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


The Librarians – Coming to a television near you!

Alexandra Bernson

Often librarians in pop culture are reduced to over-sexualized stereotypes in low tops and glasses, so I can’t help but be excited about librarian portrayals that don’t fall into this category.   Throw in some corny fantasy and I am completely lost.  Therefore, I feel compelled to tell you about “The Librarians” just in case you aren’t aware.  First, let me promise that I am in no way employed or endorsed by TNT (though quick shout out to TNT: if you are looking for an archivist come May 2016, please let me know).  I just completely love television, librarians, and librarians on television, and “The Librarians” looks like my next favorite mini-series.  Last week, TNT released a trailer for their upcoming “The Librarians” mini-series.  I was a little hesitant at first, as my memories of the one “Librarian” syndicated movie I saw was not great.  The one moment that I do remember is Noah Wyle, the information professional in question, struggling to identify what indigenous language an Amazonian tribe was speaking in hopes of figuring out…

Printing, Pronto!


We’ve all been that person. You know, the one who completes an assignment minutes before it’s due, not giving a second thought to printing until the very last minute. I was that person Wednesday night. I spent the last hour-and-a-half before class riding the T and furiously typing the first draft of my lesson plan due for LIS 426 that night. When I arrived at Simmons at 5:30, I’d more or less finished the assignment, but only had a half hour to get that Google Drive document into paper form. Naturally, I went to Beatley Library to accomplish this task. I see plenty of 11th hour printing woes in my job. Helping someone print their document is equal parts instruction in how to navigate the nuances of printing protocol, and therapy (“Don’t worry! You can do this! You will get this printed in time for your class that begins in three minutes!”). In an ideal world, we would allow ourselves ample time to complete an assignment and print. But the way our lives are structured…

Books I Can Afford

Hayley Botnen

Alright, friends, today I want to talk about the magic that is library book sales. Yes, you read that right. You can actually buy books from a place where you usually have to give the books back. Now, I feel sure that most people in the “book business” have adequate knowledge of used book stores (something that I’m still lacking in the Boston area–let me know if you have any suggestions please!!!), but for some reason, I feel like library book sales go largely under the radar. It doesn’t make much sense to me. If SLIS students are looking to work at libraries, we should be the most aware of the benefits libraries offer, but for some reason I’ve heard more people talking about Barnes & Nobles and Amazon than the glory of library book sales. Library book sales mean cheap books. Sure, they’re used. Occasionally, the condition isn’t great. But usually the Friends of the Library, the wonderful group of people who host this event, make sure books are in good condition–but good condition…

Librarians as Information Radicals

Gemma Doyle

Everyone knows the persistent stereotype of the shhhing librarians, enemies of noise and fun.  As I noted a month ago, there’s even a shhhing librarian action figure.  The reality, of course, is very different – as no doubt anyone who is attending or even seriously considering library school knows, and that’s not even the half of it.  At least in some circles – circles in the know – librarians are painted as ninjas protecting the privacy rights of their patrons.  And they’re not wrong.  The ALA has supported patron privacy rights since 1939, affirming that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry in the Library Bill of Rights.  It’s definitely true that if patrons believe that libraries share their information queries with any agency that asks, they won’t make the queries in the first place.  Libraries often view privacy rights as basic human rights, and base their privacy policies on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Of course, having the basic ideas in place is one thing, but actually acting on them when…

Five Inspirational Librarians from Film and TV

Jill Silverberg

Since the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams, I’ve come to realize how many of his films in the 1990s defined my childhood. Films like Aladdin, Ms. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Ferngully, Hook, and countless others have and will always hold a special place in my heart. However, in my efforts to both remember Robin Williams for the comedic genius that he was as well as to take a trip down nostalgia way, I got lost somewhere along the way, and what started as a Robin Williams movie marathon turned into an all out nostalgia binge. I’m not exactly sure when I came up with this week’s blog post (the last one of the summer if you can believe it?) but its timing could not be any better. What started off as a quest to remember my first real comedic role model slowly morphed into a re-discovery of other characters that inspired me while growing up. And since I’m currently enrolled in a graduate program for library and information science, I thought it would be cool to compile…

