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

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


Creating a Digital Library

I wanted to write about LIS 462: Digital Libraries, because it is unlike any class I've taken before.  It's not just about studying digital libraries, it's also about creating one.  For our semester-long project, we are creating a digital library highlighting a late 19th century children's scrapbook.  The scrapbook, which was donated to the Boston Children's Museum, contains drawings of different rooms of a house, with lots of color images that were cut and pasted into the book.  There are also a few paper dolls.  It's a darling little scrapbook and I can imagine a little child having a lot of fun putting it together.  

To handle all aspects of the digital library's creation, we have a project manager and several committees.  These committees are responsible for different parts of the library.  For example, the digitization committee scanned, digitized, and posted the scrapbook on our shared class Google Drive.  The systems committee is creating the website and layout, the metadata committee is creating metadata for all the images, and the environmental scan committee looks at similar digital libraries to evaluate what methods and presentation would be best for our library.  I am on the content committee, and we are responsible for writing descriptions of the images, as well as providing background information on the scrapbook.  I'm also on the rights management committee, and it is our job to make sure that we have the rights to publish the material.

Each committee got together at the beginning of the semester to decide what work needed to be done and when.  It's definitely been a very involved process.  Keeping track of deadlines is especially important because they are not on the syllabus like they are for more typical classes.  Also, our professor is letting us do the bulk of the work.  He's there for guidance and instruction, but he's letting us make the decisions.  It's truly a class effort and we have been proceeding nicely.  The only frustrating thing is that I can't actually see how our library is progressing.  I know what work each committee has done because it is all shared on our Google Drive, but the website input hasn't started yet.  It will happen fairly soon, and then we'll be able to get a sense of what our library will look like.  I can't wait to see it and see how all of our efforts will come together. 

Classes | Projects | SLIS | Workload


Happy (almost) Halloween!

Happy (almost) Halloween everyone!  You know, I really think time seems to fly by much faster when you are in school.  During the short breaks between classes, time goes so slowly but now it feels like just yesterday we were starting classes, and now it's almost Halloween. 

So we're starting Week 9 of the Fall 2019 semester this week!  This week we're focusing on Evaluating Information Services, which is a really important topic, and it's really interesting too.  I've been excited for this week since I saw it on the syllabus--the library I work at did a Library Experience Survey last spring, and hearing about it and the methodology behind it has made me really interested in evaluation.  Every library does evaluation and it's really been interesting to learn more about this topic, and I think I'm definitely going to add LIS 403: Evaluating Information Services to the list of classes I want to take before I graduate.

This class has been really interesting so far!  Some of the other topics we've learned about include LIS as a Profession, LIS as a Discipline, History and Evolution of LIS, What is Information?, Human Information Behavior, LIS Interactions with Information, and User Services.  Similar to my other online classes at Simmons, there are online activity forums each week where we get to participate and interact with our classmates, which is really nice!  Our forums are pretty active, which is great because in a lot of online classes the forums are your only real interaction with your classmates.   Also, in most, if not all, of my online classes at Simmons there has been a "Learning Commons" forum on the class home page of Moodle, where members of the class can, but are not required to, ask questions, post things, and interact with one another in a less structured way.   During my time at Simmons, this forum hasn't really been used much, if at all, in most of my online classes, except for this class and my LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals class that I took last year.  It's really nice to see my classmates interacting with each other, asking questions, and helping each other out. 

I hope everyone has a fun Halloween!  

Classes | Libraries | SLIS | skills


Librarians are Resources!

My assignment for yesterday was to bring a picture book of my choice that was published within the last five years, along with 6 assigned picture books, to my Writing for Children class. To prepare for class, I went to my local branch of the Boston Public Library. The children's librarian there is very helpful for students of all ages. She is a Simmons grad and loves working at the library with the youngest patrons. This is just one example of how everywhere I go in the Boston Public Library - whichever branch I visit - I find a Simmons grad. Hoping to utilize the expertise of the librarian, I told her that I needed an exemplary picture book written in the last five years. I was hoping for a book that could teach me about a picture book's narrative structure. 

