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

Technology

First Weeks

Sarah Callanan

The fall semester is starting to ramp up everyone!  We’ve only had three class sessions of LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers so far but I feel like I’ve learned so much!  We’ve been building on topics that we learned about in LIS 407: Information Sources and Services such as Boolean logic and nesting as well as learning new topics such as database structure and search techniques for specific databases.  We’ve started working with ProQuest databases, ProQuest Dialog, and Factiva so far.  I’m learning more about the particulars of how to search, and why it is best to search that way.  I really enjoy searching so this class is definitely my cup of tea!   Now that we’ve had a few class sessions, I can tell you that LIS 454 is very different than other classes that I’ve taken at SLIS before.  Then again, I suppose that most classes students are taking this semester (as well as in Spring 2020 and Summer 2020) have been a bit different because of the pandemic.  As I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, this was…


New School Year and New Job

Peggy Hogan-Rao

   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…


New Semester, New Class

Sarah Callanan

Summer break is over, and the Fall 2020 semester has officially started!  I didn’t do too much during the break—the pandemic sort of limits your summer break activities.  I did a lot of baking, and I saw my sister for the first time since the pandemic started!  We had a socially distanced picnic.  I really enjoyed the time off from school, but I’m happy to be back in the saddle again!   As I mentioned in my last post, I am taking LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers this semester, and we had our first class session this week!   This is an exciting new experience for me as the class is being taught live over Zoom, and I’ve never taken a class taught in this particular format.  I’ve said in several of my past blog posts that I’ve wanted to take an in-person class for a while, and this class was originally scheduled to be in-person in Boston—it was just adapted to an online synchronous live format because of COVID-19.  While I have had a few live sessions in some of my…


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…


Libraries, Twitter, and Me!

Amie Grosshans

It’s week two of life during coronavirus, and I’m still struggling to focus on my schoolwork.  I’ve been using my phone calendar to set reminders for things I need to do, because I keep getting distracted.  I’m stuck in an endless cycle of hand washing, freaking out about the news, going to work, doing schoolwork, and stress eating ice cream.  That being said, I haven’t needed any reminders for one particular project for my collections development class: our Twitter assignment.  The initial assignment called for us to tweet pictures of interesting things at the library, like themed displays, or links to events at the library.  Sadly, I had only been tweeting for three days before all the libraries started cancelling events and eventually closed entirely.  But there has still been a lot to tweet about!  Because so many people are stuck at home and need things to do, they are turning to their libraries for help.  Libraries in turn are doing everything they can to help, and this is where Twitter comes in.  Libraries can…


Influencer for a Day?

Katie Carlson

On Monday, October 28th, I was thrown into the world of large scale social media, as I was put in charge of Simmons University’s Instagram story! EEEK! While longtime readers know that I was a blogging queen back in the day, I only have 710 followers on insta, and had NEVER posted an original story — only shared content I was tagged in. I logged into the Simmons instagram, and suddenly had 6,000+ semi-captive listeners.  Let me tell you, it was exhausting. While my takeover was largely authentic — yes, I do sometimes go to the Gardner on my lunch break, but NO I don’t always have on a full face of makeup at 8 a.m. — it took some planning and creativity to brainstorm just how to share my experiences with Simmons’ insta-sphere. I will admit that I definitely had a storyboard for my day, mapped out with what I thought would be good video opportunities. I was pretty proud of my “What’s in the bag????” section, where I went through what I have…


When to Stop

Amie Grosshans

I had a very busy weekend.  I finished most of my digital libraries project and I am very happy with it.  The only thing I haven’t done is write up my annotated bibliography, but that shouldn’t take too long.  I also spent a lot of time on an assignment for my programming course, which I was not expecting.  We have a lab and an assignment each week, and they both take time, but nothing like this.  I simply could not get my code to work.  I spent more than two hours just on the first question.  I tried over and over to make it work.  I changed my names, variables, punctuation, formulae, and it still didn’t work the way it was supposed to.  It was almost there, but not quite, which was even more frustrating.  I decided to take a break and try next question, but I could not get that to work all the way, either.  So I put the assignment away for the day.  When I picked it up the next day, I…


Intro to Programming

Amie Grosshans

I wrote a post last year explaining all the different ways that discussion happens in online classes (http://blogs.simmons.edu/slis/student-experience/2019/04/participation.html).  This semester, I have another new format for my Introduction to Programming course (LIS 485), and it relies on mainly on classmate feedback.  Each week, we have to complete a lab and an assignment.  The lab is where we practice our coding skills, and the assignment is where we answer questions and/or perform a coding task related to what we’ve learned in the lab.  It’s very similar to the format of Technology for Information Professionals (LIS 488), except that now we are required to post our work to the forums for our classmates to review.  I was pretty anxious about this at first.  In a normal class, if I mess up, I’m the only one who knows besides the professor.  With this format, there’s no secrecy.  If I struggle or have the wrong answers, everyone will know.  What if my classmates judge me for being wrong?  Thankfully, this has not been the case.  It turns out that…


Focus on EBSCO

Katie Carlson

On August 13th I was able to participate in a focus group for the new EBSCO mobile app! I really love workshopping, and this felt like that to the extreme. It was awesome to have a say in a product that I will get to reap the benefits from, as well as pass on to patrons, friends, and future researchers alike.  This particular focus group was definitely saturated with library and information science students. I personally knew half of the group members, and recognized most of the others! Involvement in LIS definitely informed our reaction to the EBSCO mobile app. Most people in this section of the focus group entered with an understanding of EBSCO’s products and an interest in user experience (at least enough to sign up for the study). It was great to hear the opinions of other library science students, but I would have also loved more input from people outside the field. Does the average Bostonian conducting research care about how many times a paper has been cited in other academic…


Crunch Time!

Amie Grosshans

It’s almost the end of the semester and I can’t believe it.  Where did the time go?  I am really looking forward to having a break, but I still have a lot of work to do before I can relax.  I have two big projects due the last week of classes: a group project for my info organization class, and an individual project for my tech class.      My goal is to complete the tech project early, partly because I want to use the last week to focus on finishing up my group project, and partly because I just plain want to get it done!  Our assignment is to create a personal website for prospective employers.  It’s a really great project because it requires us to use and showcase all the skills we’ve learned in class this semester.  I have learned so much this semester, and I am definitely using everything I’ve learned, and more. Right now, I have the formatting all set up, and I just need to play around with the wording…