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

Library Setup

I had my first assignment for Collections Development last week and it was very interesting.  Each student chose a different library to focus on for the semester, and the first thing we had to do was visit that library and observe how it was set up.  I visited my library late on a Thursday afternoon.  As I went through each room, I noted what was there and how it was arranged.  I also focused on who was there and what they were doing.  I normally don't spend a lot of physical time in the library because I request items through the online library catalog and go directly to the circulation desk to pick them up.  I know where everything is in the library, but I never thought about how it was arranged.  Obviously setting up a library is more complicated than simply placing books on shelves.  It must have an order and be easy to navigate.  I never had to think about that before, but I tried to keep that in mind when I browsed my library.   

The library I chose is small, but everything is organized very well.  The stacks were easy to maneuver, and there were lots of signs telling you where you were and where other items were located.  The lighting was bright and natural.  Every room had at least one study area and a few comfortable chairs.  There were several interactive activities set up for patrons, including a large chess set in the teen area and a community puzzle in one of the quiet rooms.  This particular library had murals on all the stairwell walls, which was a great use of space that is normally ignored.  It made me smile to see all the paintings of characters from books and pop culture.  There were a lot of people in the library, and they were using all parts of the library.  People were studying, working on the puzzles, using the computers, browsing, or simply hanging out.  It was awesome to see so many people using the library.

My main takeaway is that the library truly is a community space.  But how a library becomes a community space is complicated.  Librarians, specifically collections development librarians, are vital to making libraries successful.  They identify what the community needs and build a collection to serve and reflect the local population.  They will also anticipate what the community will need in the future.  Every library is different because every community is different.  I am really excited to delve deeper into how libraries develop their collections and am looking forward to the next assignment.

Classes | Learning | SLIS | Students


A Day in the Life of a School Library Teacher Student

It's the first week of classes, and yet all I want to do is stay under my blankets near the furnace. The average temperature in Boston right now is in the single digits, with the high being 15 F. This is Boston in January, I guess. As much as I want to stay under my blankets, I need to clean off my desk and sort through all my reading. For a library school student, you may be surprised to hear I am reading a guide on student teaching (also called Practicum Experience) requirements, CAP Guidelines as assigned by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Evaluation for Educators regulations as set by DESE, Waltham Public Schools' Kindergarten Curriculum for Information Literacy, and a syllabus for my online SLT Tech class. I am almost done with my school library concentration and well on my way to becoming a certified school librarian.

My placement is at a school in the far north part of Waltham, so a bit of a trek. Getting out to Waltham would be so much easier with a car, but I get terrified when I am driving. I know others who have a fear of driving, so that's why I like living in Boston. The bus route near where I live is almost always reliable, and most of the bus drivers are very nice folks. The only issue is the direct bus from Watertown to North Waltham is no longer a route, so that complicates my commute a bit.  

The moment I stepped into the library at my school, the librarian asked me to dump water out of a bowl. As soon as I did that, I had to resolve an argument with two little Kindergarten kiddos. Then, I was finally able to go behind the desk and look around the library. A few Kindergarten kids kept asking the librarian if they could stay longer to read. The kids didn't want to go to lunch - they'd rather be in the library. Just hearing those words and watching all the little ones sit in tiny chairs with books in their hands made me smile. I know I am in the right career.

After an hour visit of planning events at the school library, and lessons I need to teach for the practicum requirements (there's a lot of them!), I started my trip back to Boston. I took an Uber to Watertown to then wait for my bus. Just then, a sudden gust of wind came in. I love wearing dresses and skirts, especially skirts that go to my knees or long-sleeved dresses. I'm learning that dresses in winter is a bad idea because it is dreadfully hard to find good stockings that can keep my legs warm. Now I got to get back to all that dense readings I mentioned, so I can be ready for my first day of practicum next Tuesday.

Classes | SLIS | School Libraries | Students


New Year, New Semester

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome to 2020 (although it is now halfway through January)!  I had about a month off of work and school and even though it was great to have time off, it's good to be back in the saddle again.  This week is the first week of the Spring 2020 semester for me here at Simmons, and it is also the first week of the Spring 2020 semester for the students at the university library where I work, so things have been busy for me both at school and at work! 

