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

Picture Books!

Amie Grosshans

This week in class we’ve been examining picture books.  I still have vivid memories of the picture books I read as a child, so it’s been very interesting to learn about how they are written and illustrated.  Picture books are much more complex than I ever realized.  The words and pictures have to work together to provide information that isn’t expressed in words.  Though they might look simple, the pictures provide a lot of information through color and style.  It’s a complex relationship that we don’t notice as children but that we do notice as an adult.   We had to read six different picture books for our homework and needed to pay particular attention to all of these little details.  I took my time with the books, examining each page and looking at how the words and the pictures worked together.  Sometimes this was in a literal sense, because a few books had text that was not aligned to the left.  It’s easy to miss all these details in reading picture books, because they have so few words, but stopping to notice all…

Full Time Work Full Time Student

Isabelle Raposo

Last week was memorable because I got offered a job that I’m really excited about! I’ll be starting work in a couple of weeks, so I predict I’ll be extremely busy until I graduate. After spending most of the past year feeling like I had too much time and not enough to do, it will be a big change but definitely a welcome one. I know that many people work full time while enrolled at Simmons SLIS, so while it won’t be easy, I know it’s doable.  Wednesday is the official start of my academic week, as well as the day when I typically have no events scheduled. After completing the work for last week, I had a sense of how long the repeating assignments for each course should take, and how they relate to each other. For instance, I knew that I should watch the lecture videos for my Systems Analysis (LIS 486) class before doing the readings or the other assignments. Lecture videos and text lessons that I can read through always help…

Let’s Go!

Amie Grosshans

            Classes started this week and I’m ready.  I’m taking LIS 481: Library Collections and Materials for Children and it’s my last class at Simmons.  I’m excited and a teeny bit nervous.  I can’t believe I’ll be graduating in May and officially starting my librarian life.  I feel like I just started but that was actually two years ago.  Time really flies!   Books were incredibly important to me as a child, which is part of the reason why I chose to take this class.  I got my first library card when I was four or five years old and spent many happy hours in the children’s department of my local library.  It’s been a long time since then and my nephews are both teenagers now, so I haven’t read any children’s books in a while.  But I have been working once a month at my local library and seen many children’s books with adorable titles and illustrations, and I just love reading through them.  The topics, styles, and points of view have changed a lot since I was young.  There is also a lot more diversity in children’s…

Snowy First Week of Classes

Isabelle Raposo

I kicked off my final semester at Simmons by joining a doctoral-level course, Conducting Research (LIS 621), a few days before classes started. I became interested in biomedical research data management and medical librarianship this fall, and my research project for this course will allow me to explore that area of the library field. I’ll also learn the foundations of how to conduct social science studies! The first meeting of LIS 621 on Tuesday was really exciting, especially after six weeks without classes. As always, it was fascinating to hear about everyone’s background and reason for taking the course. After some in-depth introductions, including sharing our research interests, we talked about the logistics of the course and then broke into small groups. In the Zoom breakout rooms, we developed definitions of the word “research” that would be helpful in the context of this course.  On Wednesday, as soon as I had syllabi for all my courses, I put all the assignments for the semester into my calendar. I’m taking three courses (or nine credits, which…

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!

Sarah Callanan

Happy 2021 everyone!  We’ve had a nice, long break, and the Spring 2021 semester starts this week.  With the end of the Fall 2020 semester, I completed three years at Simmons!  Can you believe it?  I now only have three classes left, and if all goes according to plan, I will be graduating in December!  The end is in sight!   After completing my first two years at Simmons, at the end of each year I did posts of the lessons I learned, and some of my takeaways from the program, so I thought I would do it again!  Third time’s the charm!   I learned so much in 2020!  I took three classes—LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics, and LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  I learned how library collections are developed and maintained and I got a thorough understanding of the collections process in LIS 453, I learned all about information and organizational ethics and the ethical implications of decisions within organizations and management in LIS 475.  And, most recently, in LIS 454, I learned all about different types of databases, search…

Spring 2021

William Crouch

The new semester is right around the corner and I just finished up my intensive course this January so I thought it would be a good time to write about it. This January, LIS 439, Preservation Management, was offered as a two-week intensive course instead of taking it the entire semester. Over the past two weeks, our class has met 6 days to learn about and discuss the best practices for preservation techniques in historical institutions and libraries. I’ve learned a lot about what I didn’t realize is necessary to protect our records. For example, we learned about how to store different materials like cellulose nitrate film, which when stored improperly can burst into flames! We also learned about disaster preparation in case our institution is hit with a major disaster like an earthquake or fire and how to recover from that. One of my favorite parts of this class was an assignment that had us find 5 different items we owned that were damaged in some way and analyze the damage, what possibly could…

Creating a Character Database

Isabelle Raposo

This finals period was challenging but fun, and encapsulated what I’ve enjoyed about my courses at SLIS. I had a lot of latitude in choosing topics for my final projects in each course, but enough structure that I felt challenged by the assignments. For Database Management (LIS 458) with Professor Danielle Pollock, I designed and built a database about the characters in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, my favorite Victorian novel. Developing this database was one of the most intellectually challenging projects I’ve done at SLIS. Professor Pollock set us up to succeed by requiring us to turn in different elements of our database design throughout the semester, so I was able to revise my design and structure based on her feedback. I wanted to capture detailed information about every character in the novel, including clues to their socioeconomic background. Sorting out the technical details of how to display that information pushed me to grapple with the topics we covered during the semester. I ended up scaling back my project as the semester went on. Middlemarch is…

Welcome New Blogger Isabelle

Lindsey Clarke

Hello Readers, We have a new blogger starting with us for the semester. Here is a little bit about Isabelle. You will start seeing Isabelle’s posts next week! I studied English and Classics at Wellesley College, just outside Boston, and moved into the city to attend Simmons SLIS in 2019. I came to the program with some library and museum experience, as well as an interest in the role of technology in the field. I’ve taken courses on a wide variety of topics, from User Instruction (LIS 408) to Data Interoperability (LIS 487). Getting to know other students at Simmons has been a great experience, and I’ve learned so much from my SLIS classmates as well as my professors. It’s always interesting to hear my peers’ perspectives on material we’re covering in class, since everyone comes to the classroom from different professional backgrounds. I’m excited to be sharing my last semester at SLIS on Student Snippets.

Virtual Internships: Fun, Valuable, and Worth Going For!

It is 2021 now and thank goodness last year is over! As 2020 ended, I completed my coursework at SLIS and I have been reflecting a lot on how positive my experience was at Simmons University. While I enjoyed all the courses in the Leadership and Management track I was on, my absolute favorite course was LIS 512-Advanced Field Experience in LIS and the virtual internship with Boston Public Library’s Teen Central that I got to do through it. I must admit, I was skeptical of doing a virtual internship. With so much uncertainty in 2020 and so much of everyday life shifting into a new, virtual environment, I had so many questions about what a virtual internship would entail. Would I be able to get a sense of how the library functioned? Would I be able to contribute to the work being done? Would interaction with staff and patrons be possible? Would the experience be as beneficial as I perceived in-person internships to be? After wrestling with these questions, I sought the advice of…

End of the Semester and End of the Year

William Crouch

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…