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

Jobs

Introducing — Amanda Pizzollo — A New Blogger for Simmons SLIS

So, I’m coming up on my 10 year nurse-a-versary. Yup, it’s almost been 10 years since I took my boards and got my first job as a nurse. What? Oh, this is a blog about librarianing you say? I know, I know. I’m getting there. I’ve been getting, there, in fact, since I started training to be a nurse. Well, getting here that is, and by here I mean the library world. I loved nursing, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I would have chosen in college if it weren’t for outside pressures and a certain measure of indecisiveness. Don’t worry, I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not. I don’t think. Well, maybeeee… No really. I’m very sure about this whole library thing. But being a nurse is still a big part of my life, and a big part of who I am. As much as I try not to, I somehow end up telling people in library school that I’m also a nurse within about 2 minutes of conversation. It’s just…


Playing the Waiting Game

I have good news and bad news. The (very very) good news is that I am graduating in less than 7 weeks! Done! Finished with school! And while I have absolutely loved my time at Simmons, and in academia in general, I am very ready to begin the next (paper- and homework-free) season of life…which brings me to the bad news. As I am learning, this next season may be aptly titled “The Waiting Game.” I’ve been applying to internships and job positions since late January, and so far, no nibbles. The hardest part is that with the company I’m applying to, I can track my application progress on their website. So while I can see that my application is being considered, I have no way of knowing how long that might last or how serious that consideration is. So, I’m having to re-learn the art of patience that was drilled into me by my kindergarten teacher. This is enough to drive a planner like me crazy, by the way.  So I’ve decided that I’m…


Very Special Libraries

Last week, while most of Simmons was on spring break, I was on campus every day from 9am until about 3pm. I took the week off of work in order to complete a 5-day, 3-credit course with SLIS legend, Jim Matarazzo. Jim has worked in corporate libraries for decades, and he is the original social networker. I’m pretty sure you could ask about any major company and he will tell you the history of their corporate library and name two contacts there. This class was heavily career focused, extremely practical… and wicked fun! Our assignments for the week included two papers and two (group) presentations. We looked at a set of corporate libraries that had closed and another set that were “successful,” then evaluated how corporate libraries can survive and thrive. We also each summarized a chapter from the textbook (which Jim co-authored).  My favorite day of the week was Tuesday, when we did our site visits. We started at the New England School of Law, whose library has an impressive reference staff and a very cozy study space….


Advice from the Advisor in Residence

Simmons LIS is really lucky to have an amazing support staff working in the dean’s office to make the best of opportunities for student looking for career advice. Currently, the student support staff is working to arrange the career fair and other events to assist students, like myself, in improving their resumes and interview skills to appeal to today’s job market. One of these opportunities is meeting with the Advisor in Residence, Amy Ryan. Amy Ryan was the first female president of the BPL, and, among many other accomplishments, graciously volunteers her time to offer advice on resume, skill building, networking, and interviewing to SLIS students. She has meeting times set up for individual meetings, holds group lunch meetings to discuss the job market and other LIS topics, and actively engages with the students to help them network and find positions. Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about Simmons is how career focused their program is? Long story short, I signed up for a meeting with Amy Ryan for Thursday to ask…


This week in 3D printing adventures…

Last Tuesday, I hosted a lunch event at my law firm as part of our “Innovation TED Talk Series.” I’m on my Information Services department’s Innovation Board, and one of our most successful “ideas” has been this series of lunchtime sessions, where we view a TED talk and then discuss it as a group. Even though we have the capability to have meetings with multiple cities, we have kept this at the local office level because it has been very nice to just have a discussion with people that you might cross paths with in the kitchen but never really have an opportunity to talk with. It’s also a venue for people to brainstorm and share ideas generally. After the first talk, I also campaigned to have these kind of events count toward our department-wide annually required professional development training. This quarter, our talk was “Where Good Ideas Come From,” a 2010 presentation by Steven Johnson that examines what kinds of spaces and environments lead to innovation (if you have 18 minutes, it is worth…


