Goodbye. Farewell. So Long. C-ya!

10/04/2013 § Leave a comment


With my final semester in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee wrapping up and the graduation ceremony quickly approaching, I wanted to take the opportunity of today’s post to say a farewell to all the fine readers of Hack Library School. It’s been a fun adventure and a great experience. I was honored to be chosen to be among the superb writers at HLS and am excited that we have excellent writers to continue the tradition. I’ve made great friends, and I look forward to being colleagues with all of you. Thank you for all your thoughtful comments on my posts. Writing these posts has been a great experience as it allowed me to think through my beliefs on various topics and develop a clear articulation of them. HLS was a big help to me in my early days in grad school, so I hope my posts have helped and encouraged you as those before me did for me.

I now move into my future career. As of right now, I do not have a job lined up, but it won’t be too long. I hope to get to meet many of you at conferences and symposia and maybe even collaborate on a project in the future.

So long, friends!

[Series] So What Do You Do? My Internship Experience at NCAR

10/12/2012 § 2 Comments

National Center for Atmospheric Research

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, set against the Flatirons

This is the inaugural post in a new series called “So What Do You Do?” in which we will talk about our experiences in internships. We wanted to showcase the wide range of things people are doing in the world of library and information science.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Chris Eaker, and I’m a second year student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I’m specializing in scientific data curation and data management. I have a background in civil engineering, a career I held for nine years before going back to school.

So what do you do?

As part of my graduate research assistantship in the Data Curation Education in Research Centers project, I spent the summer of 2012 in Boulder, Colorado, working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The goal of the project is to educate information science professionals in the field of data curation by putting them alongside active researchers.
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Lessons from a Wee Visit to a Scottish Library

26/10/2012 § 2 Comments

Main building

The University of Glasgow, photo taken by Chris Eaker

Earlier this week, Joanna wrote about her experience at a small library in Florence, Italy. Last week, my wife and I travelled to Scotland. Our home base was Glasgow, but we made day trips to other places, such as the Isle of Skye, Oban, Inverness, and Edinburgh. Scotland is a beautiful country in both its landscape and the friendliness of its people. And Glasgow is a working city, not a tourist city like Edinburgh, so it’s unpretentious and fun. For the most part, it was a vacation, but it also served to strengthen my library and information science education.

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Swimming in a Sea of New Terminology

10/09/2012 § 5 Comments

I’m starting the first semester of my second year of my LIS masters degree at the University of Tennessee, School of Information Sciences. So far this semester, I’ve felt pretty overwhelmed because I’m taking very tech heavy classes with loads of new terminology. Last week, one of the other Hack Library School writers wrote to say that they may not be able to get their post out on time because their brain is just overloaded. I related to that. (Thankfully, we at HLS believe it is an avocation for us, so if we need to let a post slide to give time to our classes, so be it.)

Recently, I was thinking “how will I ever master these terms?” Then it hit me: I had the same thought last Spring. And then it hit me again: I had the same thought last Fall! Apparently, this is not new. And at the end of the day, I made it through those semesters just fine. So I’m here to tell you students, new ones and old ones, that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed early in the semester (heck, even later in the semester!). You’re not the first student to feel that way, and you won’t be the last. Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of the process of learning a completely new field. What you’re experiencing is what everyone feels when immersed in a new language, and that’s just what you’re doing — learning a new language. First year students get dropped into a new world and get lots of new terms thrown at them almost all at once. You’re sure to feel the overload. But take a breath, don’t hyperventilate, and relax. I promise you it gets better. It takes several weeks of being immersed in a new language before it even begins to sound normal. But I guarantee you that, over time, the terms will begin to make sense, and they will become a normal part of your vocabulary.

I’ve pulled together some posts from HLS that deal with the stresses of being a library school student, because they contain a wealth of information on how to deal with that stress. Everyone of us feel it and we all deal with it differently, but we all have to deal with it somehow. I hope you will find something in one of these posts that will help you get by. Just find that one thing that is the lifeboat for your stress, and remember…IT GETS EASIER!

LIS Overload!
It’s OK to Not Have Time
Beginner Status
The Finals Push: Dealing with Your Stress
How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love Library School
Work/Life Balance in Library School
You are Now an Information Professional: First Year Reflections

Rounding 3rd: Goals for the Home Stretch

15/08/2012 § 2 Comments

Earlier this year, I wrote a post called You Are Now an Information Science Professional: First Year Reflections. I spoke of lessons gleaned from having a year of library graduate school under my belt. The best lesson came from my advisor after expressing frustration to her about not feeling qualified to apply for many of the advertised data curation jobs. As that post recounted:

Her response was one that I will never forget and was a paradigm shift. She said, “I know this may seem hard to grasp now, but you need to realize when you complete your first year of grad school, you will no longer be a beginner. You will have more knowledge than many people in this field. You have to start thinking of yourself as an expert instead of a beginner.”

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