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

Online

Winding Down

There are only two weeks left in the summer semester and I can’t believe it.  It’s gone by fast.  This is the first time I’ve taken only one class, and it’s been very nice.  It’s also been a bit weird, since I’m used to juggling two or three classes and having more work to do.  But I’m not complaining!  We’ve finished the last of the hands-on activities and will have lecture classes and a discussion with a conservator the rest of the semester.  Two weeks ago, we had our most difficult assignment: making boxes out of heavy paper and corrugated cardboard.  Boxes are created for items that cannot be put directly on the shelves because they are too delicate or because they are damaged.  Creating a custom box for these items gives them physical support and allows them to be handled by the public (with a little bit of caution, of course).  Otherwise, these items would be unavailable.  The boxes have to fit the item perfectly to make sure the item will not move around…


Summer Classes

Hey everyone, long time since I last posted. Hope everybody has been staying safe during all this craziness. I’ve been keeping busy taking a summer course while history courses are being offered online. This summer, the history seminar being offered is divided into two different parts both focusing on how the United States functioned as an empire in the early 20th century. The first section was taught by Professor Frances Sullivan and focused on labor movements within United States territories like Puerto Rico or Hawaii. It was really interesting reading some of these groups’ thoughts about how they would gain a new government to try and gain more equity but that the governments would often revert back to being more unequal. Reading about these ideas in the midst of similar discourse occurring in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement has been very enlightening. The second half of the course was taught by Professor Laura Prieto and focused on women’s suffrage movements within United States territories and how the United States womens’ suffrage…


Virtual Conferences

In my last post of the spring semester, I mentioned how due to COVID-19 many conferences are now going virtual.  I have never been able to attend an in-person conference before because of my school and work schedule, as well as financial reasons, but virtual conferences are significantly cheaper (or free in some cases!), and you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  I still hope to go to a real-life conference before I graduate (assuming the pandemic and vaccines and everything works out), but for now, I’m taking advantage of virtual opportunities.  The ALA Annual 2020 Conference was initially supposed to be held in Chicago this year; however, it was moved online and transformed into ALA Virtual: Community Through Connection.  It was held from June 24-26 online.  Admittedly, I know it’s not the same experience—I’m sitting in my room, alone, with my laptop and my headphones on instead of being around tons of people after all!  If you compare this to Katie’s experience at ALA Annual last year, and at ALA Midwinter…


Book Repairs!

I’ve had a busy and fun two weeks of book repairs.  My tasks included rebacking (replacing the spine of a book) and recasing (re-attaching the text block to the book cover).  Both of these repairs were invasive and required cutting into the book.  That definitely scared me at first.  Taking a knife to a book seemed like sacrilege.  I had to remind myself that cutting into the book would not harm it—in fact, it would save the book.  And it did!  The end result of my repairs was book that was fully functional again, and ready to get back into circulation.  I can see how knowing how to do these minor repairs would be beneficial for librarians, because they could fix a lot of book problems without having to spend money buying a new book.  What amazes me is how much book repair is about precision.  It takes a lot of practice to make straight, even cuts, align pages, and trim accurately.  But once you know how to do this, you can make repairs that…


Adventures in Ethics

We’ve completed the first week of the of the Summer 2020 term everyone!  As you know, classes at SLIS are online for this term due to the pandemic.  I’m not going to lie; I came very close to forgetting it was the first week of classes last week.   If I hadn’t received an email from my professor announcing it was the first day of class last Monday, I would have completely forgotten.  I’m taking LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics this summer, and as is usual for Simmons summer classes, it is only seven weeks long, but is the same amount of work as a normal semester-long course. This means we cover two weeks-worth of material a week.  If you’ve read my past posts about summer classes, you know my feelings about this.  Summer classes have a lot of content in a very short amount of time. I’m not wild about the rushed feeling, but this summer, like last summer, there is no “locked” content, so I can see everything ahead of time.  In summer…


