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

skills

Skills learned from SLT

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  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…


Winding Down

Amie Grosshans

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…


Book Repairs!

Amie Grosshans

I’ve had a busy and fun two weeks of book repairs.  My tasks included rebacking (replacing the spine of a book) and recasing (re-attaching the text block to the book cover).  Both of these repairs were invasive and required cutting into the book.  That definitely scared me at first.  Taking a knife to a book seemed like sacrilege.  I had to remind myself that cutting into the book would not harm it—in fact, it would save the book.  And it did!  The end result of my repairs was book that was fully functional again, and ready to get back into circulation.  I can see how knowing how to do these minor repairs would be beneficial for librarians, because they could fix a lot of book problems without having to spend money buying a new book.  What amazes me is how much book repair is about precision.  It takes a lot of practice to make straight, even cuts, align pages, and trim accurately.  But once you know how to do this, you can make repairs that…


All About Paper

Amie Grosshans

This summer, I’m taking LIS 447, Collections Maintenance, and I absolutely love it so far.  There are two parts to the class: the lectures, which explore the topic of the week and show how to do the repairs, and the hands-on part, where we get to do the repairs ourselves.  All of us were mailed a big box with the weekly materials before the class started, which included damaged books, different types of papers, newspapers, magazine ads, archival quality tape, and tissue paper.  We also bought a tool kit from the school bookstore, which included a cutting mat, ruler, retractable knife, paint brush, and other necessities.  I created a designated workspace for myself and laid all the tools and folders on a little table.  It’s been working out great, because it keeps all the tools and materials in one place and I don’t have to constantly pack and unpack all the materials.  I would probably lose something that way!  The first week, we repaired small paper tears with tape and glue, and last week we…


Virtual Interviewing 101

Adaliz Cruz

When I was asked to write a blog post about interviewing, I scratched my head for about a week. What should I write about interviewing? I told my roommate, I’m no expert on this topic! However, after thinking about it for a few days I realized I do have some experience to share with all of you. I’ve interviewed for different things my fair share of times. I’ve also attended and sat in on presentations, webinars, and symposiums that covered this topic. Here, I’ve compiled some tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way. I hope they are as useful to you as they have been to me! Go through the job posting before hopping on the call so you’ll be prepared for questions. Always have an answer to the age old question: WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS POSITION? Outside noises will be inevitable, but try to find a spot where noises will be minimal. Mind your background (or choose an appropriate Zoom background). Wear something that makes you feel “on”. For me,…


Being Positive

Peggy Hogan-Rao

It is the last two weeks of the semester, and I must admit I’m getting excited for it to be over. One thing I’ve learned for sure this semester is that student teaching is a lot of work. If I am struggling doing two lessons in one week, I’ll certainly be up for a challenge when I have 20+ classes in one week for grades K-5. Because I’m graduating in the fall, I have had to figure out how to record my lessons and teach virtually. But I have had tremendous help from my supervising librarian and practicum supervisor in decoding virtual teaching! Trying to think on the positive side of these difficult times, my LIS 460 technology course has taught me a lot about digital tools to use for teaching, which comes in handy when I need to record videos. Technology is so important in times when schools are closed. When recording videos of an activity such as how to use a database, I will be using a screencast program such as Screen-Cast-O-Matic or…


A Great Group Project

Amie Grosshans

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…


Super Statistics

Amie Grosshans

Did you know that the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners keeps detailed statistics on every single public library in the state?  Or that the MBLC collects and analyzes all of these statistics and makes them available online in spreadsheet format?  I found this out while I was completing an assignment for Collections Development.  The assignment was to evaluate our library’s collection using standard evaluation methods, like list checking, peer comparison, user surveys, and statistics analysis.  I chose to do a peer evaluation of my library and used the MBLC statistics to compare it to two neighboring libraries.  It was really interesting to see how each library spends money and how their collection makeup differed.  But it was also overwhelming because there are so many statistics.  It bears repeating:  there are so many statistics.  Want to know how many study rooms a library has?  Or the most recent year your library was renovated?  Check out the Main Facilities spreadsheet.  How about total materials expenditures and per capita rate of spending?  Check out the Financial Data spreadsheet. …


Networking 101

Adaliz Cruz

I used to hate networking. I’m very much an introvert and even though I’ve worked on it and have gotten to know my introversion better I still sometimes struggle too. However, networking has allowed me to not be as intimidated as I once was by what I felt were “fancy people in the field”. Furthermore, it has landed me grants, scholarships, job interviews, and most importantly colleagues from around the world. I go to a lot of conferences and I do quite a lot of online networking too mostly through email lists, Facebook support groups, and just reaching out to people I would like to be in contact with. Sometimes I even cold email people! As a result I know my fair share of people in the field. OnceI forgot about someone I had connected with and they walked up to me excited to “finally meet the music librarian from Simmons”. I’m sure my face was worth a million!  Because of this, I constantly get asked on how I do it and how I’ve put…


Working in an Archive

crouchw

For LIS 438-Intro to Archival Methods, one of the required aspects is a 60-hour internship with an archive. For the class, Simmons helps you find an archive that will work well for your own situation based on your interests, transportation options, and where you live. I was assigned to work in the City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division with SLIS alum, Marta Crilly. For my internship, I was introduced to all of the other archivists within the office and they were all Simmons alumni which was really cool because it made me see just how big the alumni network is for SLIS. The City of Boston Archives has all the governmental records for the various divisions within the government like the fire department, police, and obviously the mayor’s office. My project for this semester will be going through boxes of photos from Mayor Raymond Flynn’s administration from 1984 to 1993 which had previously had been digitized onto a Flickr account. Over the course of the 60 hours I’ll be working there, I’ll be…