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

Conferences

Virtual Conferences

Sarah Callanan

In my last post of the spring semester, I mentioned how due to COVID-19 many conferences are now going virtual.  I have never been able to attend an in-person conference before because of my school and work schedule, as well as financial reasons, but virtual conferences are significantly cheaper (or free in some cases!), and you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  I still hope to go to a real-life conference before I graduate (assuming the pandemic and vaccines and everything works out), but for now, I’m taking advantage of virtual opportunities.  The ALA Annual 2020 Conference was initially supposed to be held in Chicago this year; however, it was moved online and transformed into ALA Virtual: Community Through Connection.  It was held from June 24-26 online.  Admittedly, I know it’s not the same experience—I’m sitting in my room, alone, with my laptop and my headphones on instead of being around tons of people after all!  If you compare this to Katie’s experience at ALA Annual last year, and at ALA Midwinter…


Conference-ing 101

Adaliz Cruz

Hi all, I hope you are well, safe, and healthy.  Due to the present circumstances, I am currently working and studying from home as most of you are as well. This means that two of my upcoming professional development (aka conferences) events are cancelled. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty bummed. I love going to conferences. Why? Well, the high of attending of course. You must be thinking, what in the world is a conference high? A conference high is what I call the tired, but exhilarated and pumped feeling during and after attending a conference. While I have not polled every single conference attendee, most people I talk to say that they have a sense of renewing one’s love of the field after attending a conference. While at a conference you get to meet/catch up with the colleagues you met thanks to my last post who live far away from you. If you are part of an affinity group, especially from marginalized communities, conferences provide the perfect setting for an impromptu support meeting…


Midwinter Tales

Katie Carlson

While I attended the ALA Annual Conference in D.C. this summer, I was busy working the Simmons booth and balancing my girlfriend’s first visit to our nation’s capital, so (while I had an AMAZING time) I didn’t feel as though I had the full conference experience. This time was completely different! I was able to attend panels and discussions that spanned all of my library related interests, while still spending time with friends and family, as well as partaking in some delicious Philly food!  I kicked off the conference by attending “Making Real Change: Moving Beyond the Interpersonal to Create Actual Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Environments for Both Library Users and Employees.” I was a bit hesitant when the presenters did not appear to be POC, but I was put at ease when the presenters stated that they felt more white people should be putting in the work to combat white supremacy and oppression in LIS, instead of placing the onus on people of color. The section relied largely on discussion in small groups, so…


Connections and Libraries

Peggy Hogan-Rao

With a big paper due this week, I knew I was going to need a few study breaks. On Tuesday night, I went back to Loretta’s for a good workout of fast-paced line dancing. Wednesday was a busy day for me with meeting with a professor for my paper due this week, class, and then a conference called Connect Boston. The first conference of its kind, Connect Boston has a goal of connecting Catholic young adults to like-minded professionals around the Boston area. The event started with opening keynote speeches from the founder of Young Catholic Professionals and the CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). After these two opening talks, there were breakout sessions for networking with Catholic professionals in similar fields. As a school library student, of course I went to the education panel. As I expected, I was the only library student in a room full of teachers. The three panelists in my breakout session were a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, the headmaster of St. Benedict Classical Academy…


Baby’s First ALA

Katie Carlson

A few weeks ago I took part in a librarian rite of passage, and made my way down to Washington D.C. for the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition.  As a grad student on a tight budget (especially a full time grad student living in Boston), attending conferences can be expensive. That is why I was extra thankful that LISSA offers Professional Development Reimbursement at Simmons! More information on PDR funds can be found here, but essentially LISSA will reimburse students for up to $250 incurred by engaging in LIS-related professional development activities. My $250 went directly towards my ALA experience, including covering a good chunk of the gas I purchased making the 879 mile journey from Boston to Washington, D.C. and back. This ALA trip truly was brought to you by a giant cooler filled with sandwiches, a 15 hour long playlist, PDR funds, and lots of iced coffee!  As you probably know by now, one of my jobs is working as a SLIS Admission Student Ambassador. This meant I also manned the Simmons booth…