This semester I'm taking LIS 453: Collection Development and Management, although sadly I'm not in the same section as Amie.  I'm very excited for this class and to learn more about how library collections are developed and maintained and get a thorough understanding of the collections process. While a few of my previous classes have briefly touched on some topics relating to this, such as budgeting and weeding, this class is going to be an in-depth look at collection development as a whole.  Also, I don't really have much, if any, practical collection development experience, so I'm excited to be taking this class to learn more about the overall process!  

The class just started a few days ago, so I don't have too much to tell you yet, but the upcoming assignments look really intriguing!  I'll keep you updated on my progress throughout the semester!

Classes | Learning | SLIS


Ready to Go!

It was nice to have a few weeks off but I'm ready for classes to start again.  2020 is going to be an important year for me.  Not only is it a big birthday year (I'm entering a new decade!), but it's the year I'll be graduating.  Since I have a lot to do between now and the end of the year, I started browsing the Simmons Career Education Center website to see if it offered anything to help me through the process.  It turns out that the CEC offers a lot of services to students and alumni.  I was a little overwhelmed by all the options, to be honest, but I found two things that seem especially useful: the resume review service and the career fairs.  I could use some feedback on my resume.  I am not sure it's as strong as it could be, so I'm going to make an appointment to have someone from Simmons review it.

This will be especially important because I'm planning on attending at least one of the career fairs that Simmons will be offering in February, March, and April.  I don't think I can make it to all three, but I'm going to try.  It's never too early to start thinking about job opportunities and making connections.  It's good to practice talking to employers about who I am and what I am looking for in a library job.  Plus, I get to hand out my business cards along with my updated resume.  All Simmons SLIS students can order business cards through our Student Services office , and I ordered mine last year when I started classes.  I think they will come in handy at the career fairs.

While I'm happy to have a plan for the coming months, I'm also happy to focus on the present.  Classes start this week and I am excited.  I switched from Information for Diverse Users to Collections Development and Management because I thought it would be useful to learn about that aspect of library work.  For this class, each student gets to pick a library to focus on for assignments throughout the semester.  This allows us to get an in-depth view of how the collections process works.  I also finally get to take the Metadata class.  I've wanted to take it for a while, but I couldn't fit it in my schedule until now.  Overall, I think this should be a very productive and enlightening semester.       

Classes | Getting a Job | Resources | SLIS


Public Art in Providence

At the close of last semester, I was able to participate in one of my favorite final projects I've ever done! For LIS 446: Art Documentation with Ann Graf we were tasked with cataloging three instances of public art in a location of our choosing. I partnered up with my good pal Willa, and we decided to explore Providence. I took the commuter rail from Boston (how does Willa do it every time we have class?) to Providence on a frigid but sunny day, and we set off to observe and take pictures of the works we had selected. 

The first piece we chose was Dear Urban Females (2019) by AGONZA. It is located on the back of the Weybossett Facade if you want to take a look for yourself! 

AGONZA is the truly rad woman and artist of color responsible for this piece, which was created as a tribute to strong urban women of all backgrounds. Dear Urban Females is a self-portrait of sorts. AGONZA was born in Providence, but spent her formative years in the Dominican Republic and has many cultural influences, so each panel features an earring with a different national flag. The center panel has the Black power fist combined with the feminine symbol, highlighting the intersectional identity of the artist and themes of the piece. 

Here is a close up image of the work, as well as a snippet from our record. We went really specific on the subject matter, using the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus as our controlled vocabulary. 

I was ecstatic to be able to get in contact with AGONZA after reaching out to her on Facebook. She provided me with additional information to insure that our records were correct and true to her vision for the work. Our discussion bought additional subjects, such as PTSD and mental health to light. I was already won over as a fan, but chatting with AGONZA cemented that status for life.

The next piece we chose to feature was Still Here (2018) by Gaia. As you can see by the photo, Still Here is MASSIVE. The piece is located on Custom House Street facing the Blackstone Canal, and takes up the side of the entire 5 story building.  

This work calls attention to the Indigenous history and people of Rhode Island. We loved that this piece is so large that it is literally incapable of being ignored. Still Here was created in collaboration with the Tomaquag Museum, and features Narragansett woman and educator Lynsea Montanari holding a portrait of Princess Redwing (the founder of the museum) to celebrate Indigenous resilience. It was fun trying to identify all of the flora and fauna in the piece, as well as figure out if they were properly represented in our available vocabularies. 

