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

Projects

Into the Library-Verse

Why care about virtual reality? If you’re a current or aspiring librarian, VR might be morerelevant than you think. Simmons professors Catherine Dumas and Rachel Williams areresearching the use of virtual reality in library crisis training, and I recently got to be one of theirguinea pigs!Virtual reality is “the computer-generated simulation of images or whole environments that canbe experienced using special electronic equipment,” according to the American LibraryAssociation. In this case, an Oculus Quest and Mozilla Hub brought me to a simulated publiclibrary.I’ve only used VR technology a few times, and each time I’ve been blown away. Moving withinVR is very intuitive to me, which I don’t take for granted. Growing up, I hated when computergames moved from the point-and-click to 3-D model because I could never get my avatar or thevisual field to go where I wanted. With VR, there’s less need to translate my movement toartificial controls. Love this avatar of me that Professors Dumas and Williams created! As a research guinea pig, I entered the library-verse to watch a presentation on crisismanagement…


Spring and the Midway Point

The past few weeks have been your standard Boston spring weather.  Beautiful days sometimes going up to even fifty degrees followed by frigid windy days that sting at your face and snow that covers the ground, only to melt in the next few warm days.  Meteorologically speaking, it is a strange time, but so is coming back to classes after a weeklong spring break. For all my classes, we have officially passed the midway point.  It’s a great feeling and my classes have all been going really well.  But it’s also strange to be nearing the end of the semester and, in the grand scheme of things, my time at Simmons.  I’m starting to realize how much I will miss my classes.  I know that may be strange to say, but I did miss the lectures and discussions last week, and it made me start thinking about the future.  But let’s not dwell on melancholy topics. I am truly excited to really start getting into my assignments for the end of the semester.  I have…


The End is Near

Can you believe it’s almost the end of the semester?  The end of the semester is always such a crazy time, with due dates and projects.  Since my last post, I’ve had two assignments due, and my big semester-long project is due next week.  It is definitely crunch time! As I discussed in an earlier post, my semester-long project is the Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project where we do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offering with a partner.  My team is investigating the resources of MCPHS University, as that is where both of us work.  It’s a huge project—we’ve had to interview the electronic resources librarian, thoroughly investigate the databases, the research guides, the different ways to search the library’s resources, and more.  My team has been working really diligently throughout the semester and having regular virtual meetings to check in and go over our project, so we’re doing pretty well progress-wise.  I’m not too worried about our actual written report, the thing that I am nervous about is our presentation.  I’ve done plenty of presentations at Simmons;…


Close to the Finish Line!

We are getting close to the end of the semester everyone!  We are in Week 7 and the summer term ends in just a few days!  As you can imagine, I am feeling the pressure!  Even though my class is ending in a few days, there is still so much left to do! As I’ve said in previous posts, summer classes are condensed courses—you are learning two weeks of material during a one-week period, so you are taking in a lot of information.  LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics has been a very interesting class.  The early weeks were less focused on library and information-related content, and were more focused on introducing us to the concept of what ethics is and ethical frameworks.  We didn’t really start talking about information ethics or anything super-related to libraries until later in the course.  We’ve covered so many topics in this class already, such as Ethical Frameworks, Ethics and Organizational Culture and Management, Ethical Decision Making and Legal Compliance, Information Ethics, Privacy and Access, Digital Equity, Intellectual Freedom,…


Winding Down

There are only two weeks left in the summer semester and I can’t believe it.  It’s gone by fast.  This is the first time I’ve taken only one class, and it’s been very nice.  It’s also been a bit weird, since I’m used to juggling two or three classes and having more work to do.  But I’m not complaining!  We’ve finished the last of the hands-on activities and will have lecture classes and a discussion with a conservator the rest of the semester.  Two weeks ago, we had our most difficult assignment: making boxes out of heavy paper and corrugated cardboard.  Boxes are created for items that cannot be put directly on the shelves because they are too delicate or because they are damaged.  Creating a custom box for these items gives them physical support and allows them to be handled by the public (with a little bit of caution, of course).  Otherwise, these items would be unavailable.  The boxes have to fit the item perfectly to make sure the item will not move around…


