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

Libraries

A Day in the Life

Elizabeth James

9:30 AM: Drive to the public library archives to look at some materials for my LIS 415 final project. Discuss with the librarian how they organize their online archives, and whether the initial proposals my group has suggested are acceptable. Talk about my progress on my LIS 407 final project, and discuss with her the audience and whether my analysis of local history sources is of an appropriate breadth and depth based on her experience with the user population. 10:45 AM: Acquire coffee and French pastries! 11:00 AM: Go into my actual job. A chocolate croissant gets me through the first hour. The remaining eight are survived through a combination of coffee and tea to fend off the cold office air. 3:00 PM: Lunch. Go back to the library because I forgot to grab my book that has been on hold since Monday. ??:?? PM: Sporadically edit and compile the group parts of the LIS 415 final project. Start creating slides for our presentation. 8:00 PM: Leave work to walk home, relish the fact that…


Out with the Old, in with the New

Amanda Pizzollo

In January I left my last nursing job so that I could better pursue a position in the wonderful world of librarianship. When I did so, my partner and I sat down and talked about how to make that decision work economically. He’s in grad school getting his doctorate in science, so he gets paid through that. It’s a pretty fixed amount, and not something that would keep us easily afloat for long without me working as well. Especially since I went to Nurse Practitioner grad school for a year, and I’m still paying off those loans, plus now I’m gathering more debt from LIS school, and we bought a house last year. We’ve both spent years saving up for all of this, but still. So, we sat down and thought of the lowest priorities for spending and how and where to cut corners. We ate a lot of rice and beans until I starting get more jobs, and we cut our cell phone plans. Now- we still had cell phones because we’d paid those…


Introducing — Amanda Pizzollo — A New Blogger for Simmons SLIS

Amanda Pizzollo

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…


I went to Harry Potter world

Tara Pealer

Okay, I didn’t really. I went to Harry Potter’s World at Beatley Library. A little bit closer to home and a lot less expensive. Libraries are a great place for free events. What is Harry Potter’s World at Beatley Library, you might be asking? Well, Harry Potter’s World is a travelling event put on at libraries across the nation by the National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine. It combines elements of the world of Harry Potter, from Fantastic Beasts to Herbology, with a real world perspective of the history of science concerning those elements. It compares Harry’s experience with something like Immortality with the historical search and medical science behind the same topic. Yesterday the exhibit opened with an event involving the Sorting Hat, Wand Making, S.P.E.W (Society for Promotion of Elfish Welfare) and, of course, Dumbledore. I was sorted, thankfully, into Hufflepuff, and collected free items from the event, including a Hufflepuff pin, a Hogwarts pin, a S.P.E.W pin, and a fake tattoo of the spell ‘Riddikulus!’ The wand making station  followed…


Librarianship as Emotional Labor

Amy Wilson

This post is a little different from my previous ones – basically, I want to gather my thoughts on a topic that I recently read about. Rose Hackman wrote an article earlier this month for The Guardian, arguing that emotional labor is the next frontier of feminism. Emotional labor refers to the type of work that count on “service with a smile,” and historically there has been a “positive bias” toward women in these roles. Hackman also argues that it is work that is not accounted for in wages. “The way I think of emotional labor goes as follows: there are certain jobs where it’s a requirement, where there is no training provided, and where there’s a positive bias towards certain people – women – doing it. It’s also the kind of work that is denigrated by society at large.” The article does not mention librarianship, but I immediately thought of this profession, especially as it evolves away from the “shushing librarian” image and more toward positive user service interactions. Librarianship is an industry of knowledge,…


Inventorying the Boston Public Library’s Print Collection

Jill Silverberg

Since the beginning of October 2015, I have been part of a team that is currently working on inventorying the Boston Public Library’s print collection. The print collection, housed in the heart of the BPL, is massive and although considerable progress was made on inventorying the collection over the course of the summer, there is still a long way to go. Currently, my duties are split in two. On Mondays, I spend my shift rifling through index cards (remember those?) and looking for duplicates. Sometimes there aren’t any (YAY!); but usually there are a lot of them. For example, I am currently weaning out duplicates from a stack associated to the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Without the duplicates, the collection of cards is about two-hundred and fifty. Multiply that number by 2. Talk about a lot of cards!!! As much fun as removing duplicate cards sound, Wednesdays are my personal favorite day of the week. That’s because on Wednesdays, I get to actually dig into the collection, open up boxes, see what’s hiding inside. Basically…


Exploring Fantasy Worlds in Your Own Backyard!

Katie Caskey

I have to give a shout-out to my Science Fiction and Fantasy professor for introducing me to this week’s blog topic! Last week our class was given the assignment to go and experience the map exhibition currently on display at the Boston Public Library. If you’re like me, you may be skeptical of this venture, wondering just how interesting could it be to go look at a bunch of maps in a quiet room somewhere in the depths of the library. Wait, hang with me, because I haven’t told you the best part yet…the maps are all from fictional lands of children’s literature!!!  Running now through October 25, the “Literary Landscapes” collection is on display in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the main branch of the BPL (the one in Copley Square). Featuring both 2D and 3D maps (take that in…3D MAPS!), the exhibit introduces visitors to the extensive and detailed imaginary worlds created by some of our favorite authors. When you first step into the map room, you are greeted with a…


Here Comes the Sales Pitch

Alexandra Bernson

If American libraries and archives were a business, I might just be their best salesman. Not that I’m a particularly good salesman and not that I’m actually making any money for it.  But I find myself talking about libraries and archives all the time to total strangers, so much so that often it feels like I’m stuck in the middle of a cold call. As a second-year student gradually pushing her way through to glorious graduation in May, my life has centered around learning about and working in libraries and archives for over a year.  In that year, I’ve learned that libraries and archives have the worst marketing and public relations teams on the planet and absolutely no one has any idea what a librarian really does or what libraries offer.  Further, the word “archivist” usually inspires quizzical looks that I’d like to document in a series of photographic portraits for future exhibition at the BPL.  Other than the shhing, sexy librarian stereotype, the world of library and information science is virtually unknown to popular…


Non-Library People Logic

Jill Silverberg

So here’s a funny story: last week while I was working at the reference desk at a medical and pharmaceutical college, a group of students approached me with a question. Normally the sort of questions that I get asked usually pertain to one of two subjects: ready reference such as location of bathrooms or the color printers OR questions related to one of the college’s many databases. This question was not related to either. Instead, the student wanted to know if I could apply my reference skills to help her track down not a book or an article but… *drum roll* A GUY SHE FOUND ON TINDER I really wish that this was just some made up anecdote. Want to know my reaction?   Needless to say that this reference interview didn’t last particularly long. After the student and her friends walked away, I was left wondering why exactly she thought that I would be the person best suited for the task of semi-stalking some stranger. This encounter, coupled with things I experienced way back when I…


Vacation Library

Alison Mitchell

My family is on vacation, somewhere we go every summer, and when we’re here, we (of course) frequent the fabulous local public library.  My kids love the children’s room — in addition to a great collection and lots of cozy places to read, it has a corner with a bookcase of board games, another corner with a bin of dress up clothes, and innovative programming.  I love the friendly staff and collection that’s just different enough from our library at home to be interesting. I find it pretty hilarious to see how our borrowing changes while on vacation.   The other day, my  kids wanted a movie, and I said yes (at home, I definitely would have said no to Shrek the Halls in August).  Last summer, I ended up checking out practically an entire shelf of DIY books, somehow inspired by being away from home (my talents run more to knitting and sewing — DIY never works out that well for me).   We also get many books from the “local interest” section, something we don’t…