 

I took this pretty comical (to me, at least) photo of Willa and I attempting to measure the width of Still Here with a not quite 25 foot measuring tape. From there, we employed MATH in order to estimate how many feet tall the piece was.

 

The final piece we chose was The Revolution Starts with the Earth (2019) by Jess X. Snow. Jess X. Snow is a queer woman of color and a RISD grad!

This piece was inspired by the thesis work of Gavriel Cupita-Zorn on connections between oppressed populations, and brings the conflicts of the US/Mexico border and the Israel/Palestine border into conversation. The work is surrounded by a chain link fence, which mediates the viewing and may further enhance a viewer's experience of the piece. The two women pictures are Vanessa Flores-Maldonado and Amira, who both work as activists based in Providence and New Orleans Respectively. 

This project was so fun to work on that Willa and I have made plans to expand our public art cataloging in the future! I hope everyone has had a great new year so far and that you find something that makes you as excited as this project makes me! 

 

Classes | Projects | SLIS


Spring 2020 Classes

I figured it was probably time for me to post about what classes I'm taking next semester considering the fall semester is more or less done. I'll actually be taking four classes over the Spring semester. One of my weekly classes will LIS 438 Intro to Archives. It will be my first archives course and it includes a 60 hour internship so I'm pretty excited to start it and learn more about what will hopefully be my eventual career. Another weekly class will be LIS 407 Information Services. It's one of the required courses for the LIS program and sounds similar to LIS 415 which I enjoyed. My last weekly course will be HIST 574 Modern US History. I'm a big US history buff and am mostly interested in modern history so this class will be one that I hope to take the methods that I learned from my current history course and be able to apply them. Finally, my last course is actually not weekly. Instead it will take place entirely over spring break so I'm glad to have the opportunity to get a little ahead in my courses by taking an extra class over the break. The class is LIS 472 Moving Image Archives which goes in line with my eventual career goal to work for Disney in the archives as many of their materials are film cels and documents. The next semester will definitely be an intense one with taking four classes but I am looking forward to all of them and how they will help me in my journey towards becoming an archivist

Archives | Classes | SLIS | Students


End of Semester

Unlike my classmates in LIS 483, I submitted my final paper almost a week after the last class. If I have learned anything this semester, it is that we are all human - trying to make a difference in this field of library science. This semester hasn't been easy, but I made it through with the help of two amazing professors. Amy Pattee has been with SLIS for fifteen years now, helping prepare Simmons students to go out into the world after graduation.

One time I was at my local Boston Public Library branch seeking help from the children's librarian (who also manages the teen/YA collection), and I showed her my Moodle course page for LIS 483: Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults (taught by Pattee). It was so fun seeing the librarian's reaction to what I am studying. The fun part is that about ten years ago, this librarian in the Brighton area of Boston also had Pattee as her LIS 483 professor at Simmons. This is just one example of how the professors you have in Simmons' library science classes will be valuable networking connections as you go out into the field.

This particular course was hard for me because my brain had to figure out how to not think in general statements such as "all teens like reading fantasy." These statements are not how we should be looking at our young patrons in the field of youth services. It took some time to deveope this concept and fully grasp it. It wasn't just me, though. Talking to my classmates, I could see that quite a few of my peers struggled with the concepts we were learning in this course. 

On the morning of my last class with Pattee, I had to send her an emotionally hard email. I told my professor that mentally there was no way I could get my paper done before class with tragedy hitting my family all at once. I expected Pattee to tell me I have until Friday or Saturday, but she let me grieve through the pain and gave me a gracious extension on my paper. Moral of the story: no matter how hard you are on yourself, SLIS professors want you to succeed and getting to know them just may be the key to networking (which later leads to your dream library science job). 

Classes | Real World | SLIS | Students


Two Years Down!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am now officially halfway through my program!  I started at Simmons back in Spring 2018, and I have completed 18 of the 36 credits needed to get my MS in Library and Information Science.  WOO!!!  I've learned so much in these past two years, and I've grown a lot as a person.   Last December, I did a post of the lessons I learned and my takeaways from the program, and I thought I would expand on that now that I'm halfway done. 

