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

Libraries

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…


Future Librarian?

Alison Mitchell

Last week, my kids came to visit me at work.  I think all kids get a huge thrill out of seeing where their parents spend time when they’re — gasp — not actually with the kids, but I really can’t imagine many better workplaces to visit a parent than the children’s department of a public library. The girls had a great time.  My almost-7-year-old formed an immediate bond with one of our high school pages, and they had a lovely time reading Officer Buckle and Gloria together.  Both girls went to Story Time, and even though it happened to be Toddler Story Time, they enjoyed the songs, books and craft project.  They were happy, I was happy.  It was a good visit. The best part of the visit, though, might be the fact that my 9-year-old organized the library’s entire Erin Hunter collection.  She arranged the books by category (Warriors, Seekers, Survivors), then subsection (Dawn of the Clans, Omen of the Stars, etc.), and then book order.   For those of you who are not familiar…


Link Roundup

Alison Mitchell

Here’s a wrap-up of library- and book-related links people have sent me recently.  As I’ve said before, no one ever did this when I practiced law or worked in state government… TIME’s 100 Best Children’s Books.  I like all kinds of “best” lists, mostly because it’s fun to see what other people think is “best” and how that relates to my personal idea of “best.”  This list is pretty comprehensive, but I don’t love the format (you have to click for each book, the Time banner obscures the top of each title, and every few books you’re stopped for an ad — what’s up with that, Time?).  Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2014.  You’ve probably seen this list, originally from the ALA’s most recent State of America’s Libraries report.  The ones I haven’t read are definitely going on my summer reading list.  Boo, censorship! Library Partnership.  A friend teaches an online course for high school history teachers that focuses on using primary sources in the classroom. One of her students is involved in this…


The task of getting…

Jill Silverberg

Getting into a library I mean. Normally this isn’t something that most people would assume would be a difficult task, and yet, depending on where you go, it can be a herculean effort. A few years back my uncle and I decided to spend a day in New York City. Since I had just recently decided that I wanted to pursue a M.S. degree in LIS, my uncle wanted to celebrate by showing me the library of his former grad school, Columbia University. As a then student worker in my undergraduate’s school library, I was accustomed to the idea of non-students visiting a school’s library. Sometimes it’s tourists, other times researchers. In the case of where I worked, it didn’t matter who you were; the library was part of the local community. Considering this,  you can imagine my surprise when we arrived at Columbia’s library and were stopped at the door. “Sorry, only students and members of the faculty can enter,” said the guard. “Well,” my uncle replied back, “I am an alumni of the…


Library as Remembrance

Hayley Botnen

Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day began Wednesday night and goes through tonight. I was struck by the timing of one of my class assignments, and it made me consider the many ways in which libraries are the place for cultural heritage and remembrance. For one of my classes, I am required to design a text set around Lois Lowry’s Newbery award winning novel, Number the Stars. The novel follows a young girl and her Jewish friend at the beginning of the Holocaust. I focused on the ideas of risking one’s life to save another person’s and the many ways in which people act courageous. I found a wonderful amount of books, but at my library, they were tucked back in the stacks. There were a small amount pulled in the teen section, but the children books were focused on spring titles. I wonder if children librarians felt that the subject matter was too dark or depressing for young kids. As someone who wants to work with kids and teens, I was surprised by this…


Awful Library Books at the BPL

Alexandra Bernson

Rogue librarianship. That’s what I discovered this past week and it was glorious. I recently had the good fortune to meet a librarian who is subject to scandal in the funniest way possible.  While I won’t share the librarian’s name or identity, I did gain permission to tell you all about my new acquaintance’s mischievous antics. Some of you might be familiar with the blog “Awful Library Books.” In case you aren’t, the blog showcases found library materials that are out-of-date, offensive, or just plain weird, making it a great site for a daily giggle.  Some recent featured titles include “The Breakthrough Fish Taxidermy Manual” and the curious “The Hospital Doctors, Nurses, and Mystery Workers.”  The situation that I share with you began as preparation for this site: as a frequent submitter, the rogue used the Boston Public Library’s tagging feature available in their catalog to keep track of strange titles worthy of future “Awful Library Books.”  Anonymously, the librarian added the tag “awful library book” to items that they wanted to scan and submit…


Kids these days.

Alison Mitchell

Jessamyn West, who lives in Vermont and blogs at www.librarian.net, is really great.  Her most recent blog post details two presentations she gave to local parents, one on apps used by teens and one on internet safety.  There are so many great things about her presentations: A librarian is proactively meeting with members of her community to introduce and discuss issues around technology. She’s helping parents keep current with technology used by teens today.  I think it’s super important for parents to know what their kids are doing, but I’m sure many parents aren’t exactly sure how to go about getting that knowledge. Jessamyn herself had to learn a new technology to give this presentation (Snapchat).  She’s a pioneer in library technology (maybe that is overstating it, but she certainly knows a lot) and she still had to learn something new!  It’s all about lifelong education. Because of her presentations, local parents talked with each other, shared strategies and ideas, and generally built community.  Look what librarians can do! One of my classmates in 488 (Technology for…


The Next Step

Samantha Quiñon

I’m still mired down in final projects and papers, so it while it feels like last week moved very slowly, I oddly remember very little of it. One momentous thing does stand out, however. Remember a few weeks ago when I contemplating switching out of the Archives program only to decide to stay in it? Well, this week I ended up switching out of it after all. That’s right– I’m on the general track now! It’s scary to change the course of my life and career like this, and a little sad too. These feelings are understandable, because I’m giving something up, but that change also allows me to make room for something that’s a better fit for me. Ultimately, my decision came down to where I saw myself being happier to work every day. During my internship at the Emerson College Digital Archives, I realized how much I missed working, serving, and interacting with people. I have a strong background in hospitality. Actually, I thought it traumatized me and scared me away from wanting…


Librarian Rock Star

Alison Mitchell

This afternoon, at work, I had the most awesome success.  As soon as my shift was over, I called my husband and told him about it.  He was only mildly impressed.  When I picked up my kids at my mother-in-law’s, I told her, and she was also somewhat neutral.  Later, I called my mother, who, after a too-long pause, said “oh, that’s great!”  What was so great, you ask? I helped a patron find exactly what she wanted, with very little information to go on.  I felt like a librarian rock star.  Apparently my nearest and dearest weren’t quite as excited about my massive success, but I am still riding high. Here’s what happened.  I was the only person working in the Children’s Department, nearing the end of my shift.  A 7-year-old girl came to the desk (I know she was seven, because she told me), and said she wanted to read the same book her friend was reading.  (Her friend wasn’t actually at the library.) That’s all I had to go on. And I…