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


All the Things that are Good for You: Broccoli, Shoveling Snow, and Group projects

You probably remember being a kid and being told, “Eat your broccoli…it’s good for you.”  As a parent, I have had said my fair share of “It’s good for you” moments in raising my daughter.  A couple of specific examples stand out:  “Stacking wood builds character,” and “I know it is hard to work in a group, but it is good for you.” While I have no problem eating broccoli and I love to stack wood, I have had to eat my words on the group project thing.  Just two days ago, on a visit home, as I was stressing about an end of term group project, my daughter gave me a sympathetic smile and reminded me that group projects are good for me. I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for group projects at GSLIS.  I know we will work in a collaborative environment and so learning how to reach our goals with our peers is important, but there have been some real challenges.

What It Means to be Blended

Blended and Online classes offer amazing opportunities to learn from practicing professionals who genuinely want to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of library professionals. What could be better than learning from real world librarians! Being my first semester, I had no idea what a Blended class actually entailed.  I knew there would be some face-to-face meetings and other meetings online, but I wasn’t sure what that actually meant in practice. Face-to-face is what it implies – a class meeting on campus in the traditional sense.   My blended class combines face-to-face meetings on Simmons West (Mount Holyoke) campus with synchronous online sessions.  Synchronous means that we all log in at class time – either from home in our PJs or some of us choose to log in together in an empty classroom or in the GSLIS West office. While PJs are appealing, I enjoy the group gathering as it has allowed for some excellent peer interaction and good company with my morning coffee.

Library School Dissection

It’s only the second week of classes and I feel like this semester is already flying by. I’ve been making tons of to-do lists and definitely checking them twice. Today, I can submit my choices for my sixty hour internship for LIS 438: Introduction to Archives. I’m pretty sure I’ve got it narrowed down to Beverly Historical Society, Sudbury Historical Society, and Walden. Hopefully, no matter where I end up, I get the chance to work with archival material and process at least one entire collection. Some of my friends that took the class last semester were less than pleased with their internship sites and I’ve made sure to do some basic research before submitting my decisions. With any luck, I won’t just be scanning documents or shredding paper the entire time, but interns certainly don’t always get the glorified jobs. Besides the internship excitement, I got to dissect a computer in technology class on Monday (LIS 488). It was awesome! I have to admit, I was slightly intimidated by all the wires and the…

So much to talk about

Where will I start? I guess I should start by letting all the readers know why I have neglected blogging this semester. I took over the responsibilities of the “Fellow for Dean’s Initiatives” while they hunt for the new fellow. (The past Fellow got a ‘big kid’ archives job in RI.) So I have been planning all of the events around GSLIS. This is a really fun job, but there are so many events it takes up all of my time! We have these programs called “Lunchtime Lectures” and they are informal ‘classes’ but instead of learning about the reference interview, you learn about happiness. You are also welcomed/encouraged to bring your lunch to any of these series. There are some refreshments available and a number of professors attend the event. Another notable aspect of these lectures is the fact that you get to have an introduction of a topic even though you are not in a specific concentration. For example, a few weeks ago I attended a lunchtime lecture about censorship in children’s literature….

Get lost in the Reference stacks

This semester for my Reference (407) class, I have two sample reference question sets.  These have been my favorite assignments so far because they let me practice something I’m really starting to enjoy doing.  My favorite question to research so far: What are some variations of the old saying “a penny saved is a penny earned”? Now, this isn’t necessarily because I love random knowledge (although I do), but  more because of HOW I found the answer.  By the time I’d reached this question in the sample set, I’d spent lots of time just sitting and looking through several online databases.  I deserved a break!  I got up just to stretch my legs and browse the shelves for fun.  I started browsing through the New York Times bound collection of film reviews to try to find the print version of the Gone With the Wind review I cited for another assignment question (no luck) when a nearby title caught my eye: The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs: Meanings and origins of more than 1,500…

Workin’ 9 to 5…and taking a courseload of all core classes?

We are well into the semester, almost at Spring Break even, and classes are in full swing.  So far, my second semester has been quite different from the first in that this time around I’ve had to balance the demands of a new full-time pre-professional library job in addition to my GSLIS course-load.  I am absolutely excited about the opportunity to gain some valuable experience while I’m in pursuing my degree, but this also means that I’ve had to really take a step back and re-think my approach to school. I initially signed up for two courses for the Spring semester, just to keep the momentum going from the Fall.  A few days into my job, though, I had to face that maybe taking two courses while I was still learning the ropes might be a bit more challenging than I thought.  Especially since those two courses happen to be two core classes that I was told could be quite a mental workout to take together: 407 (Reference) and 415 (Information Organization).  When I registered,…

Last semester… OH NO!

The semester is in full swing and I thought I would write about some of the classes I am taking. I have already finished my requirements and now I get to pick some electives! This is my last semester here at GSLIS (and I am devastated) and I am taking three (3) classes to close out my Masters of Science in Library and Information Science. Class 1: Medical Libraries – I am very much interested in Special Libraries (my career goals involve government libraries). Medical Libraries sounded immensely interesting and was recommended to me by a number of GSLIS Alums. We are a few weeks into the class and I love it. Everything about Medical Libraries is interesting. We just took a field trip (yes this building is on the same street as the Palace Road building but still it was a grad school field trip!) to the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Library. There we spoke to the director of the library and its head of reference services. It was interesting to…

A great big balancing act

In the Fall 2010 semester, my student loans allowed me to pay for the mandatory health insurance – not only for me, but for my husband and 17-month-old son as well. That’s a pretty big chunk of change, but the insurance covers a calendar year, and I was able to take two classes with the money left over. Since I don’t have that expense in the Spring 2011 semester, I’ve taken on a third class, and boy, does my plate feel full! I’ve got Picture Book and Children’s Lit and Media Collections back to back on Mondays – that’s six straight hours – and Management on Wednesdays. For me, the LIS courses come naturally, because they’re about doing, and they train me to accomplish something practical, but the CHL classes are much more challenging in that I must force my brain into academic/analytic mode. I’m more comfortable there than I was last semester (CHL 401 whipped me into shape pretty well), but I still find it hard to get those gears turning. I feel so…