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

School Libraries

Getting Ready For Fall 2019

Wow! It is hard to believe there is only one more week until classes start! It’ll be nice to get back into study mode after having a month break. The last few things I need to do before classes start are buy my textbooks for class, buy some notebooks, and get ahead on readings due the first couple weeks.  In the School Library Teacher Program (SLTP), students are able to take two electives. I have always loved writing for fun, and one of the reasons I chose Simmons was due to their exceptional Children’s Literature department. (not to mention their very reputable School Library Teacher Program within the Library and Information Science department). My one fun elective for this fall semester is Writing for Children I. Some of my other SLTP friends are taking electives such as Storytelling and Medieval Manuscripts.   My one required class for the fall is Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults, where I will learn about how to create and manage a library collection for teens. I am excited…


Summer Life

It’s hard to believe that July is almost over! I’ve kept busy this summer with studying, even though I am not taking any summer classes. I took the reading MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills subtest in June, and I have the writing exam next week. The MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills is an exam SLT students need to pass before they can do their last two semesters of practicum experiences (student teaching). Luckily, I saved my eighth grade grammar textbook and brought it out to Boston! Princeton Review has been very helpful in my studying. I also listen to a podcast called Grammar Girl to review the basic grammar rules. When I am not studying, I’ve been applying to part time jobs in the fall. I’ve applied to a few at Boston Public Library, one at Cambridge Public Library, and a couple of library assistant positions in local school districts. With six library job applications submitted, it is waiting time. Waiting to hear back is definitely the hard part, but at least I can catch…


First Impressions

Over the past week my semester has truly gotten underway and I think it is going to be exactly what I need for my final semester at Simmons. The most exciting thing to happen this week was the first meeting for my internship! I sat down with the senior reference librarian & instruction coordinator at Fairfield University and we hashed out introductions, expectations, and scheduling. For the next few weeks we will be meeting to discuss readings, instruction techniques, and lesson plans. I’ll get to observe a few classes, and then, I WILL GET TO TEACH ALL BY MYSELF. Yep, you heard that right (because I was yelling excitedly). These kind people are going to let an inexperienced library school student teach undergraduate freshman English classes. In fact, I’m going to teach about ten classes over the course of the semester! Yay for real life experience! I AM SO EXCITED. Readings and discussions have begun in my online metadata class and I’m getting pretty good vibes about it. Many of the students are in their…


Alternative Spring Break

This week I took advantage of one of the many opportunities that are offered during spring break to try something new and spent an afternoon volunteering at the school library of the Boston Teachers Union School.  I’ve spent a lot of time working with teens and adults in public libraries, but have not really spent a substantial amount of time in the children’s rooms.  I’ve also never worked in or even volunteered in a school library before, so I thought it would be a really interesting and fun experience -and that I was pretty much guaranteed to learn something. Given my lack of experience, it was a good thing that our day consisted of labelling, barcoding and shelf reading; anything more advanced probably would have been a little nerve-wracking because I would have been too worried about screwing up something completely new to me. Boston Teachers Union School is K-8, so we got to see kids of every age throughout the afternoon, and process materials for every age as well.  We also got to see…


Just a Liberian

I talk about the school library I work for far too much. I think this is mostly because I love my job and its challenges. My students’ unreturned laptops haunt my dreams and their evaluations of my teaching darken my doorstep, though I have no doorstep to speak of in a 4th floor apartment. When asked what they would most like to change about their information literacy class, my 9th graders deemed the professor, me, to be the element that needed changing the most. “You need to just chill. You have to remember you’re not a real teacher, you’re just a liberian.” For further clarification, I am not a citizen of Liberia. Nope, that was just a real punk of a student trying to set my teeth on edge. Just a librarian?! Not even a librarian, a LIBERIAN! It is at this moment that I am choosing to see the up-side of the upcoming summer vacation. My students’ resentment of bibliographic instruction and citation styles is reaching maximum capacity. I am losing my patience. Teachers…


School’s out for the summer… or is it?

