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

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Staying Positive

Sarah Callanan

So we are a few weeks in to the break between the Spring 2020 Semester and the Summer 2020 Semester, and it’s obviously a bit different this time around with COVID-19.  Last year around this time I was on a trip with my family, and this year we’re in the middle of a pandemic and Massachusetts is still under a stay-at-home advisory.  One thing I’ve thought a lot about during the past few weeks is stress caused by the outbreak, and the importance of staying positive.  Here are some of my tips for staying positive and coping with stress during this difficult time: Remember that this is only temporary and you are not alone! Maintain a sense of routine!  As much as I love staying in my pajamas, I have a more positive attitude when I get up, get dressed, and go about my everyday routine.  Take a break from COVID-19 news, media, and other pandemic-related content.  I disabled news notifications on my phone a while ago, and I’ve been trying to limit myself from…


Pizza with the Dean

crouchw

There was a really cool event on campus last, Pizza with the Dean. For those of you unaware, the dean of COCIS is Marie desJardines who I learned comes from a computer science background. She told us about her background in going to Harvard initially then Berkeley for her doctorate, working for a research institute and finally ending up in academia. She then told us how Simmons started to reorganize itself into the different colleges and how each program became a part of the college it is affiliated with. Marie wanted to meet with SLIS students to gain a better understanding of what current students think of the program and how we think it might be able to be improved. Many of us suggested that we focus more on utilizing the information science aspect of the college while still maintaining a strong identity as a library school. We also discussed what makes Simmons stand apart from different library schools in that it helps students utilize the theory taught more and makes sure that students that…


Connections and Libraries

Peggy Hogan-Rao

With a big paper due this week, I knew I was going to need a few study breaks. On Tuesday night, I went back to Loretta’s for a good workout of fast-paced line dancing. Wednesday was a busy day for me with meeting with a professor for my paper due this week, class, and then a conference called Connect Boston. The first conference of its kind, Connect Boston has a goal of connecting Catholic young adults to like-minded professionals around the Boston area. The event started with opening keynote speeches from the founder of Young Catholic Professionals and the CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). After these two opening talks, there were breakout sessions for networking with Catholic professionals in similar fields. As a school library student, of course I went to the education panel. As I expected, I was the only library student in a room full of teachers. The three panelists in my breakout session were a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, the headmaster of St. Benedict Classical Academy…


Hello Peggy!

Lindsey Clarke

We are adding another new blogger.  Everyone welcome Margaret “Peggy” Hogan-Rao to the team. Here is a Peggy’s Bio: Hi, I’m Peggy! I’m fairly new to the Boston area, so far I love it here. I started the Simmons LIS program in fall 2018, and moved to Boston a few weeks before classes started. Originally from the mountains of upstate NY, coming to Boston is a big change for me – getting used to the city life in Boston. I completed my undergrad degree in Media & Communication and English Writing at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, few hours west of my hometown in Eastern New York. My dream job for after I finish the Simmons MLIS degree is to be a certified school library media specialist in a city school district, and a bestselling children’s author. You can find me most weekends exploring a new church or a cool independent bookshop in the Boston area. My hobbies include collecting more books than I can read, cuddling with cute dogs, visiting beautiful beaches,…


Welcome New Blogger – Amie Grosshans

Lindsey Clarke

Hello readers! We’d like to introduce our new student blogger — Amie Grosshans! She will be posting regularly soon. Read a little bit about her below:   Welcome Amie!  Hi, I’m Amie! I was born and raised here in Massachusetts and have a master’s degree in Art History. As soon as I read about Simmons’s LIS program, I knew that I wanted to be a librarian. It’s a bit of a shock to be back at school again after almost twenty years, but I’m loving every minute of it. I’m finally in my element and so excited for the future. I’m currently in the archives concentration but am open to exploring other areas of librarianship. When I’m not working or doing schoolwork, I’m usually reading or listening to an audiobook. I also love to knit shawls, sweaters, and socks and am pretty much never without my needles. My handknits make the crazy Boston winters a bit more bearable. Aside from my family, my dog Peggy is my biggest supporter and study buddy.