The children's librarian searched for notable picture books from 2018, and suggested A Perfect Day by Lane Smith: a hilarious book inspired by animals visiting the author and illustrator's backyard. Knowing I had a knowledgeable children's librarian to help me made this assignment feel so much easier. I went home that night to read my seven picture books. In reading the books, I found my notes from LIS 481: Library Collections & Materials super helpful. Looking back at these notes made understanding the context of the words with the illustrations much easier. Because there are some SLIS students who are dually enrolled in the LIS and Children's Literature degrees, many courses pair together or cover similar concepts.

Going into class yesterday, I knew that only one other student in my Writing for Children class was also in the SLIS program. Many of my classmates shared that they had struggled with finding a picture book published within the last 5 years for this class. Reflecting, it seemed like I was the only student who went straight to the children's librarian to ask for help. I did this because a strong knowledge of the collection and reader's advisory (i.e. recommending materials) are necessary skills for a children's librarian. I went into class yesterday with A Perfect Day on my desk, and my writing professor immediately recognized the book as a well-written story for kids. Now that I've spent a few hours reading through my LIS 481 notes and reading picture books, I think maybe it is time for me to write my own draft of a picture book! 

StackofBooks_Assignment.jpg

Children's Literature | Classes | Librarians | SLIS | reading


Thinking of Spring

Yes, I know it's only October, but the Spring 2020 course list came out last week and it's all I've been thinking about.  I love looking at the course list each semester.  There are so many interesting classes I could take!  I'm taking two classes in the Spring, and I already know that one of them will be LIS 445: Metadata.  I'm very excited for that class, because metadata is the key to many library services and is the foundation of information retrieval.  I am curious to learn more about how that metadata is created and how it is applied to different objects.  I already have a good foundational understanding of it from LIS 415: Information Organization and LIS 462: Digital Libraries, but I'm looking forward to a whole semester's worth of lectures on the topic.  It should be very interesting.

Choosing my second class is going to be tough.  I could take LIS 450: Public Libraries or LIS 451: Academic Libraries.  Either of those would be interesting because they would give more information about how those particular types of libraries work.  But I don't know what kind of library I'd like to work in yet, and I feel like these classes would be more beneficial if I already knew that.  Still, I'm keeping them on my list.  I'm more likely to take LIS 465: Knowledge Management or LIS 467: Web Development and Information Architecture.  Both of these are tech oriented, with the first covering how knowledge is created and shared (particularly through social media and websites) and the second on how to better organize web-based content for the user.  I think either class would be beneficial, but I think I'm leaning towards LIS 467 a slight edge.  Registration isn't until November 12, and I'm sure I'll be endlessly mulling over my options until then.  I don't think there is a bad choice among any of these classes, and I could take one or more of them in the Fall semester if I wanted.  

One class that I would love to take but can't is LIS 532: Reader's Advisory.  It's a brand-new class, but it's currently on-campus only, and I can't get to campus in the Spring.  I am so interested in Reader's Advisory and taking a semester long class about learning how to find and give book recommendations is my idea of heaven.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be offered again in the Fall, when I could make it work with my schedule. 

Classes | SLIS | Students


Referencing Spook

I recently moved from circulation up to reference at the Watertown Free Public Library where I work! It was interning at the reference desk at my local public library in college that sparked my desire to be a librarian in the first place, so it felt a bit like coming home! It's already been fun to help people that I recognize from working in circ with some of their more in depth questions.  


My first shift on desk (after my training) was Wednesday night, and I was able to help patrons with flyer making, provided information on literacy classes, completed some reader's advisory, and updated some bib records. But my favorite thing by far was getting to design a book display! Whenever I do displays, I make sure to showcase the voices of authors of color and of various gender alignments. Displays are a chance to recommend books -- even to people who don't engage with you at the reference desk -- and a fun challenge!

I wanted to create something spooky, but not overtly Halloween-like, as we are only a few weeks into October.  The sign is a little bit difficult to make out, so above is a copy of what the flyer looks like. 

