#HLSDITL: Late-Night Mondays = Belated Post Tuesdays

Hack Library School‘s Day in the Life (#HLSDITL), round 2, is a project that encourages library school students from around the world to come together to share what Library (school) Land is really like. This will help prospective students learn what library school is actually like and connect current LIS/IT students with those in other programs. Find other students or sign up on their wiki.
I’m in my first semester of library school at The Catholic University of America, taking 2 classes and working as an Access Services Library Assistant on campus. I’ll be writing about my classes and my research projects, as well as my extracurricular involvement in two of our LIS student organizations, SLA & AGLISS.

I’m a late riser. Nothing wrong with that, but when I wake up at 9:30am & already have 6 emails in my inbox, I know I’ve gotta get a move on.

The first part of my day was devoted to emails and phone calls following up on a student stipend award to attend the Special Libraries Association Military Libraries Division annual conference. I didn’t even know that programs like this existed for small conferences (I figured it was just for ALA Annual), but they’re a great opportunity for students to attend a professional conference for free in exchange for volunteering. I found out about the stipend through happenstance. I attended SLA/DC’s yearly Open House event last Thursday, representing CUA’s SLA student group. I had a great time, and got my first experience at professional networking (it’s not as scary as you think!). I just happened to be placed at a table right next to the Military Libraries Group, who told me about the conference stipend and encouraged me to apply. I emailed their student liaison a few questions, called to thank the member who told me about the stipend, and emailed my references to confirm that I could use their names. The only problem: a) the conference deadline is next Friday b) my work reference had applied themselves, and b) my advisor had already recommended a fellow student. I’ll be following up with a different set of work and academic references shortly.

I next sent my degree plan to my academic advisor. Registration for the Spring semester is next Monday (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN SO SOON?!?!?) and I hadn’t finalized my degree plan yet. CUA provides students a 2-year course offering schedule, so you can plan for all of your classes ahead of time. Unfortunately, there are certain classes that are only offered once a year, hence the three classes next Fall (mercy). It’s still a rough sketch, since there’s no way of knowing whether I’ll actually elect to do an independent study, but it’s something I really hope to accomplish.

Code Title Offering
555 Information Systems in Libraries & Information Centers (Core) Fall 2013 (W)
557 Libraries & Information in Society (Core) Fall 2013 (M)
551 Organization of Information (Core) Spring 2015 (W)
772 Marketing Libraries & Information Services Spring 2015 (T)
553 Information Sources & Services (Core) (Blended) Summer 2014
675 Research Methods in Library & Information Science (OWL) Summer 2014 (St)
635 Use & Users of Libraries & Information (OWL) Falls 2014 (St)
644 Information Literacy & Instructional Design Fall 2014
879 Public Programs, Outreach, & Digital Exhibits in Libraries, Archives, & Museums Fall 2014
636 Social Science Information Spring 2015
694 Independent Study Spring 2015
695 Practicum Summer 2015
698 Comps Summer 2015

Follow #HLSDITL 1Then came the fun stuff. I RSVP’ed for a tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum library facility and a panel discussion with some of their employees. The tour was coordinated by the Vice President of AGLISS , who works at the museum as an intern. We had been planning on holding the event at the end of October, but with the government shut-down, everything was put on hold. Fortunately, everyone in Congress has come to their senses, and we’re back in business. I then did my afternoon check of Twitter and decided to Follow ALL the #HLSDITL Tweeps! This will prove to be a bad idea when my Twitter feed explodes, but it was still fun.

I left for class early and headed over to CUA’s Information Commons. It’s a private study/meeting place for LIS students, and is equipped with a few computers with all the shiny high-tech software I have no idea how to use. I elected for the gigantic 27-inch Mac to do some work on my HTML homework assignment for Wednesday night’s class. After about an hour, it was time to go. The Information Commons student assistant is in my class, so we got to walk over together. The CUA campus looks large but is actually quite small, so it’s easy to run into other LIS student.

My Monday class is “Libraries and Information in Society,” and one of CUA’s four required core courses. I would best describe the class as a Libraries 101 Seminar. Each week, we have a set of readings that cover a particular aspect of the profession, which we then have in-depth discussion about. My class is quite small, only seven students and the professor, so we’re all able to contribute our opinions and views on particular issues. This week’s class was on “Intellectual Freedom,” and our readings and discussions focused on collection development, the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, internet filtering in libraries, book bans, and Edward Snowden.

My professor is also my academic advisor, so after class, we were able to briefly discuss my course plan. He gave me the OK for next semester, and we have a meeting next Tuesday to go over the rest of my schedule. He asked me how everything was going and if my goals had changed since I started school, and I mentioned that I’m most interested in outreach services and collaborative opportunities. He told me that that’s what the future of librarianship is, and that he “hopes that you can help shape that future.” It might sound corny, but it made me feel like a million bucks. Coming from a nontraditional academic background, where I was oftentimes left hung out to dry, I’m not used to the type of mentoring and support I’ve received from the LIS faculty and my supervisors at work. It’s incredibly touching to be in a profession that encourages such positivity between colleagues.Follow #HLSDITL 2

Since class ends at 9:10pm, I don’t get home until around 10:00pm. I got to complete next week’s textbook assigned reading, which take longer (and are heavier to carry around) than our article readings. I did a Twitter check (timeline exploded) and knew I wouldn’t have time to write all this out before heading off to bed. Hence, my publishing it on Tuesday at 11:45pm. That’s ok, no harm, no foul. Time does not exist for library school students, only tasks. Consider Monday’s #HLSDITL blog-post checked off my to-do list.

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