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My Last Rodeo

It's been over a month since I last posted on the blog so Happy New Year everyone! I did survive last semester's final week and I'm really proud of what I accomplished but boy was it tough. I needed a good break after that which is why I took a little hiatus from the blog. But now I am back in the saddle for what will be my last Simmons SLIS rodeo!

In fact, I've been back in the saddle since January 10th which was the first day of the two-week long preservation course up at SLIS West. We met from 9-4, Thursday-Saturday for two weeks in a row and it was a blast. It was a large class too - probably the biggest I've had face to face - with a mix of students from Boston and SLIS West. I got a hotel in the area both weekends and it almost felt like a mini vacation.

Preservation was so fascinating and what it did most of all was give me another "lens" through which to view everything that goes on in libraries, archives, and museums. Our instructor liked to say that preservation has lots of "tentacles" that reach into almost every aspect of operations - from policymaking to donor relations to collection management to disaster planning. If this course were produced for television it might have been called "How Stuff is Made: Library Edition" with a new series: "How Stuff Deteriorates" and a few special editions of "What's that Smell?" I've never had a class that left me so full of fun facts, like:

Did you know that insect poop is called "frass?"

Did you know that nitrate film can burn under water?

Did you know that iron gall ink was made out of oak galls?

Did you know that the real "rag and bone man" collected old rags for papermaking in 19th century Europe?

I highly recommend LIS 439: Preservation and if you can take it with Donia Conn, all the better. It will open your eyes to things you had never noticed before and make you feel like a real librarian/archivist.

With preservation over I'm gearing up for my last and final Simmons class: LIS 445 Metadata. I'm taking it online, which means I can bid farewell to those long Saturdays up in South Hadley. I will miss the people and the classroom experience, but I will not miss the driving. I think this last semester is going to be awesome. I have one online class, an exciting internship set to begin any day now, and possibly an opportunity to present at a library conference (more on that later)! This Simmons journey has been quite the adventure and I'm hoping to go out with a bang!

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