Guest Blog Post – MLA Conference Experience – Professional Development

Lindsey Clarke

Hi Everyone! We are lucky enough to have a fabulous guest post from one of our current students in the program — Kerri MacLaury. Kerri was kind enough to share with us her input on the recent MLA conference she attended. I hope you enjoy this exciting guest post!  One of the reasons why I chose to attend Simmons University’s School of Library and Information Science program was its support of students’ professional development. Every fiscal year, each SLIS student, courtesy of the Library and Information Science Student Association, receives $250 which they can put toward various professional development activities. Funds can be used to be reimbursed for professional association dues, workshop or conference fees, and travel and lodging expenses. This year I considered using my funds to pay for American Library Association, New England Library Association (NELA), and Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) membership dues, but ultimately decided to use the funds to attend the MLA conference. I made that decision because I know that I will remain in Massachusetts at the conclusion of my…


Meeting Connections and Chatting with Friends

Peggy Hogan-Rao

   It’s early April, and you want to hang out with fellow book lovers. The obvious thing is to go to MSLA (Massachusetts School Library Association) on a rainy Sunday. MSLA is a chance for classmates you see in your classes to interact with school library teachers who are your professors, as well as other school librarians in the field. The day started off with an opening keynote on diversity, an issue very big among our community at Simmons and in public schools around the state. Many sessions were offered. I chose the talk on new AASL (American Association of School Librarians) standards, since I am working on creating lessons that align with those standards in my 461 Curriculum and Instructional Strategies class.    The instructor of the session on AASL was the former Simmons SLT program manager, from about ten years ago. Half the school librarians in the session were alums of the Simmons SLT program. Throughout the guided exercises at the AASL Standards session, I was able to get good ideas for my future…


It’s Not Easy Being Green

Megan Ondricek

My senioritis went out the window this week as my schedule really started heating up. I’m currently involved in two group projects: one for my online Metadata class and the other for a conference presentation! Way back in January, Eric Poulin, SLIS West program director and instructor for my User Instruction class, asked me if I’d be interested in presenting at one of the state library conferences with some other students. I said yes, of course, and nothing much happened until last week. Our proposal had been accepted for the Massachusetts Library Association conference to be held on May 21, but then Eric found out (unbeknownst to him) that we were also on the schedule for the Connecticut Library Association conference on April 29! Eek! So now I feel like I’m drowning in virtual group meetings and deadlines and everything is coming up so quickly. Fortunately, I just taught the last class for my internship this morning so at least that part of my work load is winding down. All told, I taught 8 sessions…


Conference Thoughts

Megan Ondricek

So, let’s talk about conferences. I knew that librarians had conferences before I came to library school. While I worked at an academic library in Virginia, I went to two of them. One was for the state library association, and the other was some kind of interlibrary-loan specific conference. Somehow this did not prepare me for how many library/archives conferences there would be happening in New England. As library students, we get plenty of emails about them and hear a lot about why we should be attending them. Students are even encouraged to submit papers and be presenters. Conferences are a great opportunity but they are difficult to attend. Most of them are a good distance from your home, necessitate overnight stay, require missing class or work (and in my case, lots of babysitting), and charge registration fees. Simmons and sponsoring organizations make a good effort to mediate these demands by offering professional development reimbursements, travel awards, and scholarships for students. These efforts are nice but they also require some time and work on the…


I Am No Charles Schulz

Amanda Pizzollo

I’m kind of out of words lately. ACRL last week was super fun and awesome, and I highly recommend taking advantage of conferences as much as you can. It’s great way to know what other folks are doing across the library land and to get motivation and practical advice for your own role and community. But, I am kind of not functioning at high octane levels right now mind-wise. ACRL and the travel to and from while trying to keep up with my 2 classes (which are awesome but the most work intensive courses I’ve had my whole grad school time) and settle into my new position at work has left me a little out of articulation energy and wherewithal. So, here’s a bad comic I made today to illustrate my current feelings about dealing with Dublin Core- a specific metadata schema- for my digital libraries project with class.  PS: don’t mistake this post for me grumbling about being stressed/overwhelmed or even about me not loving Dublin Core. I am a bit overwhelmed with school…