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

skills

Interning in the Outer Banks: An Archival Analogy

An analogy for archival work that they don’t teach you in 438 is this: archival processing is cleaning up other peoples’ messes. Without a key, without a blueprint, without any inkling of what, potentially, the original organizational system that the donor, maybe, possibly, hopefully attempted to follow for at least part of their document-generating life. You, the intrepid archivist must venture through boxes, pulling out sheaves of paper that seem to share nothing in common except the rusty paperclip holding them together, dusting your black pants with the glitter of deteriorating fax paper, and puzzling over the names of repeat characters in the documents like a crime scene detective building profiles for each murder suspect.    Or so I’ve felt these past few weeks processing my first collection. In the midst of the chaos, though, I stumble across little gems that make me forget about the filing conventions my donor seemed to create and then drop on a whim or the fact that desperately-relevant online records for certain local government officials don’t exist. An inspirational quote…


Interning in the Outer Banks

Billowing white sand dunes, salty sea breezes, and Elizabethan history lurking at every corner – welcome to Manteo, NC in the Outer Banks! Today marks my second full week interning at the Outer Banks History Center (OBHC) on Roanoke Island after I spent my first week virtually due to an outbreak of COVID in the guesthouse I am staying in. A satellite archive in the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the OBHC collects materials about the history of the region – often maritime in nature – ranging from oral histories about life on isolated Ocracoke to extensive photo archives of the generations of beach goers in this late-blooming tourist destination. While Manteo, the town I’m working in, touts itself as the “birthplace of English-speaking America” and as the birthplace of the first English baby born on American soil – Virginia Dare – the collection I’m processing is decidedly more modern. It was donated by a prominent local who served two tenures as mayor, led on a variety of boards and commissions, spearheaded…


Papers, Projects, and Finals – Oh My!

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves this finals season! Part of that for me is turning my heat back on since Boston has been incredibly chilly the past few weeks. I know some people call it the windy city and that is certainly correct on some days. But all the flowers have started to bloom and on my study breaks I’ve been taking walks to look at all of the new shoots starting to come up.  Speaking of study breaks, I feel like every semester I’m continuously updating my study habits. I start out thinking that I have a strong understanding of what helps me stay on top of my tasks…. And then finals roll around and I find myself mistaken. Which isn’t to say it’s been bad, I just now have a better understanding of what DOESN’T work for me and I can adjust accordingly.  Which brings me to the question, what’s everyone’s favorite study hack? As someone who has multiple 20 page papers to write, I found that if I write…


Career Prep: Resume Revamp & Career Fair

April in Boston means occasional sun, occasionally moderate temperatures, and more than occasional networking opportunities! Besides a slew of conferences over the next few months, the Simmons SLIS career fair was this past week. SLIS hosts the career fair virtually on Handshake, a networking app specifically for students and recent graduates. Since I’m still a year away from graduation, I used the career fair mainly as an opportunity to learn about a few potential future employers (and, of course, getting my name out there couldn’t hurt!). I’m on the fence about whether academic or corporate libraries would be the best fit for me, so I signed up for group info sessions for a few of each. I particularly enjoyed a session on Data Management services at the Harvard Medical School library – one of my favorite information science topics from a library on Simmons’ back doorstep! Naturally, I want to put my best foot forward. The Simmons Career Education Center has plenty of advice, but I’ve learned a lot from other sources, too. In March…


Overcoming Growing Pains

I am very surprised to say I am nearing the end of my first semester here at Simmons! It feels like a whirlwind, to be honest – I applied and got accepted in October, moved to Boston in December, and started school in January. I am very grateful for the people who have supported me in this big life transition from my parents to my boyfriend to the friends that I’ve made so far in my classes. I definitely believe I made a smart choice moving to the city a full month before the semester started, but nothing could have prepared me for the transition into grad school life. It might have been because I accidentally signed up for 4 courses instead of the recommended 3 or fewer, so I quickly started to drown in responsibility. About a month into the semester I had one of those existential crises where nothing I was doing made sense — why was I going to grad school anyway? Why don’t I just escape civilization? What am I doing…


Assignments and Resumes

Now is the time in the semester where everything is busy and lots of assignments are due.  These past few weeks since coming back from spring break I have had at least one major assignment due each week.  It has been a little stressful and certainly busy. But even so, the amount of pride and excitement I get when I finish these assignments is great.  I always feel so much more accomplished than I did going into them and often, I am much more confident of my own skills on whatever the topic may have been, from metadata to programming to book reviews.  It is a wonderful sense to become more confident and surer in my abilities. This is also the case with me polishing up my career materials as I creep closer to graduation.  One of the ways I did this was by attending the Resume Revamp hosted by SLA this week.  I was a great event hosted by the Special Library Association Student Chapter at Simmons where they connected students who submitted resumes…


End of the Semester and End of the Year

Hey everyone. It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog. My semester has been pretty crazy as I imagine everyone else’s has been. Trying to keep up with the election, the pandemic, and continuing classes fulltime has been pretty stressful so I began to limit the amount of time I am on social media each week to basically zero which has been pretty helpful I would say. In my Collective Memory course, our final project was a group presentation on a historical event, person, or group that our understanding of has been affected by the idea of collective memory. My group chose to do our project our Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre, and how his identity as a runaway slave and martyr helped with the abolitionists and even in the Black Lives Matter protests. In Archival Access, our final project is to create a MARC record and Finding Aid for a collection. We’ve been learning about how to create Finding Aids with XML code and MARC records so…


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;…


Almost There!

I’m on to my third (and last!) paper of the semester.  It’s not due until December 15 but I want to complete it early so I can get it done and enjoy the holidays.  Plus, the assignment has several parts and is better done one step at a time.  The assignment incorporates much of what we’ve learned in class throughout the semester, and deals with collections development, which I love.               In the first part of the assignment, we choose a library and examine its collections development policy. Each library has a unique collections development policy that explains how it will build its collection.  The policy is heavily geared towards the library’s community.  For example, a school library will tailor its collections development policy towards its students, and a public library will tailor its policy towards its community.  If a community has a large Spanish speaking population, the library might focus on buying Spanish language materials, whereas a community that does not have a large Spanish speaking population would not focus on this area.  This is where the community statistics from the census come…


Skills learned from SLT

  I am so close to being done with my studies at Simmons. When I look back at my courses at Simmons, I feel like all I want to say is thank you. I have one step into the door of working professional and one foot still in the door of graduate student. As I am slowly creeping into the role of a library teacher, I am using the skills that the Simmons School Library Teacher program has equipped me with to be a library assistant in an elementary school library.     In my LIS 406 course Management of School Libraries, I learned valuable skills in outreach to the community. When you work in a school library, it is good to partner with local bookshops for book orders, but most importantly the local public library. In the school where I work now, we are working very closely with the public library’s children’s librarian to give children access to information resources.     LIS 461 the Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the SLT (School Library Teacher) gave an overview of…