International Opportunities at Simmons SLIS

Maria Reilova

One of the great things about Simmons SLIS is how many events are hosted each week! We have a very active student body and there are more panels, workshops, field trips, socials, etc. than anyone could ever hope to go. While being a graduate student is synonymous with overbooking your time, I have made an effort to attend a few events, specifically anything that has to do with international librarianship. I have always loved to travel and learn as much as I can about different cultures. So any chance I get to combine this passion with my passion for libraries, I will seize it! In this past month, I went to two really amazing presentations from faculty about their work abroad. The first was with Professor Lisa Hussey, who I currently have for 407, and Professor Nanette Veilleux on their Summer course in Rwanda. This program is only a year old but offers students interested in international librarianship, archives, and computer science an opportunity to gain hands on experience working with a handful of schools…


Third semester: It’s a wrap!

Megan Ondricek

I’m all done with my third semester at SLIS West!!! Even though my courses this semester were in many ways “easier” than my others, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a massive sense of relief. There was a lot going on in my personal life these past few weeks that made the end a major struggle. For example, the first thing I did once classes were over was to finally take my poor ailing five-year old to the doctor and find out he has a double ear infection (ouch!). I am a worrier by nature, and two things guaranteed to create a lot of worry for me are school and sick children. The difficult thing about being a mom AND a grad student is that you literally get no break. You’re with the kids all day long, and any “personal time” you manage to etch out must go to homework. You can’t just go to bed early one night if you’re super tired because then you’ll get behind in your homework and there will…


Don’t Let School Get in the Way of Your Education

Giuliana Gilbert-Igelsrud

One of the greatest benefits of library graduate school that nobody tells you about is the breadth of experiences people come from. Some students are straight out of college, others have been working as librarians for years, and many (like me) are in between. I highly recommend just chatting with the people around you; it can sometimes be more useful than readings and prescribed discussion. Just from chatting with classmates, I’ve learned about the many, many different ways to set up children’s storytime, the radically different administrative structures of rural and big city libraries, the pushback against “controversial” projects from supervisors and the public, and much, much more. I often wish there was a space designated specifically for swapping stories, tips, and resources with classmates and colleagues. We grow so much more as a profession when we share information (I mean, that is kind of our whole deal, right?). Give feedback to your professors related to this. In my experience, they will usually respond graciously. If you find certain assignments unhelpful, tell them. If you have a…


Mass Effect

Giuliana Gilbert-Igelsrud

Last fall, I moved out of California for the first time in my life.  I’d visited Boston once, years before. I had vague memories of quaint brick architecture. But travel ≠ transplantation. When I said I was from California, people warned me about snow. But I’ve been to Minnesota. My culture shock came from other sources.   1. Fall. On the west coast, fall means everything dies and it gets colder. It’s a short transition between summer and not-summer. But here, fall is an event. People go “apple-picking” and “leaf-peeping,” everyone dresses up, cider is consumed. Oh, and IT’S INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL. 2. Darkness. In my hometown, we get 300 sunny days a year. Did you know the sun can set at 4:15? Did you know it can be overcast for a week straight? I didn’t. 3. Sense of distance. Here, I can visit four states in two hours. A trip to Maine can be shorter than a BART ride to SFO. 4. Regionalisms. I’ve mentioned “apple-picking” and “leaf-peeping”; other terms that tripped me up include “turnpike,” “bodega,” and, yes, “wicked”. 5. Drivers. Californians are not good…


Put People First

Megan Ondricek

I was sitting in church this past Sunday listening to a woman tell a story about a piece of advice her older sister had given her which had become a guiding principle in her life. The piece of advice was, “put people first.” This axiom could apply to all areas of life and for me, I’ve been thinking about it in relation to library work. We’ve begun learning about the reference interview in LIS 407 and on Saturday we watched videos of a “bad” reference interaction and a “good” interaction and discussed the behavioral performance guidelines set out by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). RUSA’s guidelines read a lot like the basics of being a kind, considerate, caring person with a few library-specific points thrown in. Stuff like: make eye contact, acknowledge patrons with a friendly greeting, focus complete attention on the patron’s need, and communicate in a “receptive, cordial, and supportive manner.” One of my classmates said that most of the guidelines were common sense, and another said that they were basically…