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

Librarians

The End is Near

Sarah Callanan

Can you believe it’s almost the end of the semester?  The end of the semester is always such a crazy time, with due dates and projects.  Since my last post, I’ve had two assignments due, and my big semester-long project is due next week.  It is definitely crunch time! As I discussed in an earlier post, my semester-long project is the Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project where we do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offering with a partner.  My team is investigating the resources of MCPHS University, as that is where both of us work.  It’s a huge project—we’ve had to interview the electronic resources librarian, thoroughly investigate the databases, the research guides, the different ways to search the library’s resources, and more.  My team has been working really diligently throughout the semester and having regular virtual meetings to check in and go over our project, so we’re doing pretty well progress-wise.  I’m not too worried about our actual written report, the thing that I am nervous about is our presentation.  I’ve done plenty of presentations at Simmons;…


Almost There!

Amie Grosshans

I’m on to my third (and last!) paper of the semester.  It’s not due until December 15 but I want to complete it early so I can get it done and enjoy the holidays.  Plus, the assignment has several parts and is better done one step at a time.  The assignment incorporates much of what we’ve learned in class throughout the semester, and deals with collections development, which I love.               In the first part of the assignment, we choose a library and examine its collections development policy. Each library has a unique collections development policy that explains how it will build its collection.  The policy is heavily geared towards the library’s community.  For example, a school library will tailor its collections development policy towards its students, and a public library will tailor its policy towards its community.  If a community has a large Spanish speaking population, the library might focus on buying Spanish language materials, whereas a community that does not have a large Spanish speaking population would not focus on this area.  This is where the community statistics from the census come…


Graduating Soon

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  Trying to graduate and get a job is my goal. One of the main reasons I chose Simmons University for my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) is because of the vast network of connections in the Boston area, and the 100% job placement rate for library teachers. Yes, you heard that right: 100%. I had two close friends in the program with me since the start of my studies in 2018, and they were both offered library teacher jobs within two months of graduating from the Simmons Masters in Science SLT program in May.    I’ve been put in the deep end struggling to stay afloat with my first library job in a Boston suburb, not too far from where I live in Newton. Creating a new process for book checkout with COVID restrictions (no students can browse the shelves in the library), book returns, safely quarantine the books, and lots of other details that were not a part of the job before COVID-19 came along. The teachers have to get used to having students at…


Spring Courses!

Amie Grosshans

It may be the end of October, but I’m already thinking about January because the Spring 2021 course list is out!  And thus beings my analysis (or over analysis, because I’ll be honest, it could be either one) of all the course listings.  First off, LIS 458, Intro to Database Management is indeed being offered online.  I’m still undecided about whether I want to give it another chance.  I’m leaning towards not taking it, because I don’t think I’m a database person, and because there are a few other options that I think I would enjoy more.   There are two classes about digital objects: LIS 448, Digital Stewardship, and LIS 447, Digital Asset Management.  I’m not exactly certain what the difference between the two is but they are both taught by the same professor, and I’ll probably send him an email asking for more explanation.  I am interested in finding out more about how to manage digital collections, because I took LIS 462, Digital Libraries, last year and really enjoyed it.  But that was about creating a digital library, not about managing…


Book Reviews!

Amie Grosshans

This semester we are required to write three book reviews and post them to our class Google site.  We can read any YA books we want, but one of them has to feature a minority and/or LGBTQ+ character and one has to be a non-fiction or an informational text.  There are two parts to the reviews: the first is a very short blurb, two or three sentences, that explains the gist of the book, and the second is a more thorough review.  I have written one review so far and am working on the second.  Surprisingly, I had a much easier time writing the small blurb than I did the full review.  For me, it was fun to think of how to condense the book down to two or three sentences.  It forced me to think of the overarching theme of the book and what the main character is experiencing.  I knew I only had a limited amount of space to use and that helped me focus on the most important details and themes.  I love playing with words, so I really enjoyed…


