (Go Roos!), a small school in Sherman, Texas, where I spent most of my time playing for the Roos Tennis Team. In 2018, I had the opportunity to work at Walt Disney World through the Disney College Program and found that I wanted to further my career with Disney. I wanted to use my love for history at Disney and found the Disney Archives which led me to a Library Science program. In my free time, you can find me watching tennis, playing video games, or exploring the many unique sites within the Boston area.



Entries by William Crouch

  • First Weeks

    Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user.  In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to…

  • Fall 2020 and Welcome Week

    It’s pretty crazy to think about how different the start to this fall semester is compared to last year. At this time last year, I was moving to Boston and now the whole world is somewhat frozen with the pandemic while Simmons is not having anything on campus this fall. But that hasn’t stopped us from trying to establish a community for our SLIS students as at the beginning of the month we had a series of digital welcome events for our new students. We had students talk with professors about the upcoming year, meeting with our Simmons librarians to help with research, a meeting for students to get to know each other and chat, and we even had a drawing for SLIS clothing at the end of the week. It was a lot of fun and if any incoming students are hesitant about attending these events the next time we have them, hopefully in person next fall, I would highly recommend going to help establish connections with professors and fellow students before your grad…

  • Summer of Covid

    Hey everyone. I thought I might share a little bit of what I have been doing aside from classes during this strange summer. I’ve moved back to Texas to wait out this pandemic which has been insanely different than what Massachusetts has experienced. Obviously, Texas experienced a massive spike in cases around the end of June and throughout July. Thankfully, I’ve been able to isolate myself for the most part to hopefully limit my exposure. One of the benefits from being in Texas this summer is that I’ve been able to start playing tennis again. I played tennis in undergrad for my school, Austin College, but for a number of factors, I wasn’t able to continue playing when I moved to Boston. To try and get some fresh air and exercise, my dad and I have been playing almost every night which has been really beneficial for my mental and physical health. Due to how tennis is played, it’s really easy to maintain social distancing, so if anybody is looking for a way to get…

  • Summer Classes

    Hey everyone, long time since I last posted. Hope everybody has been staying safe during all this craziness. I’ve been keeping busy taking a summer course while history courses are being offered online. This summer, the history seminar being offered is divided into two different parts both focusing on how the United States functioned as an empire in the early 20th century. The first section was taught by Professor Frances Sullivan and focused on labor movements within United States territories like Puerto Rico or Hawaii. It was really interesting reading some of these groups’ thoughts about how they would gain a new government to try and gain more equity but that the governments would often revert back to being more unequal. Reading about these ideas in the midst of similar discourse occurring in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement has been very enlightening. The second half of the course was taught by Professor Laura Prieto and focused on women’s suffrage movements within United States territories and how the United States womens’ suffrage…

  • Tips for Remote Work

    Like everyone else, both my school work and class work has been severely disrupted by the ongoing pandemic. I just wanted to share a couple of tips that have been helping me work at home. The main one is pretty obvious but it’s incredibly important to set aside a place solely dedicated as a workstation in a place without distractions. For me, this is my living room that does not have a television or anything that could make me lose focus. Working on your bed has been studied to cause sleeping issues so even just getting up and working on the floor can help you prevent this. The next one is one that I have done in the two semesters I have been here already, create a calendar or list of due dates for assignments. This will help you keep in your mind when things are due and prevent accidentally missing a deadline. Finally, the most important one, is to make sure you’re practicing good care of yourself physically and mentally. We all know that…

  • Admitted Student Session

    On Saturday, we had our first admitted student information session. With everything being remote now, the session had to be moved online through Zoom. It was actually a really interesting way of having the session work. Everybody, about 120 admitted students, started in an initial Zoom session that went over the basics of SLIS such as campus, professors, rankings, that was presented by our admissions team. Some faculty members from all the concentrations then introduced themselves to give students a sense of who their future faculty will be. After some questions that came from a chat function, everybody moved into various different Zoom breakout sessions based on their specific interests or concentrations. I was placed in the Archives and History session with Professor Kathy Wisser of SLIS, Professor Sarah Leonard of the History department, and alum Sarah Nafis, to answer questions that these students had about the program. One question that was asked was about the feasibility of working fulltime and taking classes full time. I was able to address that by detailing how Simmons…

