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

Internships

Thinking Like an Archivist

We are more than halfway through the semester and with a few days off for holidays this month, I think I can safely say we are in the home stretch. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Woo! With my archives internship wrapping up, I thought I’d share some of my observations. First of all, this internship required some serious time management. It is built right into the Intro to Archives course (LIS 438) on top of a typical load of coursework, and it’s a lot. I actually advised a classmate the other day not to take it, unless she was serious about archives. Because unless you’ve got all kinds of free time and not many daytime commitments, it will require some major sacrifices beyond the typical course. That being said, I have loved all the course material (not so much the online format) and the work I’ve been doing for my internship. I have finally gotten some hands-on experience in an archive. It really is essential. I’ve heard several times now…


Living the Dream

WHOA it’s been a crazy week! So crazy, in fact, I’m going to have to break it down with a numbered list. Here are the important announcements/news items from this week: 1. I started my internship at the Fairfield University archives!                 This internship is a big deal for me. I haven’t worked since I had my son almost five years ago, so I need all the professional experience I can get. Also, I’ve never done any actual archives work before. I have some library experience and some museum experience, and here I am in grad school claiming I want to be an archivist with only a foggy idea of what that actually means. So YAY FOR INTERNSHIPS! Can you tell I’m excited? I’m super excited. This internship is perfect for me. It’s not too far from my home and it’s a small university archives, which frankly is exactly the kind of institution I see myself in some day. 2. I visited an archives for my field study.                 This would be only the second…


On Being Ambassadors

I think I can safely say now that this will be one tough semester, characterized with lots of work outside the home. My first semester I had to drive to class every Saturday but all of the work and the assignments could be completed at home, on my own time. Not so this semester. This week I will go interview a reference librarian. Next week I will be visiting an archival repository as a researcher. And any day now my archives internship will start up, requiring 60 hours of work over the course of the semester. As an avowed introvert and homebody, I do not relish the thought of all the running around I’ll be doing. But I also feel confident that once the stress of setting up appointments and making arrangements is over, I am going to love getting out into the field, talking to archivists and librarians, and getting the hands-on experience. The museum internship I had so many years ago right out of college was such a formative experience for me and…


Riding The (Heat) Waves – In Boston

It’s official: summer is HERE, and hotter than ever. Coming from Texas, I’m used to the humidity and heat, but not walking around in it – Texas is too big to walk so everyone drives! But here in the ‘Walking City’, I’ve had to adjust to hoofing it wherever I need to go. The MBTA is a blessing and a curse – sometimes the air conditioning is a gift, but other times when the AC is not working it can be a cruel joke. That said, summer in Boston is actually very lovely, as it not only gives me a reprieve from classwork, but lets me actually explore the city I’ve been living in for almost a year. As a SLIS student, museums and libraries are obviously at the top of my list of things to do, and Boston is jam-packed with incredible institutions. The Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Cambridge Public Library are my top three, although I do like visiting local branches and see how everyday people like me are…


Harvard Internship Part 2

Another guest blog by current student, Sarah Nafis. Sarah is in her second year of the dual Archives/History (MS/MA) program. Since moving to Boston, she’s exploring the city one restaurant at a time and has learned to embrace the quirks of public transportation.   My internship at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (CHSI) is still going well. Now that the craziness of getting the new exhibit up and running has passed, we’ve been able to spend more time on the collection. The physical records aren’t in great condition; however, we were lucky enough to find a digital copy of the entire collection. The collection was scanned in the late 1990s and having the digital records will help make the collection more accessible to researchers once we finish all of the processing. I’m more interested in digital preservation and part of my job is working to preserve the digital files. As a result, I haven’t done as much work on the physical preservation of the collection. But it’s been really interesting seeing how the collection…


Guest Blog About Internships

We have a special guest blog post this week by current SLIS student, Sarah Nafis. Sarah is in her second year of the dual Archives/History (MS/MA) program. Since moving to Boston, she’s exploring the city one restaurant at a time and has learned to embrace the quirks of public transportation. Exploring Internship Opportunities It’s hard to believe that it’s spring break and the semester is already halfway over. Summer will be here before you know it. This year instead of taking summer classes, I decided look for a summer internship. One of the great parts of being at SLIS is the exposure to practical, hands-on skills and experiences inside and outside the classroom. Since starting at SLIS, I’ve already had two internships. My first internship at the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts was part of the Introduction to Archives course (LIS 438). LIS 438 is one of the first courses archives students take and a 60 hour internship is built into the class. Simmons has a wide network of internship sites and students are typically matched…


Hands-On Archival Experience

As an online student, I almost felt a twinge of jealousy when I saw that school would be cancelled in Boston on Thursday due to the imminent snow storm. But then I remembered that means I don’t have to deal with the snow. Or the ice. Especially the ice–with an armful of books, I’m a walking disaster, and it’s a rare moment that I am without an armful of books. Instead, I decided to gear up for internship season–with deadlines looming, I feel as though I am constantly sending emails to professors arranging for references when I’m not reading course material. Now that my Introduction to Archives course has begun, I have also been spending a significant amount of time at my internship location. I currently work at a non-archives job while attending school, so it has felt unbelievably amazing to get my hands on archival materials again. These materials belong to a public library whose archive contains a significant amount of local history materials. I am currently processing the personal papers of one local…


Preparing For Next Semester

It feels incredibly strange to not have any classes for the rest of the year–even though I took a year off between undergraduate and graduate school, I still feel a bit lost when I’m not doing some sort of course reading or conducting research. In preparation for next semester, I decided to take a close look at the syllabi for the courses I am taking in the spring. Because I’m in the Archives Management concentration, and I’ve decided to try and focus on the digital aspect of archives, I enrolled in Introduction to Archival Methods and Services, Digital Stewardship, and Metadata. Since the first course includes a sixty hour internship, this means I’ll have a pretty intense semester, to say the least! However, I am excited to work with some of the special collections in my area (Wheeling, WV) which are frequently under utilized and would benefit immensely from a student intern. I’m also exploring some potential projects that I can complete over the summer term–there are excellent local history resources that are rife with…


Advising — Should I Take An Internship Course

One thing I was extremely surprised to note when I started my program online at Simmons was just how approachable the professors were–they responded quickly to any of my requests to speak with them, and were very open to talking on the phone with me about any questions I might have. Recently, I was required to turn in my tentative planning statement for my program of study, but I wanted to talk with adviser to make sure that the schedule I was picking was feasible given the planned courses for the next year and a half, and would be a viable match for my future career interests. She happily set up a time to talk later in the week, and I had a really productive conversation with her about required courses, and whether an internship would be beneficial to me. Because I have a lot of library experience, it never occurred to me that an internship for course credit was not something I should do while I am in school. I already volunteer at several library and…


Pleasant Suprises

Whew! Busy week with a couple penultimate assignments and a presentation in my classes, plus attempts to get back in shape and return to meditating daily. It seems as though my new year resolution phase has kicked in a bit early. Or maybe I’m just excited for cookie season.  So, I thought this week I might share a bit some of my pleasant surprises from my role as a metadata intern. When I started library school, I honestly didn’t really have an intention of becoming an information organizer to the extent of a metadata creator or cataloger. I found I really like my 415 class though (information organization), and suddenly I was considering resource description as a potential career. A piece of me thought I was just getting excited about something new to me, not really finding a new career path. So, I looked in other directions course and internship-wise for a while. Yet, the allure of info org has been too strong my friends — and it has remained a consistent presence for me…