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

GSLIS

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…


Alternate Reality and Library School

When I started my summer classes, I walked into an alternate reality – literally. I have never been a gamer, but this summer, I am joining my colleagues in LIS 404 Management, LIS 407 Reference, and LIS 450 Management in Public Libraries in an online alternate reality game to Save Kingston, a fictitious town in central Massachusetts that suffers from time and space issues;  It appears and disappears due to the instability of its Library & Information Science (LIS) industry.  A team of talented Simmons GSLIS consultants have been tasked with saving Kingston, by providing their services to the many LIS organizations in this town – Kingston has public libraries, a school library, high school library, corporate library, hospital library, law library, an archive, an art museum, and of course (my personal favorite), a correctional facility library. This is, by far, the most creatively designed and empowering class I have encountered anywhere.   Our leader in this endeavor is our very own Dr. Mary Wilkins Jordan, who explained her motivation to create this alternate world for…


Time to refuel…

Classes ended on Monday.  Tuesday should have been a day to relax, but then there was that Call for Submissions that I had been thinking about for months, due on Wednesday…so between all the academic pursuits, my public library job, and my volunteer time at the men’s prison library, I am only now coming up for air. This semester was my most rigorous.  I only took two classes, but I balanced more than usual, as my cluttered house and cobwebs will attest.  My day job expanded, I added volunteering, started a regular exercise routine, and had some pet and family health issues.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being exhausted.  I am sure my family and friends are tired of my response to most invitations, “In May…can’t do anything before May.” I am not trying to scare you away.  Some great results came out of this: I discovered minimalist running shoes, and my knees don’t hurt anymore. After 18 years of marriage, my husband learned to do laundry. I found my calling…


Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

It seems like only yesterday I was starting my first day at GSLIS.  This semester has flown by and left me invigorated to learn more.  All four classes I took this semester have reassured me that the GSLIS program is absolutely the right place for me and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I started this semester with no friends in the program, very little knowledge of the library profession, and no specific academic focus.  Only a few months later, I am finishing my first semester with good grades in all my classes (fingers crossed!), a great group of friends, and a decision to focus on public libraries. When I first started classes in January, I had no idea how much my life was about to change. I leave for Rome in just under a month and could not be more excited. In addition to taking three classes in the fall and continuing to write for this blog, I have also accepted a leadership position in a student organization. I have been…


GSLIS is great, and everything. But let’s talk about Community.

There have been a lot of events going on at the main Simmons Campus this week.  On April 15, Boston experienced two bombs that rocked the famous Boston Marathon.  Then, just this past Thursday and Friday, there was a city – district? – wide manhunt for the two suspects.  I personally live in the Cambridge area, very near MIT.  My husband works at the Whitehead Building, only a block away from where the valiant MIT Police Officer, Sean Collier, lost his life.  I was terrified – my husband was still at work when MIT was put on lockdown – and I felt helpless and confused.  Of course, eventually the manhunt was relocated to Watertown with a whole other set of terrors.  But you all know the story of what went down recently – I want to talk about all of Boston’s reaction to it, and more specifically how Simmons reacted.  Community is a strong word.  Community, in my mind, evokes thoughts about people holding hands and having a strong bond tied to a location or…


The Art of the Symposium

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a very cool symposium put on by many of GSLIS’ student organizations including SCoSAA, LISSA, ALASC, ASIS&T, Panoption, SLA, and UXPA.  This Symposium was the second one GSLIS has ever put on, and provided a really interesting glimpse into many different areas of GSLIS.  There was a keynote speaker, GSLIS’ own Martha Mahard, and four panels of students and past students.  Each panel had a topic, and the panelists gave a presentation on their specific area of study and then answered questions.  Overall, there were a wide variety of topics, from Technology to Ethics, and it was incredibly interesting to see what my fellow students were working on (not to mention impressive… I’m feeling like a bit of a slacker for not having presented!).  An additional super-cool part of this Symposium was that it was available for both live and future streaming.  As the Facilitator for the Archives Management Cohort Online, it was awesome to be able to present this opportunity to the online students that…


25-30 of 36

I think I’m a bit overdue for telling you about my courses this semester, so here goes. I am only taking two classes right now, as last May’s weeklong class and last semester’s independent study got me a bit ahead of the game. I’m pretty sure I have already referenced both of my current classes in some recent posts, but this post will serve as their official coming out party. Wahoo! Mondays, 9am-noon – LIS 403; Evaluation of Library Services This is currently a core class, and one that anyone who entered the program before Fall 2013 must take. That means that those of you who will be starting in the fall will not need to take this one…but you’re going to hear about it anyway. The idea behind this class is that in order to optimize library services for both patrons and the library itself, librarians must perform evaluations on different library programs and processes. These evaluations can involve surveys, a case study, or action research, among other things, and are often lengthy and…


2nd Annual GSLIS Graduate Symposium

I am still digesting everything…yesterday I participated in my first conference, Simmons 2nd Annual GSLIS Graduate Symposium.  The day went well all things considered, but it was both an exhilarating and exhausting experience. I presented on the art panel and chose to talk about how we can use technology to integrate more use of primary source documentation as a means of context in art museums. It was not an idea I thought would create any backlash at all, and perhaps backlash is not the right word. It wasn’t hostile, but some of the questions I received after my presentation surprised me. But that is a good thing, and is the point of a symposium. It is all part of the peer review. When my very first question was pushing back at something I said instead of just a general question for further explanation I immediately felt my pulse quicken and my self-esteem plummet. But I quickly realized that the questioner was not attacking me, she was not even really attacking my work but simply bringing…


Professional Organizations: A Brief Intro, and How They Relate to You

SAA, SLA, MLA, ALA… in the world of the library and all its’ properties, it seems like almost every three letter combination stands for a professional organization.  And, unlike the title suggests, you don’t have to be a “professional” to join them!  Many professional organizations are organized to help budding entrants into their fields.  Because this is my first year into the library science world, I’ve been researching many of these organizations, trying to evaluate if they will be helpful to me pre-graduation, and what resources they offer.  Here’s a quick glance at some of them: ALA, the American Library Association:  the quintessential professional organization for anyone in the library field, ALA costs only $33/year and supplies its’ student members with newsletters, updates on the job market, free round tables, and even online classes!  One of the biggest perks of joining ALA is the conference that is held once a year, usually in June, which brings librarians together to talk about the latest and greatest inventions, problems, and advances in the field.  SAA, the Society…