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

My Last Registration!

It’s that time again…Registration!  You know how much I love it!  We do it every semester!  In the past few weeks, we’ve had registration for both Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. The Fall 2021 registration period was my last registration at Simmons due to my January 2022 graduation date, so in turn this will be my last blog post about registration, which is kind of bittersweet.   I had such a difficult time picking what I wanted to take for my final two classes at Simmons!  I especially had a difficult time picking my Summer 2021 class.  There seems to be fewer classes offered during the summer, and a lot of them are geared more towards the Archives Management concentration or the School Library Teacher concentration.  Of the ones not geared towards those two concentrations, it feels like I’ve taken a lot of the options already, like LIS 404: Principles of Management, LIS 407: Information Sources and Services, LIS 451: Academic Libraries, LIS: 453: Collections Development and Management, LIS 475: Organizational/Information Ethics, and LIS 488: Technology…


The Final Countdown and Fall 2021 Admitted Student Event

Well, my final semester at Simmons is coming up after nearly two and a half years. To say my experience has been atypical is almost an understatement. But before we get into my final semester, let’s talk about a recent event the Admissions office just put on. We recently had an Admitted Students Event for our Fall 2021 upcoming students. It was a lot of fun getting to talk about my experience at Simmons as someone nearly finished with their program with people just starting out on this journey. Prospective students were able to talk with current students like myself, alumni, and faculty during this event which I hoped shed a lot of light about what distinguishes Simmons from other universities. We were also able to share with students our plans for the Fall 2021 semester and that we are planning to have it in person. So I will be back in Boston for the final semester and I hope to get to see many of the faces I saw at the Admitted Student Event. …


Revisiting an outdated children’s encyclopedia as an adult

After co-facilitating a class discussion about ready reference resources, I was inspired to revisit a text from my past: an A-Z children’s biography book from 2001.  The Kids’ Fun-Filled Biographies book contains 500 illustrated entries about famous people worldwide, from Billie Holiday to the Medici family to Rudolph Valentino. I read this book obsessively from the ages of five to eight. I impressed—or, more likely, scared—many adults with my ability to recall obscure celebrity trivia, especially birth and death dates. When Hank Aaron’s recent passing made the news, I recognized his name because he was the first entry in the biography book. (If there was any remaining mystery, I don’t know much about sports.) This slim volume went out-of-date about five minutes after hitting bookstore shelves; now, twenty years later, it is an ancient artifact. However, my mother has forbidden me from getting rid of it, and my Student Snippets audience will rejoice to learn that I brought it with me when I moved for grad school. Over the weekend I sat down and reread…


Check out a librarian’s blog

In the course of my research for a class presentation, I came across a librarian’s blog that I wanted to share. The author of this blog is Sally Gore, the Manager of Research & Scholarly Communication Services at the Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Medical School. This is a great example of a librarian blog, a genre of internet content that has decreased in volume as conversations have moved to Twitter and other social media sites. Nevertheless, many bloggers are still posting and many inactive blogs are still up. I would recommend looking at librarian blogs for information about what working in the library field is like, even though a lot of what you’ll find is from the mid-2010s heyday of the blogging world. Sally’s blog was interesting because of its relevance to my research project for LIS 621 (Conducting Research), but the posts about books Sally had read also caught my eye. I added a lot of them to my reading list, including Data Feminism, Meeting Design, and Prairie Fires. The list of books I…


Reviewing Reviews

This week we’ve been focusing on book reviews.  Book reviews are just one part of the collection development process, but they are very important.  Established journals like School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher’s Weekly write reviews of upcoming books and librarians frequently use them to figure out what books to buy for the library.  Reviews are surprisingly complex because they must pack a lot of information, including details about the most important plot points, analysis of the text and illustrations (if there are any), and a firm recommendation decision, in 250 words or less.  This is hard to do! Our assignment for this week was to choose a book and write a review of it.  Then, we had to find three other journal reviews of the same book.  Lastly, we had to analyze, compare, and contrast them all.  It was difficult but enlightening.  The book I chose to review was Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd.  It’s a graphic novel about a girl named Maggie who only realizes she has a severe allergy to animals after…


