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

Workload

Spring Sprint

From the basket of laundry next to my bed, to the hundreds of unread and unorganized emails in my inbox, the evidence of this semester’s time crunch is everywhere I look.          The workload from my first semester at SLIS didn’t feel like a particularly far jump from the end of my undergraduate career. The reading was heavy, and the papers forced me to slow down and remember back to the kind of academic writing I hadn’t practiced in the year I took between my graduation from Syracuse and starting at Simmons. The three classes did keep me buzzing from one day to the next. But, in a mid-March reflection, I’m realizing now that this semester has been a whole other beast.             I run, often literally, from work, to class, to my LIS 438 field placement. Each of these pieces to my schedule is vital. I can’t miss class, or else then I’ll be behind in content and deadlines. Can’t afford to miss work and still be able to order the delicious food found…


Spring and the Midway Point

The past few weeks have been your standard Boston spring weather.  Beautiful days sometimes going up to even fifty degrees followed by frigid windy days that sting at your face and snow that covers the ground, only to melt in the next few warm days.  Meteorologically speaking, it is a strange time, but so is coming back to classes after a weeklong spring break. For all my classes, we have officially passed the midway point.  It’s a great feeling and my classes have all been going really well.  But it’s also strange to be nearing the end of the semester and, in the grand scheme of things, my time at Simmons.  I’m starting to realize how much I will miss my classes.  I know that may be strange to say, but I did miss the lectures and discussions last week, and it made me start thinking about the future.  But let’s not dwell on melancholy topics. I am truly excited to really start getting into my assignments for the end of the semester.  I have…


Wellness Week

This past week LISSA – the student library organization here at SLIS – organized a week of activities to help promote wellness in the run-up to finals. Designed to facilitate relaxation, these bite-sized events were thirty minute moments every evening at 7:30 so that students could break seamlessly without needing the added stress of carving out an entire evening to practice wellness! On Monday, pet-owners and pet-lovers alike gathered to introduce their pets to their SLIS colleagues. Chris, a Ph.D. student studying accessibility in public libraries and LISSA Community Liaison, hosted the event with her two dogs Boomba and Lacey and foster dog Tripp. On Tuesday, students engaged in meditative journaling to reflect on the past semester, set goals for the semester to come, and remind themselves of their “why” for being in the SLIS graduate program. Rosie, LISSA President, provided prompts on dreamy powerpoint slides that participants could journal directly onto while the old at heart wrote out their intentions on paper. Wednesday evening turned physical as Johnna, LISSA VP of Events, helped participants…


Why I Enjoy Finals

I’m probably one of the few people who really enjoys when the end of a semester approaches and all our final projects and papers are due.  I understand why others don’t share this sentiment; all of the deadlines are certainly stressful.  But there’s something about that chaos that creates this comradery across the students. I noticed this at Simmons when my classes were online last year, but now that I am on campus, there is no denying it.  There is something I personally enjoy walking through the hallways and seeing everyone studying, helping each other, offering seats to people who need them so you can go over those notes before the exam, to just letting people nap when they need it.  There’s just something so, I would say magical, but really, it’s that sense of community everyone gets and encourages each other to push through it to make it through to the other side. And that’s what I really enjoy, this sense of community that everyone gets around this time.  All of the students, regardless…


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…