LIS Career Fair

Yesterday afternoon, a project I started about four months ago came to an end. Since January, I have been working closely with the Career Education Center and the School of Library and Information Science to put together a career fair for the SLIS student population. While the process was long and certainly not without its surprise twists, overall, I am very grateful that I was tasked with being this year’s LIS Career Fair Coordinator.  For those of you who didn’t get a chance to read an article published at the end of March where I answered questions about the career fair and the preparation process, I won’t bore you with the details. You can find the link to the article here. I will say that one of the most important parts of being the LIS Career Fair Coordinator was ensuring that I had invited exhibitors that represented the various fields within the world of Library and Information Science. Fortunately for Simmons, Boston and the greater Boston area is rife with all sorts of information institutions. Once…


It’s official! I work in a library!

Okay, well, I’m technically a library clerk, and a part-time one at that.  But still, it’s a start!  I started my first shift at the Boston Architectural College tonight and I am extremely excited to sit in their high stools behind the reference desk and do a whole lot of homework on the catalog computers! To be serious though, this is my first real job in a library since I was a shelver during my freshman year in undergrad.  Throughout the night, everything felt so familiar and yet so incredibly different. For example, I worked at the humanities library at my college, which was absolutely massive and contained the bulk of their print resources.  Here, most of the stacks start with NA, and the periodicals seemingly take up half of the library’s collection.  But even with the limited amount of call number prefixes, there is so much to explore.  We have closed stacks and reserve titles that hold so much promise.  During my break I scanned the closed stacks and saw titles on theatre architecture,…


Dilemma

Like many others, I was inspired by this Humans of New York story.   It made me think about the impact teachers and principals can have, and, following that logic, public librarians in urban settings.  When I applied to library school, I wrote part of my application essay on the need for quality library services for traditionally underserved populations.  I want every child to have access to a great public library with materials and programming and technology and responsive librarians.  I want to be one of those responsive librarians. Except that I work in a suburb with a decidedly not underserved population. Don’t get me wrong.  I love my job and everything about it. But the other day, reading story after story about Mott Hall Bridges Academy and the inspiring Principal Lopez (and the even more inspiring Vidal Chastanet), I started to think that maybe I should be working in an urban library.  Then, I saw a job listing for the same type of position I have now, but in an urban setting.  I shouldn’t have…


What’s in Store

I started a job last week at the Snell Library at Northeastern University. It’s in the Circulation Department (called Access Services there) supervising work-study students at the information desk, doing interlibrary loans (ILLs) and working with reserves, and a variety of other basic things. I think it’s a great way to get my feet wet at a large, academic, research library. I also started my cataloging internship at WGBH at the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Unlike at Snell, I feel really confident about what I’m doing here. I have experience with digital collections and metadata from my internship last fall at Emerson College’s digital archives. I’m sure I’ll catch on and feel right at home at my other job soon though. Classes start next week. I’m taking Principles of Management (LIS 404 with Mónica Colón-Aguirre who could read the phone book and make it interesting), Subject Cataloging and Classification (LIS 417 with Danny Joudrey who literally wrote the book–the textbook–for Organization of Information, LIS 415), and Metadata online (LIS 445-OL with Kathy Wisser who…


Simmons Wrap Up

When I decided to apply to Simmons for my Master’s, I was working as a records management professional in a corporate setting.  I loved certain parts of my job, and I wanted to make sure I would be able to keep a career in records management going – so a Master’s seemed like a sound (if possibly unnecessary) investment in my future.  (Corporate records managers haven’t really needed a Master’s in the way that a librarian would, although in the current climate it is becoming more and more necessary to have some education or certification to make you stand out from the rest of the pack just to get a job in the first place.) I was worried about how I was going to balance school and working full-time.  I was especially worried that I would end up only being able to take one class per semester, and would be in school for 4+ years – that I might lose momentum, or that there were so many things that might happen to knock me out…