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Five Things I Have Learned Joining GSLIS

Before I packed up the family car with dad to drive up to Boston for school, my mom decided to impart some advice for me to mull over during the course of my four and half hour long car ride. She said “Keep your mind open, everyday you are going to be learning something new, in and out of school.” I’ve got to give my mom a hand; she doesn’t normally offer such thought-provoking advice. However, since I was unable to go back home to Long Island for the Jewish high holidays, I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot lately, especially what she said to me two weeks ago. So, for my first official blog post for GSLIS, I’ve created a list of the top five things that I have learned since becoming a member of GSLIS. *The following is in no particular order and can probably apply to the experiences of students outside of the GSLIS program* Moodle is your best friend: Although this seems like an obvious one, Moodle is a resource…


Teaching in the Library

I want to talk about librarians as teachers, and I don’t mean librarians in schools.  I mean librarians everywhere. I have encountered many academic librarians who talk about teachable moments at the reference desk.  I have had many teachable moments in the public library, too, and in the prison library.  Teachable moments come in different varieties, just like patrons.  Some of my recent “students” include:  An older gentleman who reminisces about the old card catalog and hasn’t a clue how to search and find on the OPAC. A ten year old girl who wants to know if we have more books “like this,” as she holds up her latest read. A teenage boy who is watching Under the Dome on TV and wants to know if we have King’s novel on CD…and while he is here, what other Stephen King books do we have? An inmate who wants the next book in a Science fiction series. A middle-aged woman who has gone back to school and wants to learn how to use our databases. A…


Last Semester Blues

I started the GSLIS program in January 2012, and with the completion of my three courses this semester, I will have finished my degree program.  Woohoo!  Well, mostly woohoo. I think I have the last semester blues.  I know that sounds totally ridiculous.  I will be done with homework, done with long class commutes, done with tuition, and I will have my MLIS, which will hopefully be my ticket to the job of my dreams.  What in the world am I sad about?! I think I am more afraid than anything. Will it be too easy not to learn new things?  Will I get tired, complacent and frumpy?  Will I turn into deadwood? Will I stay committed to knowing what I need to know to be the best librarian I can be? I know these fears are unfounded.  I will never stop learning with so many opportunities for continuing education through Simmons and ALA, and other LIS universities like Syracuse (where I am taking a WISE course this semester). I even have my eye on…


The Library Lady

All stereotypes come from somewhere. This, we all know to be true. How many of us, though, work with all of our might to confound the stereotype when it comes to being a librarian? I believe that many of us do. We despise the stereotype that all librarians are surly wenches with their hair wound so tight it seems as if it never gets let down. We counter that librarians are a force for positive change in this world of information overload, not the gatekeepers of dusty, musty books. Then I ask you why, why oh why does every librarian I know own a cat?! Now, before I am pegged as the cat-hater in GSLIS let me first just say that I myself just got a kitty at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Her name is Eva. She jumps on my face. She naps on my tummy and her arch nemesis is a ball of tin foil I rolled off the counter a few nights ago. I am quite the opposite of the naysayer….


Winter is Coming

I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones on June 22 as an escape from the afternoon heat in Washington, DC. Fast-forward 24 hours, and I had watched five more. The only thing stopping me from completing the entire ten-episode season by dinnertime on June 23 was my flight back to Boston. I hurried home from the airport and immediately went to my library’s webpage to request Seasons One and Two on DVD. When I saw that there were 100-something holds on 90-something copies of each season (my library is part of a network of libraries in the greater Boston area, hence the large numbers), I added myself to both hold lists and vowed to start reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the Game of Thrones television show is based. It didn’t take long to become so immersed in the books that I forgot about the queue for the DVDs. The novels initially intimidated me, as there are currently five (with two more forthcoming) that…