I remember telling a friend, way back in September, that I couldn’t possibly think about taking a class in the summer. I wanted to prevent burnout and make sure I had time to recharge my batteries for the coming year. However, the further I went in the program the more I realized EVERYONE’s here in the summer! Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I would say at least 75% of my friends at GSLIS are taking at least one summer course. I, myself, am VERY excited about my summer course with Vivienne Piroli: User Instruction. I’ll keep you up to date on the many pearls of wisdom that will undoubtedly come my way. I’m also excited about my new summer job at Beatley library. HUZZAH! That’s right ladies and gentlemen; I am staffing the reference desk this summer at the Beatley Library. I am delving into the realm of academic libraries. I’ll also be reporting on the awesomeness of recording every reference transaction I have, the new subscription databases I learn about as well as Beatley’s…


The United States of YA

    In this week of festive, inaugural, bi-partisan activities I thought I’d let everyone know about a fun list of books lingering out there on the interwebs. This is a list developed by the brilliant minds over at epicreads.com.  A question was posed: What is your favorite young adult book? Name the state in which it takes place. Thus, the United States of YA was born, or at least, the list. Then the blogger made this amazing graphic (see above). The graphic and the list were made readily available for display makers, like me, and I stumbled across them on pinterest. I thought it would be an easy display. I wouldn’t have to do any list making. I could just pull the books and let the graphic speak for itself…WRONG. In the end it took me a WEEK to put up. But let me just say, it was worth it. Check me out.


Do you dare?

  While I continue my efforts to make myself a well rounded library student I have started to target blogs. I set up my google homepage through my Simmons mail so that I’m alerted to their newest posts etc. As you well know there are a ton of most excellent blogs run by libraries and librarians alike. I love the bloggish library site I work on at my job. In what other job can I spend a good half hour on a well crafted “Hey girl” post, complete with graphic and cuddle speak from the man we all know and love? Really…only in libraries. God, I love my job! In this spirit I comb the web for blogs to inform my studies and my work. Multiple times a blog is shows up in other librarians blogs, exciting webinars cite a guest speaker most commonly known as the daring librarian. She defines her commentary on what works in school libraries as “sweet, snarky freshness”. She’s tech savvy and embraces the massive changes taking place in the…


And so it is over

2.5 years at Simmons is officially over for me.  The last project has been submitted, the second practicum binder has been handed in, and I am ready to move on to the next chapter and start my professional life. Last Friday, I went in for a job interview for a maternity leave position, a long-term substitute.  I got the job (hooray for gainful employment!), but more than that, this week has shown me just how thorough my preparation for this role has been.  When the person I am substituting for didn’t come in Tuesday, I didn’t hesitate to jump right in.  Were there bumps? Sure, but that’s to be expected, especially when working with younger students who thrive on routine and consistency.  What counts to me is that I know now, after just three short days of observing and teaching, that my time at Simmons, my coursework in the SLT Program, and my two practica experiences have more than prepared me to step in, take charge, and hopefully take this position, or any future positions,…


Finishing My School Library Teacher Degree

If I am not mistaken, this blog entry represents my penultimate contribution to the Simmons GSLIS admissions blog.  For I, dear reader, am exactly one week away from finishing my library school career after 2.5 years.  I am excited about that, but it’s also bittersweet, but that is not the focus of this post.  This post is about how I finished my high school practicum yesterday.  Yes, 150 hours, a 22-page practicum log, six lesson plans with reflections, 12 artifacts of different types, and a lot of paper later, I am done.  It’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment seeing this giant binder come together with its pretty colored dividers, the cover page, the table of contents.  I’ve taught lessons galore on how to find non-fiction books and generate keywords to run effective searches in the OPAC and in the Gale databases.  I’ve learned to use iPads and researched a dozen apps that have really, really cool implications for students with special needs.  I created a rocking pathfinder for students researching Romney and Obama’s positions on…