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

SLIS

Summer Session Summary

As the Summer II session begins to wrap up, an urge to write non-academically has been pushing at me. Writing for this blog in particular has been a source of joy, so I figured I should get back into it! In this post, I’ll take some time to detail both of the summer classes I took during Simmons’ two summer terms, as well as how I experienced academic burnout.  I took one class for each summer session this year, which totaled out to five credits. The first class was CHL 424C (Series Fiction – Middle Grade) and it took place from May 22nd to June 28th. This was a rigorous two credit course where we explored five genres of books that make up the foundation of the middle grade category. Not to be confused with middle school, middle grade books are written for a third to sixth grade audience. I enjoyed the depth that our discussion went into each week, but finding time to read an entire series in seven days was a challenge. When…


Welcome Emma!

We are adding another blogger to the mix. Everyone say hello to Emma! Hello friends! My name is Emma Hayden and I started my second semester as a dualHistory and Library & Information Science student at Simmons in January. I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I got a degree in History with a minor in Religious Studies. I just moved to the Boston area in the fall from Southern California with my cat Phoebe. Phoebe (alsoknown as Pheebs) loves going on walks around Boston in her backpack! I have taken her withme on many adventures but I think our favorite spot so far is Fenway Park or the Boston PublicGarden. In my spare time I enjoy reading romance books, crocheting, and line dancing!I am new to the SLIS program, however I have really enjoyed the classes I have taken so farand am looking forward to my classes this semester. Last semester I got my first taste of basiccoding and markup languages in LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals, which wasa lot more fun…


Summer Dreamin’ to Bust the Mid-Term Monotony

I have reached the monotonous section of the semester. School is chugging away, meaning there are papers to write, books to read, lib guides to build, and I am looking for the time needed to cook something more nutritious than top ramen or a quesadilla. If anybody told you the life of a graduate student is glamourous, they were seriously delusional. The graduate students I know tend to drink more coffee than is good for them, they struggle with anxiety, and all of them can’t wait to be doing the work that this degree will allow them to do. In library school many of the assignments serve as models. While it is necessary for a professor to have a standardized assignment to give out, it can personally be frustrating knowing that my work, as of yet, will not make a direct impact on a library or archive. The work I do is stuck in theoretical land. I am looking forward to truly doing the work, directly shaping collections and helping patrons. To expedite the process…


Libraries in Germany

It’s good to be back after a really nice winter break. Happy new year to everyone! I had a few grand adventures which I wanted to update you all on. After going home to Washington for Christmas and New Years, I went on a trip to Europe! This trip really revealed my library nerdiness. Almost every place we went I forced my friends to go on a mini exploration of the local libraries. In between rounds of museums, long walks on cobblestone streets and breaks of kaffee und kuchen here is where we went! Prague: Municipal Library of Prague—This is where the Instagram famous infinity books photos are taken. There was a huge line for the photo station, which I walked right by to go snoop in their library. Prague: Strahov Monastery Libraries—One is focused on theological texts and the other is on philosophical texts. They are all lusciously old. Made my archivist heart happy. Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—This library is so impressive. It is free to access and has some very cool collections. Berlin:…


A SLIS Boston Student Goes West

This January, I began my spring semester in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where I completed my Preservation Management requirement over the course of two long weekends. Affectionately dubbed “Library Boot Camp” by Professor Donia Conn, the class consisted of six seven-hour days, during which my classmates and I studied old photographs and manuscripts, pored over different binding techniques, and learned more about pests and mold than I ever hoped to know. We (affectionately) handled old leather book casings, examined sheets of vellum from the eighteenth century, smiled at the rosy, painted-on cheeks of old tintype portraits, and held vintage Kodachrome film up to the light to reveal images of smiling families and pin-up girls—all in the name of understanding the makeup of the materials archives and libraries hold so that we may better preserve them. Our classes were held on the Simmons West campus at Mount Holyoke College, where we had the opportunity to visit and study two nearby libraries: the Williston Memorial Library, the college’s academic library, and the Gaylord Memorial Library, a small public…


