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

SLIS West

Finals Approaching

My last set of finals is approaching and I’m both nervous and excited.  But I’m not too worried about what lies ahead.  I have a few group projects and to be honest, I’m really excited to work alongside my peers for this last set of projects.  I am not the kind of person to like group projects.  But I have built good friendships and working relationships with my classmates over the past 2 years, so working together with on these last things just feels right in a way.  It’s a nice way to wrap things up. However, it has been a tough past few weeks for everyone in my classes.  There has been some illness, stress, and just general life things that get in the way.  Having people to work alongside, even though we are all dealing with these issues, helping each other cross the line, just feels right. So as things wrap up, I am excited to work together this last time with everyone and hopefully everything will finish up really nicely. Here’s to…


An Ode to Western Mass.

Western Massachusetts is one of my favorite areas to explore in my free time! Maybe I’m a bit biased as I grew up here, but it’s an area rich with history, the arts, beautiful scenery, and plenty of other things to see and do. If you are a student at SLIS West, whether new to the area or visiting to take a library course on the Mount Holyoke campus for the first time, here are some of my recommendations of things to do in the surrounding area near the SLIS West campus! If you enjoy being out in nature, whether that be biking, hiking, walking, or your preferred nature activity, there are many trails and conservation sites to spend some time basking in the outdoors. My personal favorites are the following: Hiking up to the Summit House on top of Mt. Holyoke (if you want to see the beautiful views of the valley, but can’t do the hike, you can drive and park at the top when the road is open). Check out the view…


Welcome New Blogger – Erin

Hi everyone! I’m Erin, and this is my first semester in the DYO program at Simmons, where I’m studying at SLIS West. I grew up in Massachusetts, western Mass. to be exact! I’m quite happy to be back in the area for graduate school. I did my undergraduate studies all the way in northern New York at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where I studied Flute Performance as well as some Music Business. I’ve always loved libraries and books, but what really spurred my interest into thinking about librarianship as a career path was a library and education internship I did at Goodspeed Musicals in their Scherer Library of Musical Theatre (located in Connecticut!). I learned so much from that experience, and it really planted the seed in my head of combining two of the things that I love, music and libraries. And here I am now! Outside of grad school, I spend much of my time with music, in one form or another. These days I play the flute for fun….


Wrapping Up Two and a Half Years

Now it really is my last week of class and internship. I’ve watched my long list of school things to do slowly dwindle down to the final item: a paper for metadata due on Monday. Once that is turned in, I’ll be finished. No more homework, no more classes, no more trips to Massachusetts. It has been an action-packed semester that has ended with a bang: last week’s tote bag ceremony at which I was honored as the recipient of the Terry Plum Leadership award, our conference presentation at CLA on Monday, and a part-time job offer at Fairfield University! I find myself in the bewildering position of having achieved everything I set out to do (and more) and feeling a tad overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. My time at Simmons has wrapped up in a manner far more exceptional than I imagined and I feel breathless – as if looking around and thinking, “did I really just do that?” To be honest I also feel like I want to crawl into…


It’s Not Easy Being Green

My senioritis went out the window this week as my schedule really started heating up. I’m currently involved in two group projects: one for my online Metadata class and the other for a conference presentation! Way back in January, Eric Poulin, SLIS West program director and instructor for my User Instruction class, asked me if I’d be interested in presenting at one of the state library conferences with some other students. I said yes, of course, and nothing much happened until last week. Our proposal had been accepted for the Massachusetts Library Association conference to be held on May 21, but then Eric found out (unbeknownst to him) that we were also on the schedule for the Connecticut Library Association conference on April 29! Eek! So now I feel like I’m drowning in virtual group meetings and deadlines and everything is coming up so quickly. Fortunately, I just taught the last class for my internship this morning so at least that part of my work load is winding down. All told, I taught 8 sessions…


Enjoying the Journey

As the semester goes on I continue to feel very pleased with the way that it has turned out. Taking that two-week preservation course at the very beginning was the best thing I could have done. I enjoyed the topic more than I thought I would, and it left me with just one class to worry about for the rest of the semester! It does feel a little strange to not be driving up to South Hadley every Saturday, but I am thrilled to have my weekends back and to spend them with my family. It is a good thing too, because the weekly class schedule for metadata makes all the assignments and discussions due on Monday – which means I’m pretty busy over the weekend. Fortunately my internship makes up for the missed classroom interaction and sociality I enjoyed up at SLIS West. On Thursday I got to observe Matt, the senior instruction librarian, teach the class that I’ll be teaching next week! The lesson plan, activities, presentation and materials are already provided for…


My Last Rodeo

It’s been over a month since I last posted on the blog so Happy New Year everyone! I did survive last semester’s final week and I’m really proud of what I accomplished but boy was it tough. I needed a good break after that which is why I took a little hiatus from the blog. But now I am back in the saddle for what will be my last Simmons SLIS rodeo! In fact, I’ve been back in the saddle since January 10th which was the first day of the two-week long preservation course up at SLIS West. We met from 9-4, Thursday-Saturday for two weeks in a row and it was a blast. It was a large class too – probably the biggest I’ve had face to face – with a mix of students from Boston and SLIS West. I got a hotel in the area both weekends and it almost felt like a mini vacation. Preservation was so fascinating and what it did most of all was give me another “lens” through which…


Keep On Keeping On

Well I survived “hump week” even though I had to drive up to class and back (and give a presentation) on about three hours of sleep. If you’ve been reading the other posts on this blog I think you’ll recognize a common theme: school is really hard and busy right now and we’re all exhausted. Actually I gave myself a tiny break from school work the first part of this week, mainly because I had so much housework and other things to catch up on. It was nice to have a short breather, but I am back at it today because the end of the semester is going to come up VERY quickly. At the SLIS West office on Saturday we had a special day-in-the-life guest speaker: Amanda Pizzollo! Amanda was the SLIS West blogger before me and graduated the same year that I started. It was great to see her again (I am kicking myself that I did not get a photo for the blog) and hear all about her job at Amherst College…


Hump Week

I’ve dubbed this week “hump week” because I have major assignments due in BOTH of my classes on Saturday. They are the last assignments before our final projects, so it’s the last “hump” of the semester before the final hump. As such, this will be a brief post just to check in and confirm I’m still alive after last night’s adventures of writing papers and monitoring a child with a bad case of croup. I’d like to say it gets easier as you progress in your program and get into the rhythm of schoolwork, but that hasn’t been the case for me. Each semester has brought fresh new challenges, and each has necessitated some late nights and bouts of stress and anxiety. The fact that getting your library degree might be your dream or passion doesn’t make it any easier, but it does make the work more meaningful. We are more than halfway through the semester (only four classes left!) and it is just flying by. If my spring schedule shakes out as planned and…


Fall Beckons!

My penultimate semester at Simmons has begun and the summer is officially over. I’m at this stage of my school journey in which things are beginning to feel very repetitive. Here I am: getting up before 6 am every Saturday, driving the same route to South Hadley, Mass., stopping at the same places for gas and a bite to eat, walking the same paths to familiar classrooms, seeing the same faces, eating the same lunches at the SlIS West office…. This is not to say that there’s nothing unique about this semester, just that it’s begun to feel very routine. In many ways, though, this semester is unprecedented. For the first time, both of my kids will be at school for some portion of the day, giving me chunks of dedicated homework time in the mornings. The kids’ school schedules force all of us to be up and at ’em fairly early so there will be more discipline and more routine. And I’m starting this semester with more planning, motivation, determination, and better personal organization…