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The Home Stretch

Classes end the first or second week of December (depending on whether or not the class started in the first or second week of September). This generally means that SLIS students are working on a final project for every class right about now. This isn’t like undergrad. There is no big final examination. It’s intense. For one class I have to build a working website with five HTML pages and use CSS manipulation, which I’m sure is no big deal for some people, but it’s a huge deal for me. For another class (Reference), I have to work with a group of four other people to create a 40-minute tutorial for a medical database called PubMed. I’m gearing up by watching video guides that PubMed currently has posted on its website. The shortest one is an hour, and it covers just one aspect of the site. It’s going to be interesting to see how we condense all of this information into a manageable, cogent presentation. I also have a literature review due for my archives…


A Bit More Fit

This week I activated my Fitbit Zip, which is like a souped up pedometer that tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. I’m trying to walk 10,000 steps a day, but it’s been more like 8,000, if I’m being honest–which I am. And it’s not like I can lie, because many of my friends have Fitbit too. There is a social feature where we can see how many steps other people in our network have taken, so I’m accountable to other people, not just myself. Everyone’s total number of steps is automatically calculated for the week, and we try to see who can take the most. This has lead to a lot good-natured goading. It’s great motivation, because I’m pretty competitive, and we’re all eager to walk off all the junk food we’ve eaten now that we’re in the second (more intense) half of the Fall term. So for now 8,000 steps a day is acceptable. After all, it’s only my first week, and school, studying, and archives work are usually sedentary activities. Still, it’s pretty…


“Bring Them Back”: How a Parody Helped Me Learn More About Disability

I was going to write about how draining the last week was for me, but then I realized that no one wants to hear about the minutiae of my life, especially when the draining parts don’t actually have to do with library school.  The library school part of last week was, as always, lovely. (What?  You’re wondering why my week was so draining?  blah blah mammogram blah blah unrelated health issue blah blah friend’s more serious health issue blah blah husband out of town for four days leaving me with kids and work and my school but not their school, thanks teacher-professional-day-weekend-Columbus Day blah blah. I’m in my 40s, with two kids, in graduate school — it’s going to be like this a lot, so I’d better get used to it.) Anyway.  Since  I spent the past week basically keeping my head above water, I’ll use this space to introduce you to one of my favorite librarians.  I don’t actually know her in real life, but her blog is tremendous.  She’s Mary Evelyn Smith, a…


Hello Fall!

Although it only feels like it was just yesterday that summer was upon us (AKA this past weekend), the changing of the leaves and the cooler temperatures are sending a signal to all of us Bostonians that Autumn is here. And I cannot for the life of me figure out how September went by so quickly! Am I the only one who is shocked by how quickly the month of September went by? I swear, just a few weeks ago I was moving into my new apartment. Now, the leaves are not only changing, but falling off the trees and I’m bundled up in my Northface!!!! But I digress. Despite my apparent shock and slight hint of denial, I actually love October. Next to December, this is my favorite month. Why? Well, other then the obvious reason of Halloween, October means pumpkin season! And cold nights with a big cup of hot cocoa. And let’s not forget massive leaf piles! Essentially, all the things I loved as a kid and still continue to love today….


Librarians as Information Radicals

Everyone knows the persistent stereotype of the shhhing librarians, enemies of noise and fun.  As I noted a month ago, there’s even a shhhing librarian action figure.  The reality, of course, is very different – as no doubt anyone who is attending or even seriously considering library school knows, and that’s not even the half of it.  At least in some circles – circles in the know – librarians are painted as ninjas protecting the privacy rights of their patrons.  And they’re not wrong.  The ALA has supported patron privacy rights since 1939, affirming that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry in the Library Bill of Rights.  It’s definitely true that if patrons believe that libraries share their information queries with any agency that asks, they won’t make the queries in the first place.  Libraries often view privacy rights as basic human rights, and base their privacy policies on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Of course, having the basic ideas in place is one thing, but actually acting on them when…