  • I've learned so much over the past two years.  I came to Simmons with no library experience whatsoever, and getting this degree has been such an education for me.  My first year I took all the core classes, so that really laid the foundation of learning about search strategies, information organization, technology, and professional standards in the LIS industry; whereas this year I took all electives that helped me explore different areas of LIS, and helped supplement my knowledge. 
  • I've learned the importance of having goals.  All of us came to Simmons with one goal in common--to get our degree, but it's important to also have your own personal goals as well. 
  • I've learned that there is no "right" way to do this degree.  Simmons has so many options so you can make this degree work with your lifestyle.  You can go to school full-time, part-time, or take one class at a time (like me!).  You can do all of your classes online, you can take them all in Boston, you can take them all at the SLIS West campus, or you could mix and match as you like.  The only thing you have to do is meet the program requirements and complete the program within six years.  If you are willing to put in the time, money, and effort to get this degree, make it work for you. 
  • I've learned to make the most of my time in grad school.  You get out of the program what you put in to it and I'm hoping to get as much experience as possible and to take advantage of all the opportunities available to me. 
  • Getting involved and getting experience is so, so, so important.  This was in my post last year, but I'm doubling down on it this year.  Whether it is volunteering in a library, getting a job, joining a professional organization, joining a club at Simmons, volunteering at SLIS (like writing a blog post here!), or something else, it can help you become more connected with the industry and with the program and can lead to more opportunities later on.  Getting involved and getting real-life experience has been invaluable for me. 
  • I've learned that all assignments are important, and will help you in your career.  For example, this year I learned how to prepare a grant proposal.  I had grant proposal assignments in two of my classes this year, and going through the process of writing a grant proposal is an incredibly valuable real-world skill. 
  • I've joined a few professional organizations!  Last year I joined the American Library Association and the Massachusetts Library Association, and this year I continued my membership with both of them and I also added memberships to the Association of College and Research Libraries and the New England Library Association. 
  • I've learned the importance of thinking about and planning for the future.

These are just a few of my thoughts on my time in the program so far.  I've made a lot of strides both personally and professionally over the past two years, and I'm excited to see what the future holds!  I know there's a lot of hard work up ahead, but I'm looking forward to what comes next.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season! 

Learn more about SLIS here!

Learning | Resources | SLIS | Students


Moving Across the Country

In September, I moved to Boston from Texas so I could attend Simmons and try and get a real winter. I'm only 3 months in and it's already way colder here than it ever gets in Texas.

I wanted to go over some of the things that were part of the challenge of moving here and how Simmons helped me with the move. The major thing was finding a place to live which can be difficult wherever you go. Finding a comfortable space that is also affordable is a challenging process. Thankfully, Simmons has a really great listing that students can access that lists available places within the area. It took me a while but I managed to find a little place in West Roxbury that a Simmons alum owns and managed to find a great roommate.

The next thing to deal with was how to get to school and figuring out public transportation for the first time. In Texas, there's no real convenient transportation service because everybody has cars and because Texas is such a big state. Its challenging and frustrating at times but getting to learn the MBTA has been a fun thing to do as a way to learn more about the city.

Finally, deciding which classes to take and which ones are required has been a major point of moving to Boston. As an Archives and History student, I have some structured courses that are required but I have enough flexibility to be able to take courses that still interest me like an upcoming one called Moving Image Archives that fits very well with my interests and eventual career goals. Moving across the country has been a challenge but I encourage everybody to do something similar at least once to get yourself out of your comfort zone and see how other places are similar yet different.

 

Boston | Resources | SLIS | Students | Weather


End of Semester Thoughts

I can't believe the semester is over already!  I have completed all my assignments except for a group project, but that is 90% done and will be submitted by the time this blog is posted.  I'm happy that I made it through unscathed, and I'm also happy that I won't ever have to take three classes in one semester again.  It was doable, but definitely required a lot of focus and I couldn't shake the feeling that I had forgotten about an assignment (I never did, but I also constantly checked my syllabi to make sure I was covered!).  I will be glad to get back to only two classes next semester.

