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

Learning

There You Are

            Lately when I am not in class at Simmons, it feels like I’m only ever at my job. It isn’t technically a bad feeling in itself. I work, essentially, as records management at a financial firm right off the Boston Commons. When you squint, my job responsibilities look like archival work. I am tasked with taking the old files from my office basement, some older than myself and all slightly funky with various degrees of water damage, and digitizing, organizing, then shredding them. My closest colleague is our network room printer. He is large and one of the more temperamental machines that I have had the pleasure of toiling beside. I don’t do much appraising, just checking that the tax returns are over seven years old before I send them to the document organizer where all files go to die.             The problem is that this feeling of constant work is paired with the second semester of graduate school conviction that I am terribly behind everyone else. My work does not have a museum…


New Semester Nerves

As a first Student Snippets’ blog post of the new semester, this is an admission of nerves. The first week of classes is never my favorite time of the academic year. I always feel a little lost, whether in the carefully arranged but still difficult to navigate online syllabi or when trying to find my new classrooms. This inaugural week of spring semester was hosted online. A brief but harrowing few days where I got to go back to the virtual learning environment I had escaped at the very end of my undergraduate career in 2020. We all grinned and got through it, seeing the lower half of our professors’ faces for perhaps the only time before summer arrives. These first week jitters alone would not warrant a blog post about them. What makes me take to this word document with a lingering sense of unease is my technology class. I have always imagined my archival ambitions through a haze of crumbling old paper and the smell of used books. It was always the History…


Returning to Campus, freeform style

The sound of the train pulling up to the platform, ~~~ The squeak of metal, ~~~ The quiet and noise of the people in the ancient subway, ~~~ So many people, but with so little interaction, ~~~ The way the car weaves and bobs, ~~~ Jerking me awake from time to time, ~~~ Until my stop comes, ~~~ And I walk the streets, ~~~ Filled with busy people, frantic cars, and bored buses, ~~~ The cold air feels refreshing, ~~~ Until campus looms, ~~~ The smiles of students, ~~~ the hum of excitement, ~~~ the murmuring of studies, ~~~ and the focus of lunch, ~~~ Makes this place feel like an oasis in the city ~~~ Of learning, of fun, and of community ~~~ I’m glad to be back.


SLIS Faculty Finds a Silver Lining to 2020 and Wins Award

Creativity – albeit forced creativity – became the order of the day when teachers and programs pivoted to online learning for the end of the 2020 and the entire 2020-2021 school years. In recognition of the optimism and innovations of the faculty, Simmons dedicated a $10,000 Presidential Grant from the Davis Education Foundation to a Post-Pandemic Innovative Teaching Award, colloquially called the “Silver Linings” Award. Out of more than thirty applications, eighteen faculty members were recognized, including SLIS’s own Professor Lisa Hussey. Professor Hussey was recognized for her implementation of a flipped classroom to foster meaningful remote engagement and to engender class community even from afar. An initial hurdle for Professor Hussey was imagining how to transition her course Reader’s Advisory, built around class discussions of nine novels and the application of genre theory, to a remote setting. Although Professor Hussey had taught other courses virtually, she never imagined this course in a remote learning setting. However, thanks to the success she had with transitioning it online, Professor Hussey plans to offer the class virtually…


Taking a Moment to Enjoy the Semester

It feels like only yesterday that the semester started, even though I know that’s not the case.  I could get into the semantics of how short in reality a semester is, usually a mere 14 weeks, and how much shorter seven weeks are.  But debating time and how long (or what it is really) doesn’t have much of a place on a Library and Information School blog.  Unless we’re discussing the concepts of cataloging or creating dates for Metadata. This is the first semester that I have had an on-campus course, mainly due to the pandemic.  Last year they were all online and mostly asynchronous, with the exception of one that had a synchronous lecture via Zoom.  And while it was not how I originally intended to study for my MLIS, I wasn’t too bothered by it.  I had always intended to take a mix of online and in-person courses as I wanted to continue working a day-job while working towards my degree, the pandemic just made me change the percentage I envisioned with more…


Compare and Contrast

I’m still feeling a twinge of disappointment after dropping the database class but overall I’m having a much easier time keeping up with schoolwork, and I’m a lot less stressed.  So, yay!  I’m also really enjoying being able to focus on a single class.  This week’s topic in Collections and Materials for Young Adults was particularly interesting, as we focused on young adult non-fiction adaptations.  We had to read Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and its YA adaptation, Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, both of which chronicle the history of racism in the United States.     While I read a lot of YA fiction, I don’t read YA non-fiction at all.  Truthfully, I never gave too much thought to the genre before this week.  I thought most young adults would gravitate towards reading adult non-fiction, because that’s what I did when I was younger, but that’s not the case for everyone.  I happen to love history and biographies, but I know they can be boring, depending on the author and style.  So adapting adult non-fiction for young adults makes a lot of…


Building Blocks

One of the things I love about my classes at Simmons is that they build on each other.  It’s exciting when a topic I learned about in one class is referenced or expanded on in a different class.  It’s fascinating to go more in depth on certain topics and to see how they tie together.  Even though this semester is only three weeks old, it has already referenced a lot of what was covered in my previous semesters.   Collections Development has built on many of the subjects covered by Introduction to Management (LIS 404).  This includes types of budgets used by libraries, how those budgets are used, mission statements, and vision statements.  It has also mentioned environmental scanning, which is a topic that came up in Digital Libraries (LIS 462).  Environmental scanning entails keeping track of what similar libraries are doing in order to measure what your library is or is not doing, and what it can do in the future.  It’s a way of staying competitive and relevant in the community.    Metadata has…


Library Setup

I had my first assignment for Collections Development last week and it was very interesting.  Each student chose a different library to focus on for the semester, and the first thing we had to do was visit that library and observe how it was set up.  I visited my library late on a Thursday afternoon.  As I went through each room, I noted what was there and how it was arranged.  I also focused on who was there and what they were doing.  I normally don’t spend a lot of physical time in the library because I request items through the online library catalog and go directly to the circulation desk to pick them up.  I know where everything is in the library, but I never thought about how it was arranged.  Obviously setting up a library is more complicated than simply placing books on shelves.  It must have an order and be easy to navigate.  I never had to think about that before, but I tried to keep that in mind when I browsed…


New Year, New Semester

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome to 2020 (although it is now halfway through January)!  I had about a month off of work and school and even though it was great to have time off, it’s good to be back in the saddle again.  This week is the first week of the Spring 2020 semester for me here at Simmons, and it is also the first week of the Spring 2020 semester for the students at the university library where I work, so things have been busy for me both at school and at work!  This semester I’m taking LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, although sadly I’m not in the same section as Amie.  I’m very excited for this class and to learn more about how library collections are developed and maintained and get a thorough understanding of the collections process. While a few of my previous classes have briefly touched on some topics relating to this, such as budgeting and weeding, this class is going to be an in-depth look at collection development as…


Two Years Down!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am now officially halfway through my program!  I started at Simmons back in Spring 2018, and I have completed 18 of the 36 credits needed to get my MS in Library and Information Science.  WOO!!!  I’ve learned so much in these past two years, and I’ve grown a lot as a person.   Last December, I did a post of the lessons I learned and my takeaways from the program, and I thought I would expand on that now that I’m halfway done.  I’ve learned so much over the past two years.  I came to Simmons with no library experience whatsoever, and getting this degree has been such an education for me.  My first year I took all the core classes, so that really laid the foundation of learning about search strategies, information organization, technology, and professional standards in the LIS industry; whereas this year I took all electives that helped me explore different areas of LIS, and helped supplement my knowledge.  I’ve learned the importance of having…