A few books I compiled for the display and recommend: 

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado (a favorite) 

The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg 

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (creepiest book I've ever read -- cw for assault) 

The Cask of Amontillado and other works by Edgar Allan Poe 

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 

Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal 

Feel free to pop into the library to come say "Hi!" or to check out some ghoulish or ghastly books from my display!

 

Books | Fun | Librarians | SLIS | reading


Touring the Library of My Dreams

A few weeks ago, the Panoptican and Special Libraries Association student groups, put on a joint field trip to tour the Museum of Fine Arts's library that is located not too far from campus! As a new officer of Panoptican and especially as an aspiring art librarian, I was very excited to attend but also to meet and chat with other Simmons students with similar interests and goals in the library profession. Getting back into the swing of things at the start of a new semester can be overwhelming but I knew this was an event I did not want to miss! 

While the actual MFA is basically diagonal to campus, the MFA's library is offsite on Mass Ave by the Symphony T stop. While the main purpose of the library is to be a resource for the museum staff, they are also open to the public Monday through Friday from 1-5 pm. However, the stacks are closed and anyone interested will need call slips in order to view any materials, which I thought was actually kind of cool from the standpoint of harking back to the old days. I have never been to a library that is still like this (although fun fact for my archive internship, the collection I was working on did have a lot of call slips from the Harvard libraries that the person had kept with scribbled little research notes dating around 1940-1950). We got a tour of the library's holdings from the head of technical services who was really wonderful about showing us the different aspects that make up the library. We had a large group (see photo below featuring your favorite goofball in the denim jacket) so it took a little while to corral all of us but the MFA's librarian was really sweet and excited to show us around and answer any of our questions. 

We  got to go into their lower-level storage area where they keep a lot of their auction catalogs, which was quite a huge selection. The greatest part of the whole tour though was when the librarian "let us loose" to explore the main stacks and even go up to the second floor of the library which I wanted to do the moment we got there but was too shy to ask about. And it was grand! This event was so perfect for my professional aspirations because I was able to look into one of the my dream libraries for such a large art museum. This segways nicely into some great news I have for this coming year...I got a job as the Collections Assistant at the Harvard Fine Arts Library! I've only been there for a week now but stay posted on that experience for a later blog post where I can get into more of the work I will be doing there. I am so excited for this semester because as cheesy as it sounds, things are finally starting to fall into place and I am living my art library dream. 

Events | Fun | SLIS | Student Groups


Classes and Events at SLIS

It's that time in the semester when all you do is study, eat to take a break from studying, and try to get in some sleep.

     As a library student in the SLT school library program, I need to start preparing for next semester. Next semester, I will be doing my first of two practicums, which consists of 150 hours of student teaching in an elementary and then high school library. I have the placement school picked out, and in a few weeks the paperwork will begin. With my classmates figuring out their course preferences for Spring 2020 registration that happens in a few weeks, it is nice for me not to have to worry about what courses I will be taking. Those in the School Library Teacher concentration at SLIS plan out their course outline in their first semester, and will stand by that course outline as they make their way through the program.

   The first course I am taking this spring will be a Writing for Children class in the Children's Literature department. This will count as one of my two electives. I will get to take the other fun elective in a future semester. My other spring course will be LIS 460: Technology for School Library Teacher students. It is a special technology course taught by a current high school library teacher meant to prepare SLT students for the field.

   Right now, my social life is mostly line dancing at Loretta's Last Call, studying, and reading lots of YA books and articles about how to serve the teen populations in libraries. In my LIS 483 class, I learn so much about how to serve teens in libraries, while in my Writing for Children class, I learn how to write books for them. As we near the end of the semester, it is time to start thinking about the big papers. It is week 7, and my professors are preparing us for the big projects we will be doing in the last half of the semester.