I think the biggest lesson I learned from my classes this semester was how broad the field of librarianship really is.  The Digital Libraries course expanded my concept of what a library is and showed me how much work goes into setting up a digital library.  It requires a lot of people from different areas to work together to provide something functional and useful.  It involved issues that I never considered before, including making sure copyright is legal and ensuring that the images are all searchable and expandable.  I'm particularly interested in the metadata, and I'm excited to learn more about it in my metadata class next semester.  My Social Informatics class forced me to think about how librarians can connect all people to all library services.  It showed that technology and social media can be vital for libraries, but there also needs to be engagement between librarians and patrons of all abilities.  Inclusion is very important, and this is another topic that I will be exploring next semester in my Info Services for Diverse Users class.  And lastly, my Intro to Programming course showed me new ways that technology can be used in libraries.  I'm really interested in creating or teaching programming classes for library patrons, especially kids and older adults.  I think this course was a great first step to help me get closer to that goal.

Even though I enjoyed this semester, I am really looking forward to winter break!  I am going to read a lot and knit a lot and eat a lot, too.  I'll see you all next year! 

Classes | SLIS | skills


Almost There!

It's the last week of the Fall 2019 semester everyone!  We've made it to the end!  Even though these past few weeks have seemed to fly by, I feel oddly relaxed going in to this last week.  It feels very anti-climactic.  I believe it's because the end of the semester is so close to Thanksgiving--I think last year we had a little bit more time between Thanksgiving and the end of the semester, whereas this year we went right from Thanksgiving break into the final week of class, and then there was a huge snowstorm which gave me an extra day off from work.  Usually I'm really stressed at the end of the semester because there are projects and assignments due, and while I do have a big project due at the end of this week, I think having that small bit of time off really helped me relax and recharge and get ready for the final push.  However this is how I feel right now....talk to me on Sunday when everything is due at 11:55 PM.  I may give you a different answer. 

In my first blog post of the semester, I wrote about why I decided to take LIS 401: Foundations of Library and Information Science, and what I hoped to get out of this class.  As the class is now wrapping up, I think I can honestly say that I think I accomplished my goal--the class provided me with a good introduction and overview to a wide variety of LIS topics, I learned more about different areas of LIS and what falls under the LIS umbrella, and I learned more about myself and what I'm interested in and what I'm not interested in. This class has really helped me reflect and think about how I want to structure the rest of my time at Simmons, and think more about my career in general.  Do I think I should have taken this class earlier on?  Yes, I probably should have, but this is how my schedule worked out in the end.  I'm walking away from this class with a lot of valuable ideas and skills, and if you are an incoming LIS student, I would strongly consider taking this class. 

Once I turn in my final project on Sunday, I will be halfway through my program here at SLIS, and I will have officially completed my second year!  Can you believe it? In my next post I'll tell you about some of my takeaways from the program so far and the lessons I've learned. 

Classes | SLIS


Week 12 -- Almost the End of Another Semester!

It's Week 12, which means there are only a few more weeks left of this busy semester. Although I do need to start planning for my elementary practicum, the semester is still manageable. I only have 2 big papers and one project left until I'm done with the fall semester! At this point, it can be a struggle to not take a nap once a day or every few days. I also need to remind myself that leaving the confines of my desk is important! Almost every day last week, I felt like I was trapping myself in my room with two big papers due and a wedding to prepare for.

After feeling down on Monday and being hard on myself for doing nothing, one of my friends reminded me that I need to take time for myself. After all, we are "human beings" and not "human doings." Some ways that I am taking time for myself is writing poetry for fun and making time to read for pleasure. Reading different YA and children's books when I am not studying helps me to take a break from writing papers, while helping me to see what is out there in the realm of literature for young people.

On Tuesday evening, I called into a virtual orientation meeting for spring practicum. Before each students' first practicum, one must listen to a presentation going over the practicum guidelines. Melanie did a thorough job explaining all the requirements, but Wow! It was a little overwhelming. I am excited to say that I will be doing my student teaching at a school library in Waltham.

There is so much to know for practicum, but I need to remind myself to breath. I finished and passed my MTEL, and submitted my application for the final two capstone courses for students in the SLT program. As scary as it can be, I know that I am so close to being done. I have a great school placement with a really nice library teacher who I can't wait to learn a lot from!

Classes | SLIS | School Libraries | Students


Thankful

I was struggling to find a topic for this week's blog.  I've been consumed with finishing year end projects and figuring out how to complete this week's work in time because of the holiday.  I won't be able to do any work on Thursday (I'll be too busy stuffing stuffing and pumpkin cheesecake in my face) and then I'm going away with my mom and sisters on Friday and Saturday, so those days are out, too.  And then I started reminiscing about last Thanksgiving and found my topic.