Second Semester Successes

I recently started my second semester of the dual MA/MS in Children’s Literature and Library Science, which has been really pleasant. After a trip back to Wisconsin over the holiday break, a wedding between friends over New Years, and a few days to prepare for CHL 436A Narrative Nonfiction, I was back into it. I have always enjoyed the dependable routine of the semester: wake up, class, work, go home, repeat four times, and weekend. Knowing what every day of the next three-ish months will hold is a great source of comfort to me.  Another great thing about being in my second semester of the program is that I generally know who people are by now. Although I don’t know everyone in SLIS, I am an active member and moderator for our Discord group, recently renamed the SLIScord. I recognize people’s usernames and appreciate all of the fun things they put in there, which ranges from craft projects to job postings to club meeting times to book recommendations and more. I met one of my…


Book Events in Boston and Baltimore

As we approach Thanksgiving and eventually finals for the Fall 2022 semester, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the book-themed events I’ve attended this semester. I’d like to highlight the following three:  First was the Boston Book Festival, which happened on October 29. (See Claire’s post about it if you’d like another perspective.) I went as an attendee in the morning and a volunteer in the afternoon. I had a chance to go to a comics panel at the Boston Architectural College which I’ve walked past many times but have never gone into. The inside of the building is very visually appealing with displays of architectural models, hardwood, and a spiral staircase. The event space was large despite the small number of attendees, the book sale table was well-stocked, the authors had a great conversation, and the questions asked to the authors were engaging. I ended up buying two young adult graphic novels after this event. Next, I went to the young adult horror event in Teen Central, which is the teen…


Joy in the End

I have managed to freak out most of my friends when dropping into casual conversation the fact that we only have four weeks of class left. To me, this signifies fewer 10%-assignments, most of my due dates crossed off my list, and a chance to focus on my final projects and research papers. As an English major in undergrad, I am used to working on large-scale analysis that brings together research and original thought so final projects are where my brain is happiest. And, I finally know not just something but almost a lot-of-something about my course topics. It’s a time for celebration!  My friends are less than convinced. The looming deadlines that all seem to cluster around the same two days, the uncertainty that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do, the will-they-won’t-they arrive in time ILL requests for research papers, I will admit it can be a stressful time. With Thanksgiving Break disrupting this final sprint to the end and the whispering guilt of needing to work on projects…


Resources for Transitioning to Boston

Recently, I had a person who was close to me decide to leave the Simmons-Boston campus. This was a shock and a surprise to me, as she had only been on campus for five weeks when she announced this decision. The astronomical cost of living, the distance from family and friends, the frustrations she faced with her landlord, roommates, and other people in her life all contributed to this choice. Conversely, I’ve been in Boston since January, working at various internships and integrating myself into the life I’ve built for myself. Coming to Simmons this September was a relief after months of doing virtual classes andfeeling a tangible lack of community with other students. It was a joy to see my classmates inperson, and I felt everything click into place after I came on campus. I made the decision totransfer from my university in my hometown to prolong my stay in Boston for an unknownamount of time as I progress through my program and decide whether to stay or leave aftergraduation.  I can’t imagine moving…


Museum Adventures in Boston

And the adventures continue! In this post I am going to focus on my obsession with the museums and libraries in the Boston area. Prepare for a lot of Rebecca’s brain in a perpetual explosion. My list of visits so far: The Central Boston Public Library (BPL), the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the immersive Monet and Impressionist exhibit, the Boston Athenaeum, the Simmons Library, and Emmanuel College’s Library. I have decided that the BPL is my favorite study space in Boston, at least at this point. I love seeing all the people interacting with books, research, and information. I am a fan of studying with the white noise of people moving around in the background, with children walking past, and with so many books at my fingertips. Beyond my visits to the BPL I also need to share about my visits, yes plural visits, to the MFA. I have been three times so far (each visit lasted multiple hours). I plan to go again tomorrow. And I have STILL not…