Daylight savings

The best part of the second half of March is the sun going down so much later. I don’t understand why we still have non-daylight time during the winter, but the spring forward period is always fun. In the past couple of weeks, it’s meant that I can get some sunlight by going for a walk after work and before starting my homework on weekdays (not to say that I do homework every day).. The only exception is Tuesday, when I close out of a virtual coffee break at work and immediately log into zoom for class.  During spring break, I tried to get ahead on work for my asynchronous class, Principles of Management (LIS 404), so I can pace myself a little more in the next few weeks. My professor included a Game of Thrones-themed exercise about hiring and staffing, which was entertaining even though I only know enough about Game of Thrones to recognize some of the names!  I’ve also been working on my literature review for LIS 621 (Conducting Research). Luckily, our…


Easy Readers!

After three weeks analyzing picturebooks, we’re now focusing on easy readers.  An easy reader is a book for children who are just beginning to read, and, like picturebooks, are a lot more complicated than I thought.  It’s not simply that easy readers feature easy words, it’s that they have to take into account the actual process of reading.  It’s easy to forget that at one point we all had to be taught how to read: how to move our eyes from left to right across the page, how to read punctuation marks, and how to zig zag our eyes from one end of a paragraph to the beginning of another.  This is a lot to learn, and can be overwhelming.  So easy readers are simple, to allow new readers to absorb all of this information.   There are several characteristics specific to an easy reader, including large fonts, generous spacing between words, and simple sentences.  The words usually have fewer than five letters, because short words are easier to read and sound out.  And, most of…


On being a person first, and a grad student second

I don’t need to tell you that grad school is hard, nor do I need to explain the challenges our current global realities present. Going into the SLIS program, I knew that I would have to protect my energy and proactively build downtime into my schedule. Also, given my borderline masochism type A personality, I am working to avoid the chronic burnout I endured during undergrad. In the rush to finish assignments, snag the perfect job, and otherwise “make the most” out of grad school, it can be easy to neglect things like relaxation and basic self-care. However, I (finally) recognize the necessity of creating structures that nourish me. In an ideal week, I stop all Simmons-related work at 6 pm every evening and take time to cook, FaceTime my friends, and partake in pleasant tomfoolery. Delineating strict boundaries between work and play, incidentally, has made me a more thoughtful and efficient student.  These practices, more so than my readings about MARC records and RUSA behavioral guidelines, will guide my trajectory as a librarian and…


Spring Break and Myers-Briggs

The last week before spring break definitely made me ready for spring break! I had extensive assignments for all my classes and barely finished them on time after an unexpectedly chaotic weekend. I also realized mid-week that I forgot to watch the lecture videos for both of my asynchronous classes! I can catch up on them, though, and spring break does give me a little room for error.  My management class assignment this week was to post about the personality traits, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences that we bring to the workplace. It was fascinating to read everyone’s responses, especially since everyone wrote long and detailed forum posts.  We all took a Myers-Briggs type test to get our four-letter personality code and discussed the results in our posts. Although I have reservations about how meaningful the Myers-Briggs typing system is, people shared great insights about their personalities, using the test as a jumping-off point.  A solid chunk of the class got INFJ when they took the test, a type that often gets nicknamed “The Advocate.”…


So Much Activity!

The past few weeks have been super busy and jam-packed full of activity!  I’ve attended two conferences and one workshop, and that’s in addition to school and work since my last post!   First, I attended Professor Kathy Wisser’s Literature Review Workshop over Zoom.  This workshop was incredibly useful for my final project in LIS 621, as one of the components is a literature review.  I have written a literature review before in LIS 475, but I feel much more prepared to write this one, especially after attending the workshop.  Hearing Professor Wisser clearly define the steps of the literature review and learning about concept mapping tools and matrices was especially helpful!  Next, I attended NEASIS&T Annual 2021, It Took a Pandemic: Reinventing Libraries in an Era of Change. This was an all-day conference held over Zoom on March 5, 2021.  This was actually the first virtual conference that I have attended in its entirety live—for the two previous virtual conferences I’ve attended, ALA Annual 2020 and ALA Midwinter 2021, I attended the majority of the…