Because last Thanksgiving, I was just starting to get my application together to apply to SLIS.  I had already figured out who to ask for references and was ready to fill out my application.  I was thinking about how excited I was to possibly be starting school again, but I was also so nervous that I wouldn't be accepted.  Once I "discovered" the idea of becoming a librarian, I couldn't think about doing anything else, and I would have been devastated if I wasn't accepted at Simmons. 

Things happened pretty fast after that.  I originally expected to start this semester, but when I visited campus and the admissions director told me there were actually a few places still open for the spring 2019 semester and I decided to go for it.  Within a month I was accepted and starting classes, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Now I'm three weeks from being officially halfway through the program.  I have learned so much already. 

Which bring me to next Thanksgiving.  I'll be a few weeks away from being finished with school.  Maybe I'll already have a job lined up (fingers, toes, everything crossed!), or maybe I'll still be looking, I don't know.  But what I do know for certain is that I'm excited to learn even more in my final three semesters, and to share everything here in this blog.  Happy Thanksgiving all!

Librarians | Real World | Relaxing | SLIS | Students


Bits and Pieces

I thought I'd give some updates on things I've been working on lately!

I registered for my spring classes last week.  I had always planned to sign up for Metadata (LIS 445) and I did, but I was uncertain on my second class.  I took an leap and signed up for Info Services for Diverse Users (LIS 410).  This wasn't on my list of classes I wanted to take, but it struck me as very interesting and worthwhile, and I'm glad I chose it.  I'm excited to learn about all the ways libraries address people with different backgrounds and abilities, and what can be done in the future to make them even more inclusive.  I'm really excited for it.

I finished paper #2 for Social Informatics!  I submitted it on Sunday even though it was due on Tuesday.  It ended up coming together faster than I thought but I spent a lot of time editing.  I love the editing process, particularly playing around with wording and making my sentences cleaner and clearer.  I went through a few drafts before I finally decided I was done.  To be honest, I could have nitpicked a little more, but I didn't want to over think it.  I have one paper left for the end of the semester.  It's a longer paper, 10-15 pages, and it builds on a paper I wrote earlier, so I already have 5 pages done. 

I'm also starting to look more closely at job postings.  I've been subscribed to the Simmons Jobline emails since I started classes last year.  These are sent out weekly and contain a variety of job postings that are broken down by professional positions, pre-professional positions, internship opportunities, and out of state positions.  I enjoy looking at the job postings because it gives me an idea of what jobs are available, and what I can do as a librarian.  It's pretty exciting.  It's also a great way of learning what skills I'll need to work on before I start applying for a "real" librarian job!  Jobline is a fantastic resource and I encourage all LIS students to sign up for the emails. 

Other than that, I've been pretty busy just trying to get all my little tasks done.  I know I don't have too much time left to finish everything.  I'm starting to feel the pressure a little bit.  I will feel so much better once this semester is over.

Classes | Jobs | SLIS | Students | Workload


Seoul Much to Say

Now that it is starting to get colder (basically uninhabitable in this poor Floridian's mind), I wanted to take the time and reflect back on warmer summer days. You guessed it, it's finally time for my long-awaited South Korea blog post! Just as a little refresher, I was lucky enough to travel to Seoul, South Korea, this past summer as part of Simmons partnership with Yonsei University. Six other Simmons students and I took the long haul flight to Korea as part of our summer Metadata course taught by Jeff Pomerantz. We were in Seoul for a little over two weeks and we tried to cram as much as we could in those two weeks! From gorging ourselves on all the delicious food, hiking up a mountain every night to our dorm, and dragging my fellow travelers on several skincare focused shopping adventures, this was an unforgettable experience that I will be jumping at the opportunity to talk about for the rest of my life.

I have always been someone interested in traveling so when I was looking at graduate school I was also always on the lookout for a program that allowed opportunities to take students beyond the classroom. I had planned on taking metadata as part of my degree at Simmons, so it was really a no brainer to seize this chance at taking it as part of a travel course. Majority of the class was taught online throughout the summer on moodle (just like any other online course taught at Simmons), then we had two weeks of class at Yonsei University, then finished the course back online. While this was a lot to juggle over the summer since I was also working a full-time internship, knowing that I would be in Seoul soon enough made it all worth it!

