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

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End of the Semester and End of the Year

William Crouch

Hey everyone. It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog. My semester has been pretty crazy as I imagine everyone else’s has been. Trying to keep up with the election, the pandemic, and continuing classes fulltime has been pretty stressful so I began to limit the amount of time I am on social media each week to basically zero which has been pretty helpful I would say. In my Collective Memory course, our final project was a group presentation on a historical event, person, or group that our understanding of has been affected by the idea of collective memory. My group chose to do our project our Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre, and how his identity as a runaway slave and martyr helped with the abolitionists and even in the Black Lives Matter protests. In Archival Access, our final project is to create a MARC record and Finding Aid for a collection. We’ve been learning about how to create Finding Aids with XML code and MARC records so…


That’s a Wrap!

Amie Grosshans

I am almost done with my last paper for the year.  I just need to double check that all my citations were done correctly, and then I’ll be all set to turn it in!  I had to choose six books (three nonfiction and three fiction) to include in my library’s collection.  To do this, I read fiction and nonfiction book reviews from the January 2020 issues of Booklist and School Library Journal.  It was a much more daunting task than I had anticipated.  A lot of books were reviewed, especially fiction books, and it was overwhelming.  Luckily, I printed out the reviews so I could write myself some notes.  I highlighted the most important parts of the reviews and noted my overall impressions of whether to book would make a good addition to the collection or not.  Otherwise, all the reviews would have run together.  I was impressed with the variety of books that were reviewed.  There were many genres and books that featured diverse or marginalized voices.  I recognized several of the titles, but there were many more that I didn’t know about.  I added several books to…


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…


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…


First Weeks

William Crouch

Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user.  In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to…


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…


Fall 2020 and Welcome Week

William Crouch

It’s pretty crazy to think about how different the start to this fall semester is compared to last year. At this time last year, I was moving to Boston and now the whole world is somewhat frozen with the pandemic while Simmons is not having anything on campus this fall. But that hasn’t stopped us from trying to establish a community for our SLIS students as at the beginning of the month we had a series of digital welcome events for our new students. We had students talk with professors about the upcoming year, meeting with our Simmons librarians to help with research, a meeting for students to get to know each other and chat, and we even had a drawing for SLIS clothing at the end of the week. It was a lot of fun and if any incoming students are hesitant about attending these events the next time we have them, hopefully in person next fall, I would highly recommend going to help establish connections with professors and fellow students before your grad…


New School Year and New Job

Peggy Hogan-Rao

   Hello, and welcome back to a new school year at SLIS. I have now been in this library science program for three years. I was originally planning to graduate with both my Masters of Library and Information Science this January with my certification to be a K-12 Library Media Teacher. As with lot of other things going on right now, that is not possible. I miss being on campus for classes, and so do the professors. My professor for my LIS 410 course on Library Services for Diverse Users did a live Zoom class with us last week, and we may have a couple more this semester. The “live” class sessions make it feel a little more like it is in-person.    As of early September, I have moved to a new apartment and started a new job. With public schools, there are some pros and cons right now for new teachers. The big downside is I could not find a placement for student teaching this fall. I came to this decision with lots of support…


Ready to Go!

Amie Grosshans

Classes started last week.  I’m excited to get back into a normal routine again, especially since the world is still so uncertain.  I might not be able to count on much right now, but I know I can count on my schoolwork and deadlines to give me a bit of normalcy, and I’m grateful for that.  My classes run from Tuesday-Monday and Thursday-Wednesday, and I’ve started to plan out the days I work on each class.  I like to create my own routine and get a little bit of work done every day so that I am not cramming everything in on the due date.   This semester I’m taking LIS 458, Database Management, and LIS 483, Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults.  I had intended to take LIS 532R, Reader’s Advisory, but it ended up being a synchronous online class—meaning each session was at a specific time—and unfortunately, the time didn’t work out with my schedule.  While I’m disappointed about that, I am very happy with the classes that I chose.  I can tell already that Database Management is going to…