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

Technology

Surprising Myself and Time Management

The third week of my fall class (LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals) just started, and things are going much better than I thought they would.  I’ve mentioned several times before how nervous I was for this class because of how technology focused it is, but things have been going really well so far.  I’ve really stepped up my time management skills and have devoted at least two hours a night to working on the material for this class, whether it be the readings, lectures, note-taking, labs, or other assignments.  A part of the reason why I’ve been doing this is because I learned from the accelerated nature of the class I took this summer, and because of my overall apprehensiveness regarding the material for the class.  Due to the way I’ve been managing my time for this class I’ve been finishing my weekly labs well in advance of the due date.  However, this week we’re starting HTML, so I’m a bit nervous, but I’m hoping that I’ll continue to surprise myself with my technology…


A New Semester Begins!

My fall class (LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals) started last week.   As I’ve mentioned before, while this is an online class, it’s a bit of a new adventure for me because there are a few “live sessions” incorporated in to the schedule.  These live sessions aren’t in-person, they are GoToMeeting sessions where everyone is online at the same time and we can see and hear the professor.  Our first day of class had one of these live sessions and it was very exciting!  I’ve done videoconferencing for work and for group projects via Skype and Google Hangouts, but I’ve never done it for class before.  I did have some technical difficulties connecting to the meeting, but once I got them ironed out, I really enjoyed the component of the live session.  We had a segment where we were able to introduce ourselves and we could see and hear everyone, which is an element that I’ve missed from in-person classes.  While I really love interacting with my classmates on the discussion forums, the live session…


Crunch Time

We’ve now entered the last two weeks of the semester, otherwise known as “crunch time.” I have three end-of-semester projects on the horizon that I’m busily plugging away at. Now is the time when my kids get away with a little extra TV in the afternoons and I remind my husband daily, “just two more weeks….” The summer break is so close you can taste it, as it hovers like a sunny promise just out of reach. Oh how the pleasure reading and the hobbies and the home organization projects are calling! In my experience, you never know quite how the end will play out until it is suddenly upon you, but this semester (so far) I feel like the crunch won’t be too bad. The end of the semester is always an exciting time, and not just for the prospect of homework-free evenings. It represents the culmination of all we’ve been studying and working on throughout the semester and usually includes some kind of presentation in front of our peers. The project I’m most…


My Unexpected Library Class

If you are like me, you’ll come to library school with some idea of what librarianship looks like and what subjects your course of study may include. I can tell you that there are plenty of courses that you might expect, such as subject cataloging, history of the book, collection development, and library programs and services. But you will also find courses that you might not expect, like usability and user experience, knowledge management, web development, and information visualization. The fact of the matter is, there will be more classes offered that you want to take than you can fit into your program. Library school is both too long and way too short. If you’re curious about Simmons’ course offerings, you can view the full course catalog here. Database management is one of those unexpected classes that I’m so excited to be taking. My interest in databases dates back to my internship at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the day my staff sponsor asked me if I had any knowledge or experience with Microsoft…


Technology Courses: My “Happy Surprise”

In my last post I promised that I’d write more about my technology classes at Simmons. Like many students, I entered LIS 488, the technology core class, with some trepidation. After all, the technology components of library work had scared me away from the LIS degree for some time. I knew I wanted to obtain an education that would help me get a job somewhere in the library/archives/museum field, and I knew I wanted my degree to be flexible, adaptable. Museum studies seemed too specific and limiting, and I was afraid Library & Information Science would involve too much science and technology. That was me before I took LIS 488. Now as someone who has finally gotten her feet wet in the world of IT, I find myself embracing a very different mindset. First of all, technology is just another skill, another subject that can be learned. Learning to code is a lot like learning a new language. You don’t have to possess any particular personality or disposition to understand technology. You don’t even have…


One Rather Late Semester Wrap-up

So… it’s been a few weeks. My first semester of grad school ended five days ago and since then I’ve been processing, and recovering, and “making it up” to my family. Those last two weeks of class were kind of a whirlwind. And even though I had jotted down ample notes for a blog post, I just couldn’t take the time to sit down and type one out. I poured all the time I could into my final projects and trimmed everything “non-essential,” or at least able to be put off for two weeks. I scrambled around doing the bare minimum to take care of the kids and the house and let me tell you: bare minimum is not pretty. The kids (aged 4 and 2) were super great considering my parenting could be described as something resembling benign neglect. Or in other words, “Have some goldfish for dinner and watch all the TV you want and sleep in your clothes tonight.” I still shudder now to think of it and it was all I…


Out with the Old, in with the New

In January I left my last nursing job so that I could better pursue a position in the wonderful world of librarianship. When I did so, my partner and I sat down and talked about how to make that decision work economically. He’s in grad school getting his doctorate in science, so he gets paid through that. It’s a pretty fixed amount, and not something that would keep us easily afloat for long without me working as well. Especially since I went to Nurse Practitioner grad school for a year, and I’m still paying off those loans, plus now I’m gathering more debt from LIS school, and we bought a house last year. We’ve both spent years saving up for all of this, but still. So, we sat down and thought of the lowest priorities for spending and how and where to cut corners. We ate a lot of rice and beans until I starting get more jobs, and we cut our cell phone plans. Now- we still had cell phones because we’d paid those…


3D Printing: A Nerd’s Fantasy Realized!

Have you ever been online and saw something that you wanted? I’m sure the answer is yes, but how many times have you actually acted on that impulse? But what if the thing you wanted is something a bit bizarre? Like an Ocarina of Time? Or maybe you want your own House Crest from one of the Four Houses of Hogwarts? As a self-declared nerd, these items are merely just an example of things from various books and video games that I have wanted since I was a child. Of course, like most early twenty-somethings, I am not currently at a place in my life financially where I could justify buying these things. Thankfully, I don’t have to. When 3D printing was still a concept that one could only read about either online or in the newspapers, I thought it was the coolest things ever. I still do. However, I never thought that I would ever have the chance to see one up close, let alone 3D print something. On Newbury Street, there is a…


Catching on Coding

We at Simmons have been known to run the spectrum of professions and interests within the information sciences. Whether stemming from personal passion or outside necessity, developing your own sense technological literacy and pushing it to the limits is a huge part of your academic career and an even bigger part of your larger ambitions as an information professional. As we set our sights on post-graduation opportunity, we should start thinking about how we can become not only tech users, but tech creators. Growing up, coding was synonymous to me with being the forum regular with the coolest post signature – boasting countless animated sparkle fonts, flaming clip art, and the lime green courier font of 1337 h4x0rs of yore. Today, coding means something much bigger – and learning to code became the tether between the tech I use on a daily basis, and me understanding the tech I use on daily basis. Let’s be real for a second – looking at a code document for the first time can look like an insurmountable wall…


Tumblarians!

I spend way too much of my time every day online.  I am fully aware that it’s a problem, but not one that’s going away any time soon.  It’s gotten even worse lately, as I’ve been trying to use social media to learn more about archives and archivists, and have been working on networking through Twitter and tumblr (since I’m so terrible at doing it in person.)  I’m not entirely sure about the librarian/archivist community on twitter, but the tumblr community of tumblarians (tumblr+librarians) is vibrant and very friendly.  (I’m libromatic on tumblr, by the way.)  The wonderful thing about tumblr (and Twitter, too) is that if you’re shy and nervous about posting a lot when you’re not entirely sure you know what you’re talking about, reblogging (and retweeting) are completely acceptable ways to share ideas! If you’re not on tumblr already, and you’re looking for ways to meet people in the library/archives field, here’s how to get started.  After joining the site, find people to follow.  A list of library and librarian tumblrs can…