After a very long flight over the north pole (not joking you could see the ice outside the airplane window), my classmates and I finally made it Seoul and our adventure could really begin. Our time spent is Seoul was jam-packed with all sorts of cultural site visits and (obviously) library tours, it's a little hard to keep track of it all.  Another Simmons professor Lisa Hussey (shoutout to my Fall 2018 LIS407 class!) joined us as a sort of a cultural guide since she has taken students to Yonsei in previous years. This was fantastic given she knew basically all the neighborhoods and all the best things to do and see in Seoul. Some of the highlights included going to Seoul Tower, spending a day at Bongeunsa Temple, and even going to a Doosan Bears baseball game! Our fellow Korean classmates were also excellent cultural guides taking us on many shopping, sightseeing, and foodie adventures. The best of which I included a picture of below with our "perfect day of eating" fully of tteokbokki and bingsu! I also included some pictures of our other adventures below.

"Perfect Day of Eating"

 

Gotta love a good, cheesy photo-op

Yonsei University Campus was stunning (even if it was full of treacherous hills)

Classes | Fun | International | SLIS | Summer


End of the Semester is Coming!

 It's getting to the end of the semester, which for means lots of school visits for someone in the School Library Teacher program like me. I started off my week at Watertown High School early on Monday morning. Even with leaving my house a little after 7:00, I didn't get to the high school library until almost 7:45. Surprisingly, the library was quite crowded! I spent a few hours taking notes on how teens were using the library for an assignement for my YA Library Collections class. It was interesting to see that no students were checking out books, but rather making use of the technology resources in the library. Some of the technology that I observed students using were Vinyl sticker printers, 3-D printers, poster printers, copiers, Chrome Books, and Chrome Book chargers.

 My Tuesday was not spent at a school, but I did make a quick visit to the public library in my neighborhood's town square. I visited the children's librarian there, who helped me to find some more nonfiction picture books in preparation for my Wednesday Writing for Children class. I also checked out some middle grade children's books for an annotated bibliography project I have due next week for the same class.

 With the semester coming to a close soon, I need to start getting ready for practicum next semester. A student teaching practicum is the end of program capstone requirement for school library teacher students at Simmons, so I will start an elementary library placement in January. Before I start my practicum, I want to observe my library teacher/mentor working with all different grade levels. On Wednesday I got to observe my mentor working with grades 3 and 5 at an elementary school in Waltham. I got to see students eager to participate in class discussion and students getting excited about reading.

 One really nice thing about doing the practicum in the spring is that it is one less thing to worry about during course registration time. The Program Director, Melanie Kimball, registers all SLT students for their practicum in early December, so all I have to do is register for one course at my assigned registration time. Getting ready for practicum is a lot of work, but I am looking forward to getting experience in a school library.

Classes | SLIS | School Libraries | Students


Registration Time!

Guess what time it is?  Registration! This is Registration Week for SLIS! I have officially registered for the Spring 2020 semester!  Woo!  I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on going through the course description list and the two year projected schedule, and I've been trying to think about what I want to get out of the rest of my time in my program here at SLIS.  The whole registration process has always been a bit stressful for me for a few reasons: not every class is taught every semester, and then some classes are only taught in specific locations specific semesters or are only online or only in-person, and then adding in the fact that I'm only taking one class at a time it can feel like if I don't jump on an opportunity to take a class now I will miss my chance.   It was a bit easier when I was taking the core classes (LIS 407, LIS 415, and LIS 488), because those are taught Fall, Spring, and Summer, in both online and in-person formats, but with the electives it's a bit harder.   Nevertheless, I have decided to take LIS 453: Collection Development for the Spring 2020 semester. 

