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

Reader’s Advisory

Holiday Reading

At the onset of any break, I create a mound of books that I hope to read. I know that I won’t quite get through all of them, but I make my ambitious pile nonetheless in the hopes that I might be able to squeeze in just one more book before the busyness of term begins again. Below is my booklist for the break. Happy reading! Fiction A Very Irish Christmas: the greatest Irish holiday stories of all time publish by New Vessel Press – This adorable collection of poems, songs, and short stories brought back many delightful memories of a Christmas I spent in Ireland! Fantasy The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – I know that I am a little late to reading The Poppy War series, but after picking this up at Brookline Booksmith and starting it on the plane home, I am charmed with Rin’s grit and determination. Sistersong by Lucy Holland – I noticed this behind the counter at Barnes & Noble when picking up a Christmas present and then found…


SLIS Faculty Finds a Silver Lining to 2020 and Wins Award

Creativity – albeit forced creativity – became the order of the day when teachers and programs pivoted to online learning for the end of the 2020 and the entire 2020-2021 school years. In recognition of the optimism and innovations of the faculty, Simmons dedicated a $10,000 Presidential Grant from the Davis Education Foundation to a Post-Pandemic Innovative Teaching Award, colloquially called the “Silver Linings” Award. Out of more than thirty applications, eighteen faculty members were recognized, including SLIS’s own Professor Lisa Hussey. Professor Hussey was recognized for her implementation of a flipped classroom to foster meaningful remote engagement and to engender class community even from afar. An initial hurdle for Professor Hussey was imagining how to transition her course Reader’s Advisory, built around class discussions of nine novels and the application of genre theory, to a remote setting. Although Professor Hussey had taught other courses virtually, she never imagined this course in a remote learning setting. However, thanks to the success she had with transitioning it online, Professor Hussey plans to offer the class virtually…


Confessions of a Library Card Holder

            Reader, I have a confession. I, a Simmons Library and Information Science master’s student, have lived in Boston for over half a year now without getting my Boston Public Library card. The shock! The horror. I can hear the admonishments now. But maybe you, like me, moved to a new city during this time of great lockdown and weren’t sure how libraries were available to us with their front doors firmly closed and sanitized. That is why I write to tell you of my own journey for the little plastic card and the membership it represents. I decided to remedy my lapse in patronship during one of my library science classes. No, I won’t tell which one. It’s my first semester here and I want to make a good, attentive first impression on Simmons’ venerable professors. In said unnamed class, I pulled up the BPL website and found the page for their eCard registration. The eCard is available for anyone who lives or works in Massachusetts, even if you are only here part of…


More Statistics!

I was introduced to the fascinating and overwhelming world of statistics in my Collections Development class last year.  I used data from the US Census and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for an assignment that and got to see a wealth of data about all aspects of libraries.  I loved doing that work, so I was thrilled to have another statistics-based assignment for my YA class.  This time, I have a new source: the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDOE).  The MDOE has a ton of statistics about public and charter schools in Massachusetts, including a breakdown of student enrollment by race, gender, and ethnicity; the amount of money spent per student and where that money comes from; standardized test results; and average class size.  There is also attendance and discipline information, as well as information about advanced coursework opportunities.  Each school also has an “accountability profile” which rates it in relation to other schools in the state.  This information is very useful, but also very overwhelming.               Luckily, the assignment has clear directions of what information is needed.  It involves…


Compare and Contrast

I’m still feeling a twinge of disappointment after dropping the database class but overall I’m having a much easier time keeping up with schoolwork, and I’m a lot less stressed.  So, yay!  I’m also really enjoying being able to focus on a single class.  This week’s topic in Collections and Materials for Young Adults was particularly interesting, as we focused on young adult non-fiction adaptations.  We had to read Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and its YA adaptation, Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, both of which chronicle the history of racism in the United States.     While I read a lot of YA fiction, I don’t read YA non-fiction at all.  Truthfully, I never gave too much thought to the genre before this week.  I thought most young adults would gravitate towards reading adult non-fiction, because that’s what I did when I was younger, but that’s not the case for everyone.  I happen to love history and biographies, but I know they can be boring, depending on the author and style.  So adapting adult non-fiction for young adults makes a lot of…


Ready to Go!

