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

Technology

Into the Library-Verse

Why care about virtual reality? If you’re a current or aspiring librarian, VR might be morerelevant than you think. Simmons professors Catherine Dumas and Rachel Williams areresearching the use of virtual reality in library crisis training, and I recently got to be one of theirguinea pigs!Virtual reality is “the computer-generated simulation of images or whole environments that canbe experienced using special electronic equipment,” according to the American LibraryAssociation. In this case, an Oculus Quest and Mozilla Hub brought me to a simulated publiclibrary.I’ve only used VR technology a few times, and each time I’ve been blown away. Moving withinVR is very intuitive to me, which I don’t take for granted. Growing up, I hated when computergames moved from the point-and-click to 3-D model because I could never get my avatar or thevisual field to go where I wanted. With VR, there’s less need to translate my movement toartificial controls. Love this avatar of me that Professors Dumas and Williams created! As a research guinea pig, I entered the library-verse to watch a presentation on crisismanagement…


New Semester Nerves

As a first Student Snippets’ blog post of the new semester, this is an admission of nerves. The first week of classes is never my favorite time of the academic year. I always feel a little lost, whether in the carefully arranged but still difficult to navigate online syllabi or when trying to find my new classrooms. This inaugural week of spring semester was hosted online. A brief but harrowing few days where I got to go back to the virtual learning environment I had escaped at the very end of my undergraduate career in 2020. We all grinned and got through it, seeing the lower half of our professors’ faces for perhaps the only time before summer arrives. These first week jitters alone would not warrant a blog post about them. What makes me take to this word document with a lingering sense of unease is my technology class. I have always imagined my archival ambitions through a haze of crumbling old paper and the smell of used books. It was always the History…


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…


First Weeks

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

   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

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

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!

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?

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

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…