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

Jobs

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…


Networking

One thing I have not been very good at while at Simmons (and that I have mentioned here several times before) is networking.  The idea of going up to a stranger in my field and talking about myself pretty much makes me break out in hives, and I know I’m not the only person who reacts that way.  The unfortunate part is that networking, especially in the libraries and archives spheres, is a huge career booster, and the sort of thing that you pretty much need to know how to do, no matter how much you might hate it. Our NEA mentoring group recently talked about ways to network at our last meeting, and there were some concrete suggestions on ways to do it that I think are a little less unpleasant than having to make awkward small talk with complete strangers.  Here are some of them: Join professional organizations like New England Archivists, Society of American Archivists, the American Library Association, etc. Once you do, join the professional discussion lists, like NEA Discuss, the…


Interviews

I’ve had a few job interviews in the last couple of weeks, and I have another big one coming up soon (so cross your fingers for me, if you would), so it seems like I’ve been interview prepping for months now.  I’ve probably had a hundred or so interviews in my life, so I’ve got the general idea of them down pat, but every one is different, so there’s always (for me) something to be nervous about.  (Being so nervous in important interviews is definitely something I do, to the point where my mind goes blank.  It’s an issue.) The main thing to remember is this: no one likes interviews.  Not the interviewee, who is usually at least somewhat stressed and under pressure, and not the interviewer, who isn’t under the same pressure but is still in the awkward position of having to ask questions of someone who is.  My worst interview ever was with a library in Massachusetts that quizzed me on Library of Congress call numbers and then made me to a skills…


Looking to the Future

I’m going to be honest. I have no idea what I want to do when I graduate. And around this time when we’re registering for classes and everyone is talking about their future plans, I feel so scared. I love YA books, and I love libraries. It seemed like a pretty obvious step to do the dual program. But when people try to ask me if I’m going to be a librarian or go into publishing–well, I have no idea. I think I would love to do either. Or both. I feel like the older I get the more I should know what I want to do with my life. I should be settling down, finding a long-term job and a significant other and a house. (Maybe I just think these things because my sister has already achieved most of these, and my parents keep pushing me to do the same.) But I don’t know what I want from my future. I would love to be a teen librarian. But. I don’t love a lot…


NEA Mentoring Program

A few months ago the New England Archivists sent around an email to the Simmons email list looking for students or early professionals in the archives field to join a mentoring circle, wherein a few seasoned archivists will give career advice to people just starting out.  It sounded like a great opportunity to meet people and learn a little bit about how the archives field in New England looks from the other side, once people have successfully gotten their careers in motion.  That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot anyway, as I begin to apply for actual professional jobs.  A mentoring circle, I thought, would help.  I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but at the very least I thought it couldn’t hurt to have a dialogue about what a career in archives really looked like, especially with informal discussion.  I’ve already proven that I’m no good at conferences, but the small group aspect of this was much more appealing. We had the first meeting this week, and it was actually fun to talk…