Student Snippets

A WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIFE AND THOUGHTS OF SLIS STUDENTS

A Bit About My Summer Classes

As we head into the end of July, we at SLIS are entering the final week of the summer term. This is my second year taking summer classes, and they are a lot of work (classes are condensed), but worth it (six credits in six weeks). I definitely recommend them. This semester I took Collection Development (LIS 453) and Evaluation (LIS 403). Evaluation sounds vague, I know. It's mostly about how to evaluate and assess various aspects of your library to meet user needs and justify funding, along with the various research and data collection methods that exist. The classes complemented each other well, as Collection Development had a large part devoted to evaluation of a library's collection.

I'm working on final projects for both courses now. For Evaluation, I have to write a research proposal including literature review, and for Collection Development I have to write a collection development policy with demographic data, budget allocation information, deselection guidelines, a gift policy, and collection priorities. (Mine is about 35 pages total, single-spaced, but that includes many demographic charts, pie charts for the budget, a title page, etc.)

I really like that my final projects, like most SLIS final projects, are incredibly practical. They are the manifestation of all the theory we learn in the semester. When I'm a librarian, I might have to write the sort of documents I'm writing now, and at the very least I will need to know what make these policies, procedures, and papers robust.

I also really like my instructors. Dr. Mónica Colón-Aguirre teaches 403 (which used to be part of the core curriculum, so you know it's important), and Michael Leach teaches 453. This is my third class with Monica, and I always learn a lot because she brings even the driest subject matter to life with her storytelling, humorous PowerPoint presentations, and in-class activities. This was my first time taking a class with Michael though, and he was equally impressive. He is Head of Collection Development at Harvard's Cabot Library and very active in many professional groups, particularly ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology). He showed the class things he uses and needs to know at his job, like COUNTER reports, e-license agreements, and budgets, and it was immensely helpful to get this perspective. He also made me rethink my preference for print material as library resources become increasingly electronic, and he did so by posing questions, not by spouting off opinions or studies.

So now that I've told you about all of that, I should really get back to working on my projects and prepare the handout and talking points for the Adult Fiction Trends discussion that I'm leading Monday.

Classes