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

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All the Things that are Good for You: Broccoli, Shoveling Snow, and Group projects

You probably remember being a kid and being told, “Eat your broccoli…it’s good for you.”  As a parent, I have had said my fair share of “It’s good for you” moments in raising my daughter.  A couple of specific examples stand out:  “Stacking wood builds character,” and “I know it is hard to work in a group, but it is good for you.” While I have no problem eating broccoli and I love to stack wood, I have had to eat my words on the group project thing.  Just two days ago, on a visit home, as I was stressing about an end of term group project, my daughter gave me a sympathetic smile and reminded me that group projects are good for me. I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for group projects at GSLIS.  I know we will work in a collaborative environment and so learning how to reach our goals with our peers is important, but there have been some real challenges.


And You Thought I Was Kidding About the Superhero Thing

Last week, in talking about career paths for librarians, I reminded everyone that Batgirl was, after all, a librarian.  The day after that post, I headed off to the University Of Rochester in New York, to join my daughter on a grad school visit.  The purpose of the visit was my daughter’s admission there this fall, but I had just read about the University of Rochester’s Undergraduate Research Project for my Evaluation class (LIS403). This qualitative study was a fascinating account of how this one academic library adapted both their physical space and information access to better meet the needs of the population they serve.  Naturally, I went off for a little library tour of my own to see the spaces I had just read about in the study.You can imagine my surprise at turning a corner in the Reference Room and seeing an amazing display of the “League of Librarians: Research Superheroes at Your Service.”


Simmons Perks!

With the end of the semester just around the corner, everyone is predictably buried under end of the semester papers, projects, and group work. I know for myself, the mammoth practicum binder that SLT students must submit at the end of both of their practicum experiences has begun to infiltrate my dreams. My respite is delving into the stack of dark and depressing books I have chosen for my youth programming materials talk in two weeks time. But if you have some spare time, or you simply want to take a break, why not take advantage of that little blue card in your wallet? Yes, that one. The one that says “Simmons College” on it? There’s probably a very unflattering picture of you beneath the logo? Yes, that blue card. You may not realize it, but that Simmons ID card gets you two rather nice perks. You see, Simmons is located right in the midst of two of America’s finest museums: the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (which you…


Librarian or Batgirl?

Library and Information Science – that is the degree program we are pursuing and the name says it all.  The Master’s degree program years ago was just Library Science, but as the world changes, so does the role of librarians.  We are not just librarians, but information and technology specialists…scientists, in fact. If you think you know what your librarian does, think again. This is a much bigger world than checking out books. We are Superheroes of the Information Age! Earlier blogs discussed our personal journeys to discover what area of Library and Information Science we wish to pursue.  I, like my peers, have changed my mind countless times in these first few months.  Why?  Because there are so many choices! Here is my short list of career paths I have considered: Tradition public librarian with a modern technology twist – database management, technology public outreach (iPads, kindles, etc.), web development, social media. Reference librarian in an academic library. Faculty librarian in an academic setting – Yes, librarians are now embedded in university departments, as…


Want Your Own Action Figure?

All I have to do is look around a typical GSLIS classroom and any librarian stereotypes disappear.  I don’t know anyone who looks like this action figure (although I am guilty of wearing my hair up in a clip on occasion…who has time to style hair in library school?). As I regard my peers on any given day, I see a mix of men and women, young and not-so-young, tattooed and pierced, in all manner of clothing and hair styles.  Any doubters just need to peek at the Men of the Stacks 2012 calendar:  http://menofthestacks.com/  or check out the Belly-dancing Librarian: http://www.sonic.net/~erisw/bdlib.html to know that these old-fashioned shushing librarian stereotypes have no place in modern librarianship. We are fun! We are tech savvy!  We love helping people! Librarians come in all shapes and sizes just like everybody else…so why do the stereotypes persist? And how will we change them?  To learn more, check out this book by Ruth Kneale:  You Don’t Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet…


Scary times… scary times

Wikipedia will be taking down its English language site Wednesday 1/18/12 in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Read more about Wikipedia’s decision on PCWorld. Wikipedia joins Reddit and BoingBoing, who will also shut down on Wednesday in protest of the proposed legislation. The webmasters and founders of opponents to SOPA and PIPA agree that something needs to be done about internet piracy, but argue the bills in their current forms will enable the type censorship happening in Iran and China. Internet heavy-hitters such as Google, Facebook, Mozilla, Twitter, and Tumblr have also vocally opposed the legislation but none have committed to the blackout on Wednesday at this time. “If you want an Internet where human rights, free speech and the rule of law are not subordinated to the entertainment industry’s profits, I hope you’ll join us,” said Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing. Research Works Act: The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has introduced the “Research Works Act,” aimed at Open Access Policies that allows the public access to federally funded research. Under…


A great big balancing act

In the Fall 2010 semester, my student loans allowed me to pay for the mandatory health insurance – not only for me, but for my husband and 17-month-old son as well. That’s a pretty big chunk of change, but the insurance covers a calendar year, and I was able to take two classes with the money left over. Since I don’t have that expense in the Spring 2011 semester, I’ve taken on a third class, and boy, does my plate feel full! I’ve got Picture Book and Children’s Lit and Media Collections back to back on Mondays – that’s six straight hours – and Management on Wednesdays. For me, the LIS courses come naturally, because they’re about doing, and they train me to accomplish something practical, but the CHL classes are much more challenging in that I must force my brain into academic/analytic mode. I’m more comfortable there than I was last semester (CHL 401 whipped me into shape pretty well), but I still find it hard to get those gears turning. I feel so…


Alright Mother Nature, ENOUGH

I cannot help looking out the window and watch the snow accumulate. This is the third snow storm in 2 weeks. This is bananas. On the Simmons Academic campus, there is a way to get to most buildings without walking outside. Lefavour Hall and Main Campus Building are connected on the bottom floor which makes for easy navigation. (Especially easy because the hallway is to the left of the bookstore) Getting to the School of Management and to the Palace Road Building (where GSLIS is located,) require a little more experience. Well, reader of this blog – let me tell you how to do avoid the weather for as long as possible. The Main Campus Building, School of Management and Palace Road building all have entrances to the parking garage. So, you just walk down to a garage entrance, walk through the garage, and back up into whatever building you choose. Now, this sounds like lazy, hermit-like shenanigans, but I can tell you, it is actually more work, and I don’t do hats. So when…