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


Welcome Blogger Andrea

Lindsey Clarke

We have a new blogger joining our team. Her name is Andrea, a Design Your Own student who recently moved to Boston from central PA! Since graduating from Vassar in 2020, Andrea has been searching for ways to bring her somewhat disparate interests together. She thinks of librarianship as something we as people are always practicing, and is more than excited to think through the implications of how we seek, sort, and use information—both within library walls and beyond. Other passions include learning new languages, listening to music, and crafting recipes around my impulse grocery purchases.

Eight Classes Down, Four to Go!

Sarah Callanan

We are done with the summer term everyone!  I finished LIS 475 right at the beginning of August, so I’ve had a little bit of time without having to worry about schoolwork, and I don’t start my next class until the beginning of September.  Eight classes down, four to go!  I can’t believe that I am two-thirds of the way done with my time at SLIS!  The fall semester is right around the corner, and because SLIS announced that classes are going to be online for the fall because of COVID-19, it opened up so many options in terms of classes.  In “normal times” I have to consider a lot of factors when I register, and it usually results in me taking online classes.  I’ve always wanted to take some of the classes that are only taught on campus but the timing and circumstances haven’t been right. For fall, having everything shift online has opened a lot of doors for me.   I’m currently registered for LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers.  I’m really excited…

Final Summer Thoughts

Amie Grosshans

I finished all my work for Collections Management last week.  I can’t believe the summer semester is over already.  It went by so fast.  I loved this class and would recommend it to all SLIS students, especially those who like hands on activities.  It was a great introduction to book repair and definitely made me curious to learn more.  It will be very nice to have a few weeks off, but I’m looking forward to my classes in the fall.  Since SLIS announced that all of its classes for the fall would be online,  all the in-person classes that I normally would not have been able to take were suddenly available to me.  I had to rethink my classes a bit, and I ended up signing up for a new class, LIS 532R, Reader’s Advisory.  I wanted to take this class as soon as I saw it in the course descriptions, but I wasn’t able to because it was at the Mount Holyoke campus.  But now I get to take it, and I am excited.  …

Close to the Finish Line!

Sarah Callanan

We are getting close to the end of the semester everyone!  We are in Week 7 and the summer term ends in just a few days!  As you can imagine, I am feeling the pressure!  Even though my class is ending in a few days, there is still so much left to do! As I’ve said in previous posts, summer classes are condensed courses—you are learning two weeks of material during a one-week period, so you are taking in a lot of information.  LIS 475: Organizational and Information Ethics has been a very interesting class.  The early weeks were less focused on library and information-related content, and were more focused on introducing us to the concept of what ethics is and ethical frameworks.  We didn’t really start talking about information ethics or anything super-related to libraries until later in the course.  We’ve covered so many topics in this class already, such as Ethical Frameworks, Ethics and Organizational Culture and Management, Ethical Decision Making and Legal Compliance, Information Ethics, Privacy and Access, Digital Equity, Intellectual Freedom,…

Winding Down

Amie Grosshans

There are only two weeks left in the summer semester and I can’t believe it.  It’s gone by fast.  This is the first time I’ve taken only one class, and it’s been very nice.  It’s also been a bit weird, since I’m used to juggling two or three classes and having more work to do.  But I’m not complaining!  We’ve finished the last of the hands-on activities and will have lecture classes and a discussion with a conservator the rest of the semester.  Two weeks ago, we had our most difficult assignment: making boxes out of heavy paper and corrugated cardboard.  Boxes are created for items that cannot be put directly on the shelves because they are too delicate or because they are damaged.  Creating a custom box for these items gives them physical support and allows them to be handled by the public (with a little bit of caution, of course).  Otherwise, these items would be unavailable.  The boxes have to fit the item perfectly to make sure the item will not move around…