Exploring Your Neighborhood

For the first time in seven years, I am so happy that this coming September 1, my husband and I will not be moving.  I will be excluded from the uHaul hassle, the security deposits, the shady landlords, and dealing with the fact that dishwashers are still a sought-after commodity despite our foray into the twenty-first century.  In the past year, knowing that we wouldn’t be moving in September, we have made our little apartment a true home (rental-style) – temporarily replacing the dim lighting fixtures, accruing beautiful (if eclectic) art and photographs, even adopting a puppy for our pet-friendly pad!  But one of the things that we have admittedly slacked on is learning our area. When my husband randomly plugged our address into Walkscore.com and a 97 popped up, his friend asked what great coffee shops, bars, parks, and restaurants were in the area to inflate our score so much – sadly, we had no idea.  It wasn’t until very recently that we actually made exploring our area a priority – and we have…


Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Graham Herrli

I have fallen into the habit of falling in love with fellow classmates in my past few semesters at GSLIS. I share my crushes through this blog to you, the GSLIS community. I first met my friend Graham in LIS 408, User Instruction. While there were many talented people in the class with lots to contribute, Graham always intrigued me because of his usability perspective on library science issues. Graham is one of those students that blows you away with his passion and genuine interest with the way patrons interact with information. I want more Grahams in my next class, though I suspect he may not be taking storytelling in the fall. Regardless, I am thrilled to present Graham Herrli. 1) What made you choose the GSLIS program and what is your focus while here at Simmons? I came to GSLIS initially because I was interested in how people interact with information and I thought I might want to become a librarian.  Since arriving, I’ve found that librarianship isn’t for me, but I’m still intrigued…


Petition to Proceed into the Library World

Most people know what it’s like to have an email inbox that is constantly full of crap. Listservs, gimmicks, promotions, mass emails that may or may not pertain to you but you should probably read anyway just in case…you know. I do my best to keep my inbox as crap-free as possible, which necessitates a fair amount of deleting things based solely on their subject line. Who knows how many emails I delete that I shouldn’t, but I do my best to diligently discard blatant crap emails while still opening anything that is, or might be, relevant. Last week, my usual subject line deletion system was jarred by an email from the GSLIS Student Services Center with the subject: PETITION TO GRADUATE form – 2013-2014. This petition clearly pertains to me as I enter my final semester; thus, the email was granted the esteemed privilege of being opened and read. I expected the petition form to be long-winded and daunting, asking me to list every GSLIS credit that I took with which professor on which…


I locked myself out of my bathroom…and other tall tales.

So when I say “tall” I mean true. I am sitting in my apartment, cautiously drinking water owing to the fact that I may not be able to relieve myself as I have somehow locked the bathroom from the outside. This all comes at the end of my seven day recovery period. Recovery from what you might ask? Oh, just the removal of the superfluous organ we call the gallbladder.  But didn’t you have a ticket to Chicago for the ALA conference? Did you get to go? Why yes! And no I did not get to go to Chicago. The stars and my gastro intestinal system have chosen to align to combust this summer barring me from travel. And so, this is the time I chose to reflect on my life. In this summer of heat and nothing but time to muse in my pain reliever haze I reflect on my time at GSLIS. As I look back over my year of posting on this blog I realize I came into this program with a…


Preserving Morris Dancing

For the last two months I have been enmeshed in a collection about Morris Dancing. Until two months ago, I did not know such a thing existed. So imagine my great surprise Friday night when I ran into multiple Morris Dancer groups performing on the Common in conjunction with Shakespeare on the Common! I wasn’t even supposed to be there at that time but had absentmindedly gotten off at the wrong T stop and ran into the very people my collection documented! As I stood watching, a woman came up to me and said, “Has anyone told you what this is yet?” She seemed used to having to explain it to passersby. “It’s Morris Dancing!” I said excitedly and she looked at me as if I were the one jumping in the common with bells tied to my shins. Yes! I do know what it is! This led me to a wonderful opportunity to not only talk with her about Morris Dancing and how she came to be involved with it but also about how…