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

Events

Simmons Students Present at Boston College Conference

Over the weekend, the Boston College History Department hosted their first annual graduate student conference entitled “Grad Student Voices.” The student leadership team possessed a simple yet bold vision – a conference for graduate students by graduate students. Especially as a student just finishing her first year of her M.A. in History, I found it refreshing to attend an history conference that uplifted graduate voices rather than relegating their voices – and the students themselves – to the corner.  Since the dual degree Archives and History program here at Simmons pairs the M.A. in History as a complement to the M.S. in Archives Management, at times I have struggled to engage with my peers as fellow historians. The dominant attitude is that we are archivists first. And while I take my role as an archivist seriously because of the authority it invests in me in determining what records make it into the archives that future historians will rely on, sometimes I just want to dive deep into the theoretical frameworks and dizzying array of possible…


Career Fair in Review

Last week I attended the Simmons SLIS career fair.  It was a really informative experience that allowed myself and other students to talk to current LIS professionals about current job opportunities and fields that we should keep an eye on.  I personally attended to get an idea of where the field was at.  I used to, before studying for my masters, work for a museum internship program and would attend these fairs on “the other side of the table.”  So, I was going to see what had changed since then, what my perspective as a student had changed, and hopefully to get some information on the state of LIS fields. I walked away feeling much more informed and confident about my job prospects once I graduate this May, regardless of where I end up.  Everyone I talked to was really kind, helpful, and happy to answer questions.  The best thing was a walked away with was interest in fields, like development fundraising research to law libraries, that I had not before.  And as someone who…


Assignments and Resumes

Now is the time in the semester where everything is busy and lots of assignments are due.  These past few weeks since coming back from spring break I have had at least one major assignment due each week.  It has been a little stressful and certainly busy. But even so, the amount of pride and excitement I get when I finish these assignments is great.  I always feel so much more accomplished than I did going into them and often, I am much more confident of my own skills on whatever the topic may have been, from metadata to programming to book reviews.  It is a wonderful sense to become more confident and surer in my abilities. This is also the case with me polishing up my career materials as I creep closer to graduation.  One of the ways I did this was by attending the Resume Revamp hosted by SLA this week.  I was a great event hosted by the Special Library Association Student Chapter at Simmons where they connected students who submitted resumes…


SLIS Townhalls

Most of the time when people think about townhalls, espeically now, they are often political events that lead to a lot of talking and side handed comments.  But that is never the case with SLIS townhalls.  In fact, they are usually the complete opposite.  I did not hear about townhalls until I joined SLIS, but not long after, I started to realize how great they are.  And last night’s meeting was no exception.  For anyone who might not know what a townhall is, traditionally, they are when the voting members of a town meet together in one space and disscuss and vote on issues for their town.  I grew up going to many and they have a whole section of literature on them in American politics.  If you’re interested in those topics, I highly recommend researching more. SLIS townhall’s follow a similar format, but because we are usually like-minded individuals all associated with SLIS, the usual bad blood between neighbors need not apply.  And that’s what makes them so great.  While I haven’t always been…


Wellness Week

This past week LISSA – the student library organization here at SLIS – organized a week of activities to help promote wellness in the run-up to finals. Designed to facilitate relaxation, these bite-sized events were thirty minute moments every evening at 7:30 so that students could break seamlessly without needing the added stress of carving out an entire evening to practice wellness! On Monday, pet-owners and pet-lovers alike gathered to introduce their pets to their SLIS colleagues. Chris, a Ph.D. student studying accessibility in public libraries and LISSA Community Liaison, hosted the event with her two dogs Boomba and Lacey and foster dog Tripp. On Tuesday, students engaged in meditative journaling to reflect on the past semester, set goals for the semester to come, and remind themselves of their “why” for being in the SLIS graduate program. Rosie, LISSA President, provided prompts on dreamy powerpoint slides that participants could journal directly onto while the old at heart wrote out their intentions on paper. Wednesday evening turned physical as Johnna, LISSA VP of Events, helped participants…


Half-Time

In October, I know how I am supposed to be spending my weekends. I’m not talking about the fabled New England leaf peeping or the apple and pumpkin picking we wait all year for. I mean that mid semester rush of projects and presentations and paper deadlines that loom large over the first half of the class and rush to arrive before any of us know it. The midterm season in graduate school is less defined than its undergraduate counterpart. While I used to have midpoint tests to look forward to, now my calendar is filled with a handful of assignments worth increasingly more percentages of my total class grades. It’s less a midterm schedule and more a mounting panic at how quickly the semester runs by. I spent the first few weeks at Simmons feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. And now, I wonder if it is worth bringing my laptop to work with me so I can look for entries for my next paper’s bibliography on my commute home. With my mental and…


Confessions of a Library Card Holder

            Reader, I have a confession. I, a Simmons Library and Information Science master’s student, have lived in Boston for over half a year now without getting my Boston Public Library card. The shock! The horror. I can hear the admonishments now. But maybe you, like me, moved to a new city during this time of great lockdown and weren’t sure how libraries were available to us with their front doors firmly closed and sanitized. That is why I write to tell you of my own journey for the little plastic card and the membership it represents. I decided to remedy my lapse in patronship during one of my library science classes. No, I won’t tell which one. It’s my first semester here and I want to make a good, attentive first impression on Simmons’ venerable professors. In said unnamed class, I pulled up the BPL website and found the page for their eCard registration. The eCard is available for anyone who lives or works in Massachusetts, even if you are only here part of…


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…


ICA: We All Shout Hooray!

A few weeks ago, I was able to snag a spot to attend the LOVE IS CALLING exhibit at the ICA with Panopticon (Simmons’ resident art libraries interest org) for FREE. It was one of the coolest installations I’ve seen in a while! LOVE IS CALLING is an installation by Yayoi Kusama that premiered in Japan in 2013. Kusama is a 90(!!!!) year old artist who has been active since the 60s. She is most known for her sculptures, massive installations, and blunt red bob. Polka dots are a common thread that run through Kusama’s sculptural work, and for good reason: Kusama was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive neurosis in the 70s, and states that the dots are a visual representation of hallucinations she has experienced since the age of 10. Kusama calls these clusters of polka dots “infinity nests,” while the full room installations are referred to as “infinity rooms.”  LOVE IS CALLING (seen left) is a prime example of one of Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms, which use mirrors to make rooms (and polka dots)…


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…