Summer Classes

William Crouch

Hey everyone, long time since I last posted. Hope everybody has been staying safe during all this craziness. I’ve been keeping busy taking a summer course while history courses are being offered online. This summer, the history seminar being offered is divided into two different parts both focusing on how the United States functioned as an empire in the early 20th century. The first section was taught by Professor Frances Sullivan and focused on labor movements within United States territories like Puerto Rico or Hawaii. It was really interesting reading some of these groups’ thoughts about how they would gain a new government to try and gain more equity but that the governments would often revert back to being more unequal. Reading about these ideas in the midst of similar discourse occurring in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement has been very enlightening. The second half of the course was taught by Professor Laura Prieto and focused on women’s suffrage movements within United States territories and how the United States womens’ suffrage…

Virtual Conferences

Sarah Callanan

In my last post of the spring semester, I mentioned how due to COVID-19 many conferences are now going virtual.  I have never been able to attend an in-person conference before because of my school and work schedule, as well as financial reasons, but virtual conferences are significantly cheaper (or free in some cases!), and you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  I still hope to go to a real-life conference before I graduate (assuming the pandemic and vaccines and everything works out), but for now, I’m taking advantage of virtual opportunities.  The ALA Annual 2020 Conference was initially supposed to be held in Chicago this year; however, it was moved online and transformed into ALA Virtual: Community Through Connection.  It was held from June 24-26 online.  Admittedly, I know it’s not the same experience—I’m sitting in my room, alone, with my laptop and my headphones on instead of being around tons of people after all!  If you compare this to Katie’s experience at ALA Annual last year, and at ALA Midwinter…

Book Repairs!

Amie Grosshans

I’ve had a busy and fun two weeks of book repairs.  My tasks included rebacking (replacing the spine of a book) and recasing (re-attaching the text block to the book cover).  Both of these repairs were invasive and required cutting into the book.  That definitely scared me at first.  Taking a knife to a book seemed like sacrilege.  I had to remind myself that cutting into the book would not harm it—in fact, it would save the book.  And it did!  The end result of my repairs was book that was fully functional again, and ready to get back into circulation.  I can see how knowing how to do these minor repairs would be beneficial for librarians, because they could fix a lot of book problems without having to spend money buying a new book.  What amazes me is how much book repair is about precision.  It takes a lot of practice to make straight, even cuts, align pages, and trim accurately.  But once you know how to do this, you can make repairs that…

All About Paper

Amie Grosshans

This summer, I’m taking LIS 447, Collections Maintenance, and I absolutely love it so far.  There are two parts to the class: the lectures, which explore the topic of the week and show how to do the repairs, and the hands-on part, where we get to do the repairs ourselves.  All of us were mailed a big box with the weekly materials before the class started, which included damaged books, different types of papers, newspapers, magazine ads, archival quality tape, and tissue paper.  We also bought a tool kit from the school bookstore, which included a cutting mat, ruler, retractable knife, paint brush, and other necessities.  I created a designated workspace for myself and laid all the tools and folders on a little table.  It’s been working out great, because it keeps all the tools and materials in one place and I don’t have to constantly pack and unpack all the materials.  I would probably lose something that way!  The first week, we repaired small paper tears with tape and glue, and last week we…

Staying Positive

Sarah Callanan

So we are a few weeks in to the break between the Spring 2020 Semester and the Summer 2020 Semester, and it’s obviously a bit different this time around with COVID-19.  Last year around this time I was on a trip with my family, and this year we’re in the middle of a pandemic and Massachusetts is still under a stay-at-home advisory.  One thing I’ve thought a lot about during the past few weeks is stress caused by the outbreak, and the importance of staying positive.  Here are some of my tips for staying positive and coping with stress during this difficult time: Remember that this is only temporary and you are not alone! Maintain a sense of routine!  As much as I love staying in my pajamas, I have a more positive attitude when I get up, get dressed, and go about my everyday routine.  Take a break from COVID-19 news, media, and other pandemic-related content.  I disabled news notifications on my phone a while ago, and I’ve been trying to limit myself from…