A Great Group Project

I completed my group project for Metadata and honestly it was one of the most enlightening group projects that I’ve done.  Each group was assigned a different metadata schema.  This is usually how it goes for a group project, but what was different here was that the schemas were for unusual items like Tweets (Tweet Object Records), music (Music Encoding Initiative), cultural heritage objects (MIDAS Heritage), biological records (Darwin Core) and even math (MathML)!  I watched all the presentations and learned a ton about how metadata is used.  I did not know that you could create metadata for a math formula or that metadata for a simple Tweet contains huge amount of information, including the number of followers the person had at that time, the number of likes the tweet got, and how many times it was re-tweeted.  It was so interesting to learn how each schema described its resources.       My group was assigned PBCore, which is used to create metadata for audio and visual resources, like tv episodes or radio shows.  I enjoyed…


Almost to the Finish Line!

We are in Week 13 everyone! It’s the second-to-last week of the semester! We’re almost across the finish line! Usually at this point in the semester, I’m working on some sort of big final project to turn in at the end of the class, but oddly, this semester that’s not the case. I suppose you could call the Social Media Assignment my big project, as it was supposed to last until the end of the semester, but I actually met all the requirements for the project itself a while ago. Since my last post, I’ve completed my other two assignments, so all that stands between me and the end of the semester is some forum posts, readings, and lectures. This has been the strangest semester–and I didn’t even have to deal with too much disruption or transition as I was in an online class anyways. Even though the pandemic has been going on, and we’ve been surrounded by change, chaos, and uncertainty, LIS 453: Collection Development and Management has been one of my favorite classes…


Libraries, Twitter, and Me!

It’s week two of life during coronavirus, and I’m still struggling to focus on my schoolwork.  I’ve been using my phone calendar to set reminders for things I need to do, because I keep getting distracted.  I’m stuck in an endless cycle of hand washing, freaking out about the news, going to work, doing schoolwork, and stress eating ice cream.  That being said, I haven’t needed any reminders for one particular project for my collections development class: our Twitter assignment.  The initial assignment called for us to tweet pictures of interesting things at the library, like themed displays, or links to events at the library.  Sadly, I had only been tweeting for three days before all the libraries started cancelling events and eventually closed entirely.  But there has still been a lot to tweet about!  Because so many people are stuck at home and need things to do, they are turning to their libraries for help.  Libraries in turn are doing everything they can to help, and this is where Twitter comes in.  Libraries can…


Presentation Time, and a Lucky Coincidence

I finished my first project of the semester this week.  It was a Power Point presentation for Collections Development on a book genre of our choice.  We had to research current trends in our genre, identify helpful resources, and analyze publishing statistics.  We also had to create a two-page handout with a brief overview on the topic.  This allows us to discover and share what is trending in the book world, so that ultimately we can build a library collection that satisfies user needs.  Before I was back in school, I thought 5-7 minutes was a long time for a presentation, but it turns out it is not a lot of time at all.  It goes by fast, especially if you have a list of items that you need to cover.  Whittling down all the information into a narrative that is thorough, concise and makes sense is not easy.  I’ve completed audio presentations for other classes and I’ve never recorded anything within the time limit on the first (or even second or third) try.  It…


Let’s Talk About Books!

This week I have one of the most fun projects that I’ve had since starting at Simmons!  I get to talk about BOOKS!  I know, I know, this is library school, shouldn’t this be a common thing?  Actually, no, this is not a usual assignment. I don’t think I’ve actually had an assignment where I’ve gotten to wax poetic about books, genres, publishing, or anything of that nature since we talked about readers advisory waaaaayy back in my first semester when I was taking LIS 407: Information Sources and Services. This week is my Genre/Topic project for LIS 453: Collection Development and Management.  For this project, I get to talk about a particular topic or book genre and discuss publishing trends, what’s hot and what’s not, popular books, any books that are going to be released as movies and/or TV shows in my genre, etc. Doesn’t that sound like fun?  I’m excited for this project for a variety of reasons.  First, as I mentioned earlier, I GET TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS!  Like many others who…