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

SLIS

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…


That’s a Wrap!

I am almost done with my last paper for the year.  I just need to double check that all my citations were done correctly, and then I’ll be all set to turn it in!  I had to choose six books (three nonfiction and three fiction) to include in my library’s collection.  To do this, I read fiction and nonfiction book reviews from the January 2020 issues of Booklist and School Library Journal.  It was a much more daunting task than I had anticipated.  A lot of books were reviewed, especially fiction books, and it was overwhelming.  Luckily, I printed out the reviews so I could write myself some notes.  I highlighted the most important parts of the reviews and noted my overall impressions of whether to book would make a good addition to the collection or not.  Otherwise, all the reviews would have run together.  I was impressed with the variety of books that were reviewed.  There were many genres and books that featured diverse or marginalized voices.  I recognized several of the titles, but there were many more that I didn’t know about.  I added several books to…


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…


Back to Class

We’ve had some time off from live (Zoom) classes since I last posted, and it’s felt really weird.  We had two weeks off—the first week we had off because of the election, and the next week was planned in the syllabus.  I’ve gotten really accustomed to the live classes, so not seeing everyone each week has been odd.  I know, this is the first live class I’ve taken at Simmons–I should be used to not being in class each week!  However, in the absence of live classes, things have been quite busy with some recorded lectures to watch in lieu of being in class, readings to do, and we have two big assignments to work on, not to mention our big semester-long project, as well as registration for Spring 2021!  This week marked our return to live classes, and a start to what I consider to be Part Two of LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  Part One was all about learning about different types of databases and search strategies.  I’ve briefly spoken about this before, but this was a…


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…


Spring Courses!

It may be the end of October, but I’m already thinking about January because the Spring 2021 course list is out!  And thus beings my analysis (or over analysis, because I’ll be honest, it could be either one) of all the course listings.  First off, LIS 458, Intro to Database Management is indeed being offered online.  I’m still undecided about whether I want to give it another chance.  I’m leaning towards not taking it, because I don’t think I’m a database person, and because there are a few other options that I think I would enjoy more.   There are two classes about digital objects: LIS 448, Digital Stewardship, and LIS 447, Digital Asset Management.  I’m not exactly certain what the difference between the two is but they are both taught by the same professor, and I’ll probably send him an email asking for more explanation.  I am interested in finding out more about how to manage digital collections, because I took LIS 462, Digital Libraries, last year and really enjoyed it.  But that was about creating a digital library, not about managing…


First Weeks

Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user.  In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to…


New School Year and New Job

   Hello, and welcome back to a new school year at SLIS. I have now been in this library science program for three years. I was originally planning to graduate with both my Masters of Library and Information Science this January with my certification to be a K-12 Library Media Teacher. As with lot of other things going on right now, that is not possible. I miss being on campus for classes, and so do the professors. My professor for my LIS 410 course on Library Services for Diverse Users did a live Zoom class with us last week, and we may have a couple more this semester. The “live” class sessions make it feel a little more like it is in-person.    As of early September, I have moved to a new apartment and started a new job. With public schools, there are some pros and cons right now for new teachers. The big downside is I could not find a placement for student teaching this fall. I came to this decision with lots of support…


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…