  • Spring Break 2K20

    The CoronaVirus has certainly thrown everybody for a whirlwind recently. It’s been difficult to keep track of what is and isn’t closed for the time being. Simmons, thankfully, was on spring break from March 9 to March 13 while most students went on vacation. For me, I had the great opportunity to take a week long intensive class at Simmons called “Moving Image Archives”. It ended up being my favorite class of the semester, so far. As stated in one of my previous blogs, I hope to work for the Walt Disney Archives one day and one of the parts of that archive is moving images. They have rare films like promotional ads from Walt that have helped reveal what his last taped appearance was. So taking this class not only helped me gain skills that will be very helpful in my journey as an archivist, but also made me seriously consider becoming a moving image archivist in the future. The first day was normal and we got to handle old home movies and use…

  • Working in an Archive

    For LIS 438-Intro to Archival Methods, one of the required aspects is a 60-hour internship with an archive. For the class, Simmons helps you find an archive that will work well for your own situation based on your interests, transportation options, and where you live. I was assigned to work in the City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division with SLIS alum, Marta Crilly. For my internship, I was introduced to all of the other archivists within the office and they were all Simmons alumni which was really cool because it made me see just how big the alumni network is for SLIS. The City of Boston Archives has all the governmental records for the various divisions within the government like the fire department, police, and obviously the mayor’s office. My project for this semester will be going through boxes of photos from Mayor Raymond Flynn’s administration from 1984 to 1993 which had previously had been digitized onto a Flickr account. Over the course of the 60 hours I’ll be working there, I’ll be…

  • Pizza with the Dean

    There was a really cool event on campus last, Pizza with the Dean. For those of you unaware, the dean of COCIS is Marie desJardines who I learned comes from a computer science background. She told us about her background in going to Harvard initially then Berkeley for her doctorate, working for a research institute and finally ending up in academia. She then told us how Simmons started to reorganize itself into the different colleges and how each program became a part of the college it is affiliated with. Marie wanted to meet with SLIS students to gain a better understanding of what current students think of the program and how we think it might be able to be improved. Many of us suggested that we focus more on utilizing the information science aspect of the college while still maintaining a strong identity as a library school. We also discussed what makes Simmons stand apart from different library schools in that it helps students utilize the theory taught more and makes sure that students that…

  • Spring 2020 Classes

    I figured it was probably time for me to post about what classes I’m taking next semester considering the fall semester is more or less done. I’ll actually be taking four classes over the Spring semester. One of my weekly classes will LIS 438 Intro to Archives. It will be my first archives course and it includes a 60 hour internship so I’m pretty excited to start it and learn more about what will hopefully be my eventual career. Another weekly class will be LIS 407 Information Services. It’s one of the required courses for the LIS program and sounds similar to LIS 415 which I enjoyed. My last weekly course will be HIST 574 Modern US History. I’m a big US history buff and am mostly interested in modern history so this class will be one that I hope to take the methods that I learned from my current history course and be able to apply them. Finally, my last course is actually not weekly. Instead it will take place entirely over spring break…

  • Moving Across the Country

    In September, I moved to Boston from Texas so I could attend Simmons and try and get a real winter. I’m only 3 months in and it’s already way colder here than it ever gets in Texas. I wanted to go over some of the things that were part of the challenge of moving here and how Simmons helped me with the move. The major thing was finding a place to live which can be difficult wherever you go. Finding a comfortable space that is also affordable is a challenging process. Thankfully, Simmons has a really great listing that students can access that lists available places within the area. It took me a while but I managed to find a little place in West Roxbury that a Simmons alum owns and managed to find a great roommate. The next thing to deal with was how to get to school and figuring out public transportation for the first time. In Texas, there’s no real convenient transportation service because everybody has cars and because Texas is such…