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

Summer

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…


Navigating Off-Campus Housing in Boston

Moving out of Boston has been weighing heavy on my mind recently; I live with my boyfriend in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, and we are both itching for a bit of freedom from the hustle and bustle. My boyfriend has lived in the city for a few years and grew up in a town nearby, while I on the other hand grew up and lived in various parts of Connecticut until December of 2021. Now that the Spring semester has ended, I’m realizing that I’ve actually been extremely homesick. Not necessarily for Connecticut (no one is homesick for Connecticut, I can vouch for that), but for my high school and college friends, parents, grass, space to move, the sun! Our 450 sq. ft. basement apartment that seemed very cozy in December is now suffocating us. Compounded with us both getting covid recently, we are very ready to look outside and see greenery instead of traffic.  I should say, I do really love Boston. It is a beautiful, walkable city that has so many parks,…


Summer of Covid

Hey everyone. I thought I might share a little bit of what I have been doing aside from classes during this strange summer. I’ve moved back to Texas to wait out this pandemic which has been insanely different than what Massachusetts has experienced. Obviously, Texas experienced a massive spike in cases around the end of June and throughout July. Thankfully, I’ve been able to isolate myself for the most part to hopefully limit my exposure. One of the benefits from being in Texas this summer is that I’ve been able to start playing tennis again. I played tennis in undergrad for my school, Austin College, but for a number of factors, I wasn’t able to continue playing when I moved to Boston. To try and get some fresh air and exercise, my dad and I have been playing almost every night which has been really beneficial for my mental and physical health. Due to how tennis is played, it’s really easy to maintain social distancing, so if anybody is looking for a way to get…


Final Summer Thoughts

I finished all my work for Collections Management last week.  I can’t believe the summer semester is over already.  It went by so fast.  I loved this class and would recommend it to all SLIS students, especially those who like hands on activities.  It was a great introduction to book repair and definitely made me curious to learn more.  It will be very nice to have a few weeks off, but I’m looking forward to my classes in the fall.  Since SLIS announced that all of its classes for the fall would be online,  all the in-person classes that I normally would not have been able to take were suddenly available to me.  I had to rethink my classes a bit, and I ended up signing up for a new class, LIS 532R, Reader’s Advisory.  I wanted to take this class as soon as I saw it in the course descriptions, but I wasn’t able to because it was at the Mount Holyoke campus.  But now I get to take it, and I am excited.  …


Close to the Finish Line!

We are getting close to the end of the semester everyone!  We are in Week 7 and the summer term ends in just a few days!  As you can imagine, I am feeling the pressure!  Even though my class is ending in a few days, there is still so much left to do! As I’ve said in previous posts, summer classes are condensed courses—you are learning two weeks of material during a one-week period, so you are taking in a lot of information.  LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics has been a very interesting class.  The early weeks were less focused on library and information-related content, and were more focused on introducing us to the concept of what ethics is and ethical frameworks.  We didn’t really start talking about information ethics or anything super-related to libraries until later in the course.  We’ve covered so many topics in this class already, such as Ethical Frameworks, Ethics and Organizational Culture and Management, Ethical Decision Making and Legal Compliance, Information Ethics, Privacy and Access, Digital Equity, Intellectual Freedom,…


Summer Classes

Hey everyone, long time since I last posted. Hope everybody has been staying safe during all this craziness. I’ve been keeping busy taking a summer course while history courses are being offered online. This summer, the history seminar being offered is divided into two different parts both focusing on how the United States functioned as an empire in the early 20th century. The first section was taught by Professor Frances Sullivan and focused on labor movements within United States territories like Puerto Rico or Hawaii. It was really interesting reading some of these groups’ thoughts about how they would gain a new government to try and gain more equity but that the governments would often revert back to being more unequal. Reading about these ideas in the midst of similar discourse occurring in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement has been very enlightening. The second half of the course was taught by Professor Laura Prieto and focused on women’s suffrage movements within United States territories and how the United States womens’ suffrage…


Adventures in Ethics

We’ve completed the first week of the of the Summer 2020 term everyone!  As you know, classes at SLIS are online for this term due to the pandemic.  I’m not going to lie; I came very close to forgetting it was the first week of classes last week.   If I hadn’t received an email from my professor announcing it was the first day of class last Monday, I would have completely forgotten.  I’m taking LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics this summer, and as is usual for Simmons summer classes, it is only seven weeks long, but is the same amount of work as a normal semester-long course. This means we cover two weeks-worth of material a week.  If you’ve read my past posts about summer classes, you know my feelings about this.  Summer classes have a lot of content in a very short amount of time. I’m not wild about the rushed feeling, but this summer, like last summer, there is no “locked” content, so I can see everything ahead of time.  In summer…


All About Paper

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…


Seven Classes Down, Five to Go!

We are DONE with the Spring 2020 semester everyone!  Seven classes down, five to go!  This summer I’m taking LIS 475: Organizational Ethics.  I was originally going to take a different class, but due to the unpredictability associated to COVID-19, I switched classes.  This class looks very interesting—based on the description, I think it’s going to be more of a theory-based class and we’ll be covering a lot of interesting topics.  However, the class doesn’t start until June 15, so I have a bit of a break before school starts again.  Usually, when the semester is over and we come up on a break, I’m thrilled.  However, this time it is different because there is a pandemic happening. This now means that there is a gaping hole in my everyday routine.  The stay-at-home advisory has been extended until May 18, and my sense of time and structure during the pandemic has pretty much come from two things, school and work, and now one of them is gone until mid-June.  On one hand, it’s nice not…