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

People

Put People First

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…


Less is more: Small scale librarianship

One of the great things that I love about attending SLIS West is the lunchtime events. Many of my blog posts will probably contain thoughts and reflections from the latest SLIS West speaker or presentation, especially since I plan to attend ALL OF THEM. Part of my motivation for this is the free lunch provided. Listen: I think I’ve had to bring my own lunch only twice this entire semester. This is a great, great thing. The food that they get for these events is excellent. Also, I am like an eager little sponge that just wants to soak up all the library stuff, and this is an easy and convenient way to do it! So, last Saturday we heard from Andrea Bernard, Library Director at the Tyler Memorial Library in Charlemont, MA and one of 10 I Love My Librarian Award winners in 2016. I just have to quote this section from the story about Andrea’s award: “Andrea Bernard will go out of her way to serve her library patrons. Just ask Stephen Ferguson,…


I Chose Simmons SLIS Online

It’s a bit surreal to think that last year around this time, I had just submitted my applications for various library schools around the country. I was still torn between whether I wanted to attend an online or in-person program, but I knew that I wanted a high quality education to enable me to be a contributing and active member of the archival profession. I also wanted to be part of a cohort of students that was thoughtful and engaged in their approach to their education and would take a proactive approach in becoming competent and capable professionals. As you can tell, I chose Simmons. Recent events served to solidify my decision that I made the right choice. Watching Simmons students take an active role in archiving materials created by the Women’s March on Washington only served to cement my decision–this was not a group of individuals pursuing this degree in an apathetic way. These were people who wanted to make a genuine change in the profession, and who I would get to grow with…


Pleasant Suprises

Whew! Busy week with a couple penultimate assignments and a presentation in my classes, plus attempts to get back in shape and return to meditating daily. It seems as though my new year resolution phase has kicked in a bit early. Or maybe I’m just excited for cookie season.  So, I thought this week I might share a bit some of my pleasant surprises from my role as a metadata intern. When I started library school, I honestly didn’t really have an intention of becoming an information organizer to the extent of a metadata creator or cataloger. I found I really like my 415 class though (information organization), and suddenly I was considering resource description as a potential career. A piece of me thought I was just getting excited about something new to me, not really finding a new career path. So, I looked in other directions course and internship-wise for a while. Yet, the allure of info org has been too strong my friends — and it has remained a consistent presence for me…


Guest Blog Post About Medical Librarianship

We have a special guest blog post this week by current SLIS student Jessie Cass.  Jesse is currently (Spring 2016) in her last semester at Simmons SLIS. She is finishing up an internship at the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester doing collection development and creating a libguide. She hopes to continue to do similar work in the future, though she would also love to combine her interest in cognitive science with the skills in library and information science gained throughout her time at Simmons. She has always lived in Massachusetts and will be remaining in the Boston area since it has so much to offer! When she is not doing homework she loves walking her dog and reading science fiction novels. You can learn more about her academic career at www.jessiecass.com Medical Librarianship  Guest Blogger, Jessie Cass In the spring of 2016 I completed an independent study which I called “Comparing Medical Librarian Roles: Circuit Riders, Clinical Librarians, and Informationists”. I worked with a medical librarian (Catherine Carr) from…


Ode to Brunch

I have just recently become a regular bruncher (forgive the pretentiousness, but I don’t know what else to call it). Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, but the whole concept of meeting your pals on a weekend for some hearty breakfast food and acceptable morning alcohol (ie mimosas) isn’t something I encountered much in the Midwest. But since coming to Boston, my eyes have been opened to the great variety of possibilities that this mid-morning timeslot can hold. “What’s so great about brunch?” The food!!! Pancakes, eggs, hash, bagels, burritos, fruit…and the list goes on. And since you are technically combining two meals into one sitting, feel free to go wild with your ordering. Chocolate milk and coffee? French toast and bacon? SURE! The time slot. I consider myself a morning person, but even I can appreciate the gloriousness that is sleeping in past 8:00am. Brunch is the perfect excuse to sleep in and still feel like you’ve accomplished something with your day. The breakfast-y food tricks your brain into thinking…


Food Advertisements

When you are writing a thesis about food, it is almost inevitable that you are going to encounter some pretty interesting examples of food culture. Thus far in my study of American food culture from the 1950s to the early 1990s, I’ve encountered fan letters to Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer-Becker the mother-daughter duo behind the Joy of Cooking. Their cookbooks promote a vast array of recipes that utilize ingredients that range from diced vegetables to box Jell-o mixed. By far my favorite thing that I’ve had to analyze in the name of academia is food advertisements from magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, and Better Homes & Gardens from the 1950s. These advertisements, which are very much products of their time, offer insight into consumer and food trends from the decade. For my paper, I am analyzing these advertisements as a means of understanding how the food and consumer industry promoted the gendering of the kitchen and the position of the home cook. The following advertisements were found within magazines that are a part of Johnson and Wales Culinary…


Link Roundup

Here’s a wrap-up of library- and book-related links people have sent me recently.  As I’ve said before, no one ever did this when I practiced law or worked in state government… TIME’s 100 Best Children’s Books.  I like all kinds of “best” lists, mostly because it’s fun to see what other people think is “best” and how that relates to my personal idea of “best.”  This list is pretty comprehensive, but I don’t love the format (you have to click for each book, the Time banner obscures the top of each title, and every few books you’re stopped for an ad — what’s up with that, Time?).  Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2014.  You’ve probably seen this list, originally from the ALA’s most recent State of America’s Libraries report.  The ones I haven’t read are definitely going on my summer reading list.  Boo, censorship! Library Partnership.  A friend teaches an online course for high school history teachers that focuses on using primary sources in the classroom. One of her students is involved in this…


Just in time for the holidays – Volunteering at PBP

I love volunteering, but I never know what exactly I can do.  I know I’m not qualified to be building anything, or cooking anything in mass quantities.   But recently, a fellow classmate advertised the opportunity to volunteer at the Prison Book Program, a local organization in Quincy, Massachusetts easily accessible on the Red Line.  I jumped at the chance, and spent several hours there last Thursday. Located in the basement of the historic United First Parish Church (where John Adams, Abigail Adams, and John Quincy Adams are buried), the Prison Book Program sends out hundreds if not thousands of books to prisoners in United States penitentiaries and correctional facilities.  According to their website, PBP does what it does because they believe that “books are crucial to the political, spiritual, and educational development of all people… In a time of cuts in educational programs for prisons, we serve a vital purpose.” All of the books and packing materials are donated to this organization, but the cost of shipping is expensive.  Among the PBP’s new and used…


Since I started library school…

I’ve noticed that since I started library school, people have been posting an increasing number of library-related things on my Facebook page.   People just like libraries, I guess.  When I was a lawyer, no one posted legal jokes on my Facebook page (actually, Facebook didn’t exist when I went to law school).  Still, librarians are way more popular than lawyers, even with the whole librarian “shhhh” reputation. Anyway, here’s a sampling of things friends have posted for me.  12 Children’s Books with Non-Princess Female Protagonists This type of list is big in the circles I run in, and now that I’m in library school, many of my friends think I’ve automatically read all of them.  I haven’t, and I’m always thrilled to learn of another book that fits in this category.  The Librarians TV Show  I don’t actually know much about this — a TV show about superhero librarians?  Sounds good to me!  It premiers on December 7 — I’ll set the DVR now. What Do You Do, Dear? My librarian crush.  I wrote…