Literary Librarians

It’s August and summer classes have finally ended, which means I have another two weeks of relative freedom before fall classes start in September.  I’ve been spending a lot of time catching up on television (I know people told me Orphan Black was good, but it is so good, you guys) and the lengthy list of books I’ve wanted to read.  People who choose to study the library sciences do tend to be big readers, and the size of my To Read pile definitely means I’m no exception.  Because I’m graduating in less than six months (!!!), most of my focus is on job hunting and my future career, and I’ve been spending my time reading about fictional librarians and their work for inspiration.  The problem with fictional librarians is that a lot of the time they seem to be the stereotypical shhhing librarians who hate fun – even the librarian action figure has sensible shoes and “amazing shushing action.”  Luckily, there are a load of awesome literary librarians to help balance the picture of…


New Adventures

This is my last post for GSLIS as I’m graduating in December. I’ve enjoyed every minute writing for this blog and wish everyone well as they move on to new adventures. As for my journey I will begin this fall as the upper school librarian at Dana Hall school in Wellesley. To read more about my fun escapades check out my blog! I’m on a school library exchange at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Things are amazing here. Librarians are the luckiest people on the planet. Fact.


Perk of Being Here: Learning in the hallways at GSLIS

I spent much of the spring interviewing candidates for the library assistant position at the school library where I work. I met a great many qualified candidates. I was impressed by extensive resumes, many filled with a plethora of technical prowess as well as life experience. The ideal candidate is meant to be entering the library profession but not have an MLS. I assumed that most of our qualified candidates would be attending Simmons or starting in the fall. I was mistaken. Most of our savvy candidates were keeping their options open by attending online degree programs through other universities. Their sound reasoning was that these programs were cheaper than many of their campus counterparts and left them free to pursue library jobs wherever they pleased. This is a completely valid argument. Anyone who goes to Simmons knows the cost all too well. Anyone who has ever looked at the trends in online education knows that it’s what’s next for GSLIS and most LIS programs. I tried to mine the library literature at Beatley to…


This is What a Librarian Looks Like

It’s not news that popular aesthetics of librarianship are steeped in stereotype. Between visions of bibliographic babes with starched collars, pulled back hair, and horn rimmed glasses – librarians break these archetypes on a daily basis every time they get of bed in the morning to reveal looks as diverse as our professional responsibilities. The blog This is What a Librarian Looks Like has accepted the mission of displaying the real face of librarianship across the globe. On their about page, blog creators Bobbi Newman and Erin Downey Howerton write “Think you know what a librarian looks like?  Go beyond the bun and challenge old, outdated librarian stereotypes. In the spirit of This is What a Scientist Looks Like, we bring you the ultimate complement to Library Day in the Life: This is What a Librarian Looks Like.” Through photographs and personal blurbs submitted by librarians from Norway to Oregon, this blog reveals a face of librarianship that spans across different ages, genders, and national boundaries. In development for over two years, This is What…


GSLIS Tech Lab. AKA GSLIS Awesomeness

You may have glimpsed its capacious depths in a class evaluation. Or maybe you remember it vividly from orientation. Either way, hopefully your travels have taken you once or twice into the Tech Lab at Palace Road. Having been on the job as a Technology Reference Assistant for a few weeks now I feel bound to tell you that the Tech Lab is far more that a room filled with computers for class evaluations. It is staffed by some of the coolest, smartest and funniest people at GSLIS who work hard to make sure our students are informed about the latest trends in Technology. Guys, this is not a required class but it should be. Knowledge and hilarity oozes out of every crevice of these hard drives. Much of my time here is spent posting to the Tech Lab’s Tumblr or watching Lynda tutorials. Did you know that the Tech Lab actually has Google glasses? For serious, they have a LOT of stuff. If you don’t like intelligent, hilarious people then come for the amazing…