Skills learned from SLT

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  I am so close to being done with my studies at Simmons. When I look back at my courses at Simmons, I feel like all I want to say is thank you. I have one step into the door of working professional and one foot still in the door of graduate student. As I am slowly creeping into the role of a library teacher, I am using the skills that the Simmons School Library Teacher program has equipped me with to be a library assistant in an elementary school library.     In my LIS 406 course Management of School Libraries, I learned valuable skills in outreach to the community. When you work in a school library, it is good to partner with local bookshops for book orders, but most importantly the local public library. In the school where I work now, we are working very closely with the public library’s children’s librarian to give children access to information resources.     LIS 461 the Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the SLT (School Library Teacher) gave an overview of…


Project Time!

Sarah Callanan

Can you believe that we are six weeks in to the semester?  Six weeks!  We’re almost halfway done with the Fall 2020 semester everyone!   As promised, this post is going to be all about the semester-long project in LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  Our big project is an Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project, where we split up in to teams to do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offerings and management.  We interview the library’s electronic resources librarian and learn more about the workflow, operation specifics and skills needed for managing electronic resources, and learn more about the library itself.  We will ultimately write a case study report based on the interview and investigate how the electronic resources are described and introduced on the website, how everything is connected and covered in research guides and tutorials online, and what library services are provided and offered.   This project really reminds me of LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, except for this project we are solely focusing on electronic resources and the role of the electronic…


A Tough Choice

Amie Grosshans

I made the difficult decision to drop my database class last week.  Since I missed the add/drop grace period, I’ll get a “W” on my transcript, but luckily that won’t affect my GPA.  It will, however, affect my graduation date because it was too late to sign up for a different class.  Instead of graduating in December, I’ll now be graduating in May.  I’m bummed about that because I was so excited to be almost done.  In the grand scheme of things, waiting another five months to graduate is not a big deal, but I still feel disappointed.  However, I know this was the right decision because I was struggling with this class.  I could have pushed through, but ultimately I decided that I don’t have the time or energy to do that right now.  I am stressed enough with all the COVID stuff and this class was just adding more stress to my life.  Even though it stinks, my peace of mind is already better.  Now I only have to focus on one class, and I won’t be extra stressed trying to get everything…


First Weeks

Sarah Callanan

The fall semester is starting to ramp up everyone!  We’ve only had three class sessions of LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers so far but I feel like I’ve learned so much!  We’ve been building on topics that we learned about in LIS 407: Information Sources and Services such as Boolean logic and nesting as well as learning new topics such as database structure and search techniques for specific databases.  We’ve started working with ProQuest databases, ProQuest Dialog, and Factiva so far.  I’m learning more about the particulars of how to search, and why it is best to search that way.  I really enjoy searching so this class is definitely my cup of tea!   Now that we’ve had a few class sessions, I can tell you that LIS 454 is very different than other classes that I’ve taken at SLIS before.  Then again, I suppose that most classes students are taking this semester (as well as in Spring 2020 and Summer 2020) have been a bit different because of the pandemic.  As I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, this was…


Books, Books, and More Books

Amie Grosshans

            The semester is still young, but I’ve already read five books for my Young Adult Literature class!  I definitely panicked when I saw this on the syllabus.  The professor had sent out an email a few weeks before the semester began to let us know that we had to read three books for week 2, but since I signed up for the class late, I didn’t get the news until the first week of class.  Thankfully, the books were quick reads, and I had more notice for the two books I had to read for week 3.   While it requires a lot of reading, this class has been amazing so far.  I signed up for it mainly because I love YA literature, but I also signed up because I wanted to read out of my comfort zone.  I’m used to reading books of my choosing.  I gravitate towards mysteries, fantasies, and other light reads.  This isn’t a bad thing, but I think it’s important as a librarian to be familiar with all types of books.  I wanted to get familiar with books and…