Classes started last week.  I’m excited to get back into a normal routine again, especially since the world is still so uncertain.  I might not be able to count on much right now, but I know I can count on my schoolwork and deadlines to give me a bit of normalcy, and I’m grateful for that.  My classes run from Tuesday-Monday and Thursday-Wednesday, and I’ve started to plan out the days I work on each class.  I like to create my own routine and get a little bit of work done every day so that I am not cramming everything in on the due date.   This semester I’m taking LIS 458, Database Management, and LIS 483, Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults.  I had intended to take LIS 532R, Reader’s Advisory, but it ended up being a synchronous online class—meaning each session was at a specific time—and unfortunately, the time didn’t work out with my schedule.  While I’m disappointed about that, I am very happy with the classes that I chose.  I can tell already that Database Management is going to…


Other Librarianing Fun

Well hello there, blog watchers! It’s been a whirlwind of a time for me the last couple of weeks. I’m thankful to have a few big presentations inside and outside of classroom out of the way so I can catch up on some reading (for class- of course, but also for Discworld- of course). Yesterday was sunny and reached up into the high 40s where I am in MA, so I’m feeling pretty good this fine President’s Day. I thought it would be fun to devote this blog post to some things you may not get a lot of in depth experience with in LIS school, but you will get to experience in the wide world of libarianing (with variation of course depending on your specific position). This post was inspired by my SLIS West buddy Jenney when she told our friend “way to embrace the glue and glitter!” after he shared some recent projects he’d done. Readers’ Advisory – okay, you do get time spent on this in school- especially depending on the classes,…


Librarian for a Day (Or Two)

I may have mentioned before that I volunteer at the Public Library of Brookline on Thursdays. A few weeks ago, I helped a record number of patrons: six. While this probably seems inconsequential to most people, this number is a breakthrough. This means six people thought I might help them; six people thought I looked like a librarian (whatever that means); and six people thought I was qualified. The usual number is zero, sometimes one or two. And, most of the time, I just get asked where the bathroom is. Fact: I am the Teen Room monitor. This means I basically just sit in the room and make sure nothing too disastrous happens. But, since the kids aren’t particularly rowdy on most days, I basically hold an after school study session. And the vast majority of the time, I’m doing my homework along with them. Or writing these blogs. I think perhaps that I sometimes look like I’m terribly busy. But, really, I love being interrupted. Having never worked in a library setting before, this…


Book Talking

Last week was spring break, so I took the week off from blogging. Most of my break was spent catching up on schoolwork and working, but I was able to escape home to Vermont for a couple days of much needed relaxation. One of my favorite parts of my trip home was visiting my local public library and attending a meeting of the “What is on Your Nightstand?” book club. The premise of this book club is that it is not a book club, at least not in the traditional sense. There is no chosen book for each monthly meeting. Instead, on the second Tuesday of every month, anyone who is free to talk about books is welcome to come to the library and share what they are reading. The librarian running the meeting keeps a list of all the titles discussed and the conversation is always lively and interesting. Before moving back to Boston to start school in January I was home in Vermont for eight months and had the opportunity to attend almost…


So Many Books, So Little Time

I have always prided myself on being well-read. I imagine most people considering a career in the library profession feel similarly. Starting the GSLIS program at Simmons has led me to question whether I really am the great reader I have always claimed to be. Sometimes it feels like all of my classmates are better readers than me. One of my favorite classes this semester is Young Adult (YA) Literature with Professor Melanie Kimball. I love learning about working with young adults but this course is certainly putting my reading skills to the test. Along with professional development readings targeted towards young adult librarians, we are also required to read two or three YA books per week! So far I have enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with all of the readings but my speed and efficiency are being put to the test. Although I have moments of insecurity because I do not feel as well-read as some of my classmates, one assignment allowed me to gain some perspective by making me spend time reflecting…