A Thank You Letter

01/08/2011 § 8 Comments

*Update — Nicole has been a leading force behind this blog since it was a wee GDoc. We all look forward to your future in the profession, Nicole, and thank you for all the wonderful, though-provoking pieces you wrote for us [<--- Click to read them all!]. LibHackers never say die.  

Your friends, The Hack Library School Editors* 

Dear Hack Library School,

If you can believe it, about a year ago I was actually considering not completing my MLIS degree.  I had had a kind of rough second semester and was unsure if the profession and the degree were really right for me.  However, due to my stubbornness and financial commitment, I decided to see it through and make sure that I did everything I could to get the most out of my second and final year. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program: Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science

01/06/2011 § 23 Comments

*Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body. I started in Fall 2009 as a full-time student and graduated this past semester. I hope the below, and the previous posts in the series, will provide a means of discussion and collaboration.  I did not apply to any other LIS programs.  I was living in London and wanted to move back to Boston where I lived during and after my undergraduate program.  So my decision to come to Simmons was based on location, its prestige in the profession, and the numerous people I spoke to who all had nothing but fantastic things to say about the program.  While I have had some personal ups and downs throughout the past two years, with the program, and with my own path, I have not regretted my decision in the slightest.

Location of GSLIS program - most classes, tech lab, lounge, faculty offices


« Read the rest of this entry »

Advocacy in Library School

23/03/2011 § 12 Comments

Art by Andrea Davis

Dictionary.com defines advocacy as “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending; active espousal.”  I know I heard and used this term before I began library school but I honestly think my awareness of it has increased tenfold in the last two years of my program.

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So You Want to Be a Special Librarian?

11/03/2011 § 20 Comments

When you started library school, did you know exactly what kind of librarian you wanted to be? Or — did you have a general idea, but you were open to other possibilities?

That’s where I was when I started at SLIS. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a librarian, but I also figured out pretty quickly that the traditional library job market is more competitive than ever before.  I began to lean toward academic librarianship, specifically reference work, and as an English major I assumed my subject specialties would be in the humanities.

However, a combination of library school experiences in my second year – a great Special Libraries professor and mentor, student jobs and internships, and an amazing Science Reference class – have convinced me that not only are my reference skills transferable to many other jobs, but that a variety of subjects and nontraditional jobs can hold my interest. I currently have a paid internship in an academic military library, something I didn’t even know was possible when I started library school.

If you’re not really sure what special libraries are, here is a good starter definition – they are essentially libraries or information centers within corporations, private businesses, government agencies, museums, colleges, hospitals, associations and information management consulting firms (and any other institution you can think of – I have a friend who interned at a paranormal library!).

I can’t sum up an entire course worth of information on special librarianship for you, but I did want to let you know that amazing jobs in nontraditional library settings are out there, and give you a broad overview of my favorite resources.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Peer Review in Library School – helpful or headache?

04/03/2011 § 35 Comments

Disclaimer: I am discussing the very last class, also last required, of my MLIS degree.  I may speak with a tad of “senioritis.”

One of the required courses in my MLIS program is Evaluation of Information Services.  I have been kind of dreading this course because I knew it would be very theory heavy and I’m kind of a more practical person when it comes to my learning style [I think we will be discussing more of theory vs practice very soon on this blog].  However, I understand that grad school should and is about challenging yourself.  And, well, a requirement is a requirement.

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