In non-Registration news, last week was the first live session for my class this semester!  Only a few of my classes at SLIS have had live sessions before, and this was optional, so there was only a handful of us were online, but it was still really fun and interesting!  Our topic last week was Types of Settings in Library and Information Science, which was one of the topics that I had been eagerly waiting for all semester.   The professor talked about her time in graduate school, her library and work experience, the different types of libraries that she has worked in, and also asked us about our experiences.  Because there was a smaller group of us, it was more participatory than other live sessions that I've had at Simmons.  Additionally, we also talked about job interviews and hiring within different types of LIS organizations, which was really interesting!  I gained a lot of insight from our discussions!  Also, I really love the option of having a live session even though this is an online class.  It's really nice to be able to talk with your professor and classmates!  Interaction on the forums is great, but having that "class" experience is something that I do miss when I'm taking an online course, and the live sessions are a nice solution.  Our first live session was cancelled, and I'm glad we were able to have this one! 

I hope that everyone stays warm and has a good Registration Week! 

Classes | Online | SLIS


Reality Check!

I couldn't believe it when I logged into my classes this week and saw that it was week 10 of the semester.  By the time this blog is posted, it will be week 11, and there will be less than a month left in the semester.  Yikes!  So of course, I'm focused right now on all the projects I have to complete before then.  I have two papers and a small group project to finish, as well as my ongoing project work for Digital Libraries.  I don't have any projects for my Intro to Programming course, but that's because each week there are several very time-consuming labs to complete.  I'm thankful there's not an extra project on top of that because that would be a little too much to handle.

As usual, I want to try and finish some projects early if I can.  I think this is especially important for this semester because of all the holidays coming up.  This is my first Fall semester, and the first time I've had to think about juggling my work with all my holiday obligations.  I don't want to be thinking about schoolwork while I'm enjoying Thanksgiving or my annual cousin cookie swap.  I think I am in good shape to have a lot of my projects done early, though.  Most of my work for Digital Libraries will be finished before the end of the semester, because everything needs to be done early enough for the Systems committee to incorporate everything into the website. For Social Informatics, I have a short paper due next week, and then a longer one due at the end of the semester.  I want to finish the longer paper early because I also have to do a small group project for that class.  I really don't want to have to juggle both of those at the same time.  Basically, it looks like the next few weekends will be spent mostly on schoolwork!  But it will be worth it to avoid being super stressed at the end of the semester.  And then I can really relax before next semester begins.

Classes | SLIS | Students


Welcome to William!

We have added William to our blogging team. 

A little about William from his bio: 

"Hi everybody, I'm William Crouch. I am from Denton, Texas and moved up to Boston in September 2019 so that I could experience a real winter. I am part of the History and Archives Management Dual Degree program. I chose to attend Simmons because of the opportunity to get a strong education in both History and Library Science at the same time. I completed my undergrad in 2019 at Austin College (Go Roos!), a small school in Sherman, Texas, where I spent most of my time playing for the Roos Tennis Team. In 2018, I had the opportunity to work at Walt Disney World through the Disney College Program and found that I wanted to further my career with Disney. I wanted to use my love for history at Disney and found the Disney Archives which led me to a Library Science program. In my free time, you can find me watching tennis, playing video games, or exploring the many unique sites within the Boston area."

William will be working for us in SLIS Admission during his time in the program, so stay tuned! 

Dual Degree Programs | SLIS | Students


Influencer for a Day?

On Monday, October 28th, I was thrown into the world of large scale social media, as I was put in charge of Simmons University's Instagram story! EEEK! While longtime readers know that I was a blogging queen back in the day, I only have 710 followers on insta, and had NEVER posted an original story -- only shared content I was tagged in. I logged into the Simmons instagram, and suddenly had 6,000+ semi-captive listeners. 

Let me tell you, it was exhausting. While my takeover was largely authentic -- yes, I do sometimes go to the Gardner on my lunch break, but NO I don't always have on a full face of makeup at 8 a.m. -- it took some planning and creativity to brainstorm just how to share my experiences with Simmons' insta-sphere. I will admit that I definitely had a storyboard for my day, mapped out with what I thought would be good video opportunities.

I was pretty proud of my "What's in the bag????" section, where I went through what I have in my backpack on a normal day, and was super excited to experience the Sonic Blossom Exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner by happenstance! That said, my favorite part of the day was answering questions from prospective students, current students, and alums. I was able to plug some of my favorite books, as well as what I love about Boston. Definitely a lot of fun! 

Most of the Simmons story is available under the Highlights section of my personal instagram under "Day in the Life." If anyone is interested and willing to brave many photos of flowers and my significant other, feel free to take a glance @myfairkatiebug!

 

Fun | SLIS | Students | Technology