New Adventures

Maggie Davidov

This is my last post for GSLIS as I’m graduating in December. I’ve enjoyed every minute writing for this blog and wish everyone well as they move on to new adventures. As for my journey I will begin this fall as the upper school librarian at Dana Hall school in Wellesley. To read more about my fun escapades check out my blog! I’m on a school library exchange at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Things are amazing here. Librarians are the luckiest people on the planet. Fact.

Cracking the Lock on Open Access Collections

L. Kelly Fitzpatrick

It’s no secret that accessibility is a big part of what we do here at GSLIS. Within libraries, museums, archives, and information institutions – many of us act as the tether between information and patrons. In recent months, a handful of influential institutions across the globe have begun jumping on the Open Access bandwagon – a movement which the Public Library of Science defines as “unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse.” A burgeoning topic on the horizon of information science, we as GSLIS students can acquaint ourselves with Open Access collections and create OA projects of our own. While a number of considerations lay between institutions and the creation of online open access collections, they reveal new opportunities for research, engagement, and scholarship. Once an institution has determined which objects or collections qualify, they start working forward from there to reconfigure the terms applied to the pieces within their OA initiative. For an example of these terms, browse through the specifications stated within the Getty Open Content Program. While many factors go into the creation of…

Breaking up is just so hard to do

Maggie Davidov

The librarian’s best friend and arguably ongoing nemesis is the never-ending task of weeding. To remain on the cutting edge or at least to remain in the realm of the present with your collection it’s important to evaluate all of the resources on and off the shelves that the library provides. This means, that in any healthy library there should generally be a project going on that removes, or weeds, outdated items. I am fortunate to work in a very healthy academic library, your very own Beatley Library at Simmons, and I find myself these days withdrawing beautiful, yet ancient, reference books. Let’s face it, the future of reference does not lie in the obscure tomes published 50 years ago with the solid leather bindings. However, I stand there in the stacks with The Encyclopedia of Fairies in my hand and I’m sure it’s not my imagination that I hear a little cry from within as I place it on the withdrawal cart. These books know where they’re going. They know their fate. I assumed…

It Isn’t Always Easy Being a Librarian

Jill Silverberg

The experience of throwing out books is perhaps the one part of being a librarian that I do not like. I’m not sure why, but I just find the notion of tossing books away to be kind of sad. Unfortunately for me, this past Friday at my new job working as a library assistant/intern at a law library, my co-workers and I had to toss out a good chunk of the library’s collection. Going into the day, I had come in prepared to do some moving, thinking that we were merely going to be moving boxes over to the library’s temporary location until the building was finished being renovated. What I did not know was that we would be throwing out books. However, since all these books were outdated and the library could not find any one who would be interested in purchasing them, there was only one solution left. The thing is, in the world of law libraries, things change frequently. Once something is outdated, even if it just under two years old, its most likely…

Visit a New Library

Maggie Davidov

I haven’t been on a real vacation in over a year, but two weeks ago I unplugged completely and made the drive to Portland, Maine. Portland was everything I wanted it to be and more. I think I really needed to sleep and not look at my email for a stretch.  For anyone who hasn’t tried these highly attainable things…you really should. Sleep is luxuriously restorative.  Also, I never fully appreciated how much time I spend on email until I turned off my phone and spent time in the moment in the glorious outdoors. One of my other big takeaways from my mini-break was library tourism. I had never really been aware of this as a conscious act on vacation, but I realize it should be planned into almost any vacation. Check out the local library. See what they do differently. Open your eyes to the way they lay out their space. It’s fun to walk into a library that’s new to you. You have to experience it from the patron perspective and you can…