   This week has also consisted of a lot of emails planning for an event at Simmons in two weeks hosted by SCIRRT (Student Chapter of the International Relations Round Table. I am currently the only SCIRRT officer for our SLIS student chapter. This event I have been working on, hosted by SCIRRT, is specifically geared toward SLT students. A Simmons SLIS grad, Maya Bery, (also a former SLIS Admissions blogger), will be coming to give a presentation at Simmons on October 30. She will be giving a presentation titles "Bringing the World to Your Classroom," on how we can make learning more global in the school library. Bery is a successful school library teacher in Carlisle Public Schools, and presented this past April, on this topic at MSLA (Massachusetts School Library Association conference).  Student leadership is a great opportunity for SLIS students who want to get involved in planning events that they think will interest students and will help students build their professional knowledge of the library science field.

  Now it's time to enjoy the windy weather and soak in the beautiful fall colors in Boston.

Classes | Events | Leadership | SLIS | Student Groups


Planning for the Future!

We are now in Week 7 of the Fall 2019 semester!  When I was watching my professor's introductory lecture for this week and she said we were halfway through the semester I almost couldn't believe it!  Then, a couple of days ago, the Spring 2020 course schedule dropped.  My goodness this semester is flying by!

As the Spring 2020 course schedule just dropped, I'm now intensely studying the course schedule, course descriptions, and trying to figure out what my game plan is for next semester (and beyond).  Registration isn't until November, so I have some time to think about what I want to take, and to strategically plan. 

I mentioned in my last post one of the things I was hoping to get out of my current class (LIS 401: Foundations of Library and Information Science), was to sort of get an overview and introduction of what's out there in the LIS world and see what I'm interested in before I dedicated individual classes to topics.  This class has been really interesting, and I've learned a lot about LIS, myself, and what I want to get out of the rest of my time in this program and we're only halfway through!  Even though the class is nowhere near over, I'm already starting to think about some of the topics that I've learned about, and think about the path I'm on.  After this class, I'm going to be halfway through my program.  Before I've gone through the SLIS Course Descriptions List and I've thought that everything sounds interesting and fun, and to a point, it does.  But I don't have unlimited classes, and I have decisions to make.  As I go through this class, reflect on other classes, as well as things that I've learned at work, I've been making notes of topics that I want to learn more about, or that I could see myself taking a whole class on and am cross-referencing that with the Course Descriptions list.   I'm doing this to create a wish list of classes that I would like to round out my time at Simmons with.  I think this is a good start to thinking about my remaining time at Simmons and planning for the future! 

If you would like to learn more about the courses offered at SLIS, click here!

SLIS | classes


Live Session!

I had a live session of my Social Informatics class last week, and I really enjoyed it!  There were three sessions available, each on different days and times, and we were required to choose one.  I chose the evening session that started at 9pm.  This made me a little nervous because I'm usually wrapping my day up at that hour, but I'm pleased to say that I made it through without yawning every two seconds.  The worst thing about the meeting was that I looked horrible on the camera (laptop cameras do not do anyone any favors), but I'll take that over a technical malfunction or brain freeze any day.

We didn't do anything major in the live session.  It was more about allowing us all to talk and interact in real time.  We started out talking about any questions we had about the course or the assignments, and then talked more about how information is transmitted and used.  One of the most important themes of this class is recognizing that there is always someone in charge of disseminating information, and that person influences what the public gets to know.  It's a more complex issue than you'd think, because it involves how people access information, their physical location, and their cultural biases, among other things.  As future LIS professionals, we need to acknowledge that we are the ones in charge of information in libraries.  We therefore have to be aware of how we present that information, and always make sure that everyone has free access to that information.  We also have to think about how to provide that access to everyone, regardless of physical and mental ability.  Taking this class has really opened my eyes to how I get my information, and how I filter that information through my own experiences and biases.  It's incredibly interesting and will be something I think about as I embark on my career in the future.

Overall, I was very pleased with the live session and actually wished it could have been longer.  It was great to see my classmates and my professor and to interact with them.  We have pretty lively conversations in the class forums but being able to see and hear and talk in real time was a real treat.  I wish we could have more live sessions, but I know that they are not easy to schedule.  One of the main perks of an online class is that you can attend class on your own schedule, and live classes defeat that purpose.  But I am happy that we had this one session, and if there were more live sessions available, I would definitely attend!

Online | SLIS | classes