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

Workload

End of the Semester and End of the Year

Hey everyone. It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog. My semester has been pretty crazy as I imagine everyone else’s has been. Trying to keep up with the election, the pandemic, and continuing classes fulltime has been pretty stressful so I began to limit the amount of time I am on social media each week to basically zero which has been pretty helpful I would say. In my Collective Memory course, our final project was a group presentation on a historical event, person, or group that our understanding of has been affected by the idea of collective memory. My group chose to do our project our Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre, and how his identity as a runaway slave and martyr helped with the abolitionists and even in the Black Lives Matter protests. In Archival Access, our final project is to create a MARC record and Finding Aid for a collection. We’ve been learning about how to create Finding Aids with XML code and MARC records so…


That’s a Wrap!

I am almost done with my last paper for the year.  I just need to double check that all my citations were done correctly, and then I’ll be all set to turn it in!  I had to choose six books (three nonfiction and three fiction) to include in my library’s collection.  To do this, I read fiction and nonfiction book reviews from the January 2020 issues of Booklist and School Library Journal.  It was a much more daunting task than I had anticipated.  A lot of books were reviewed, especially fiction books, and it was overwhelming.  Luckily, I printed out the reviews so I could write myself some notes.  I highlighted the most important parts of the reviews and noted my overall impressions of whether to book would make a good addition to the collection or not.  Otherwise, all the reviews would have run together.  I was impressed with the variety of books that were reviewed.  There were many genres and books that featured diverse or marginalized voices.  I recognized several of the titles, but there were many more that I didn’t know about.  I added several books to…


The End is Near

Can you believe it’s almost the end of the semester?  The end of the semester is always such a crazy time, with due dates and projects.  Since my last post, I’ve had two assignments due, and my big semester-long project is due next week.  It is definitely crunch time! As I discussed in an earlier post, my semester-long project is the Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project where we do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offering with a partner.  My team is investigating the resources of MCPHS University, as that is where both of us work.  It’s a huge project—we’ve had to interview the electronic resources librarian, thoroughly investigate the databases, the research guides, the different ways to search the library’s resources, and more.  My team has been working really diligently throughout the semester and having regular virtual meetings to check in and go over our project, so we’re doing pretty well progress-wise.  I’m not too worried about our actual written report, the thing that I am nervous about is our presentation.  I’ve done plenty of presentations at Simmons;…


End of the Semester

This week has been crazy busy, especially Wednesday. For my first time working almost full time while in grad school, balancing school and work this semester has been hard. And this struggle is only with only one class! Next week is my last weekly meeting for the semester-long group project in my Information Services for Diverse Users course. This project has been an interesting study on how to work with the information needs of those who have low digital literacy skills.     Work at the elementary school library is now very busy. Instead of 3-5 kids having library class once a week and checking out books during library class, kids get a book as soon as they return a book. So, if a student returns a book they finished reading on Tuesday, then they will get a new library book when they are back in school on Friday. This is more work for me and keeps me running down the halls to bring books to each of the classrooms!       By the time I finished running around…


Almost There!

I’m on to my third (and last!) paper of the semester.  It’s not due until December 15 but I want to complete it early so I can get it done and enjoy the holidays.  Plus, the assignment has several parts and is better done one step at a time.  The assignment incorporates much of what we’ve learned in class throughout the semester, and deals with collections development, which I love.               In the first part of the assignment, we choose a library and examine its collections development policy. Each library has a unique collections development policy that explains how it will build its collection.  The policy is heavily geared towards the library’s community.  For example, a school library will tailor its collections development policy towards its students, and a public library will tailor its policy towards its community.  If a community has a large Spanish speaking population, the library might focus on buying Spanish language materials, whereas a community that does not have a large Spanish speaking population would not focus on this area.  This is where the community statistics from the census come…


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…


Spring Courses!

It may be the end of October, but I’m already thinking about January because the Spring 2021 course list is out!  And thus beings my analysis (or over analysis, because I’ll be honest, it could be either one) of all the course listings.  First off, LIS 458, Intro to Database Management is indeed being offered online.  I’m still undecided about whether I want to give it another chance.  I’m leaning towards not taking it, because I don’t think I’m a database person, and because there are a few other options that I think I would enjoy more.   There are two classes about digital objects: LIS 448, Digital Stewardship, and LIS 447, Digital Asset Management.  I’m not exactly certain what the difference between the two is but they are both taught by the same professor, and I’ll probably send him an email asking for more explanation.  I am interested in finding out more about how to manage digital collections, because I took LIS 462, Digital Libraries, last year and really enjoyed it.  But that was about creating a digital library, not about managing…


Book Reviews!

This semester we are required to write three book reviews and post them to our class Google site.  We can read any YA books we want, but one of them has to feature a minority and/or LGBTQ+ character and one has to be a non-fiction or an informational text.  There are two parts to the reviews: the first is a very short blurb, two or three sentences, that explains the gist of the book, and the second is a more thorough review.  I have written one review so far and am working on the second.  Surprisingly, I had a much easier time writing the small blurb than I did the full review.  For me, it was fun to think of how to condense the book down to two or three sentences.  It forced me to think of the overarching theme of the book and what the main character is experiencing.  I knew I only had a limited amount of space to use and that helped me focus on the most important details and themes.  I love playing with words, so I really enjoyed…


Project Time!

Can you believe that we are six weeks in to the semester?  Six weeks!  We’re almost halfway done with the Fall 2020 semester everyone!   As promised, this post is going to be all about the semester-long project in LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  Our big project is an Electronic Resources in Libraries Case Study Project, where we split up in to teams to do a thorough investigation of an academic library’s electronic resources offerings and management.  We interview the library’s electronic resources librarian and learn more about the workflow, operation specifics and skills needed for managing electronic resources, and learn more about the library itself.  We will ultimately write a case study report based on the interview and investigate how the electronic resources are described and introduced on the website, how everything is connected and covered in research guides and tutorials online, and what library services are provided and offered.   This project really reminds me of LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, except for this project we are solely focusing on electronic resources and the role of the electronic…


First Weeks

Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user.  In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to…