All About Paper

This summer, I’m taking LIS 447, Collections Maintenance, and I absolutely love it so far.  There are two parts to the class: the lectures, which explore the topic of the week and show how to do the repairs, and the hands-on part, where we get to do the repairs ourselves.  All of us were mailed a big box with the weekly materials before the class started, which included damaged books, different types of papers, newspapers, magazine ads, archival quality tape, and tissue paper.  We also bought a tool kit from the school bookstore, which included a cutting mat, ruler, retractable knife, paint brush, and other necessities.  I created a designated workspace for myself and laid all the tools and folders on a little table.  It’s been working out great, because it keeps all the tools and materials in one place and I don’t have to constantly pack and unpack all the materials.  I would probably lose something that way!  The first week, we repaired small paper tears with tape and glue, and last week we…


It’s That Time Again

Fall registration is this week.  I always love registration time but this year I’m a little stressed out because the Fall semester is my last one at Simmons!  I only have three classes remaining–one summer class and two fall classes–but I’m interested in a lot of classes.  I’m trying to narrow it down and I am not succeeding.  For the summer semester, I’m taking LIS 447, Collections Maintenance.  It was supposed to be an intensive two week in-person class, but it, along with all the other summer courses, was moved online due to coronavirus.  It’s going to be interesting to do it online because it’s traditionally a hands-on class where you work directly with the books.  However, the professor emailed all of us who registered and said that she’s made some changes and is confident it will work online.  I was considering taking LIS 484, Theories of Information Science, to get the Information Science and Technology concentration, but I’ve decided not to do that.  I think I’ve taken a great mix of technology centered classes…


Uncertain Times

It’s now April and things are still….not great.  When I wrote my last post in mid-March, while many people were working from home, I was still going in to work.  However, by the end of that week, I was working from home, and since that post, all non-essential businesses have closed their physical spaces until May 4.   Simmons had made the decision to transition to online learning when I wrote my last post, and that has been going on since March 23.  That decision didn’t actually affect me too much as I was already in an online class.  New changes are happening every day and I’ve basically not left my home since my last day “at work.” COVID-19 has really thrown this semester, and future planning, for a bit of a loop.  I’m taking LIS 453: Collection Development this semester, and as I mentioned, it was already an online class, so I didn’t really have too much of a transition, but the virus has definitely messed with my sense of structure, time management, and overall…


Admitted Student Session

On Saturday, we had our first admitted student information session. With everything being remote now, the session had to be moved online through Zoom. It was actually a really interesting way of having the session work. Everybody, about 120 admitted students, started in an initial Zoom session that went over the basics of SLIS such as campus, professors, rankings, that was presented by our admissions team. Some faculty members from all the concentrations then introduced themselves to give students a sense of who their future faculty will be. After some questions that came from a chat function, everybody moved into various different Zoom breakout sessions based on their specific interests or concentrations. I was placed in the Archives and History session with Professor Kathy Wisser of SLIS, Professor Sarah Leonard of the History department, and alum Sarah Nafis, to answer questions that these students had about the program. One question that was asked was about the feasibility of working fulltime and taking classes full time. I was able to address that by detailing how Simmons…


Time Flies. And Stands Still.

It’s been another weird week, but I think I’m getting used to this new normal.  Some days have seemed endless, but others have flown by.  I’ve established a pretty good new routine and set a schedule for my job and my schoolwork.  I don’t usually schedule out my days, but it’s been the most effective way for me to remember everything that I need to do.  Otherwise, it’s too easy to get caught up in all the negatives and uncertainty and get nothing done as a result.  What I didn’t realize in the frenzy of the past three weeks is that there’s less than a month left in the semester!  I have two big projects to finish before then.  The first project that I have to finish is my group project for metadata.  It’s due next week, and we have already gotten a good start on it.  That’s the last big thing for that class, other than a few small assignments which I consider “easier” only because I get to do them myself and don’t…