More Grades are In . . .

June 5, 2006

My grades were posted a bit earlier than expected. The school lists June 5th as the day grades become available online. However, I was psyched to see them listed earlier. Fortunately, I passed both classes. It is kind of nice to see 9 credits towards my degree. That makes me 1/4 of the way done. YEAH!!!!! While I can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel as if I am more entrenched in the program.

And on another happy note, my book for my summer class finally came in on Saturday. Now, I feel like things are complete for the summer.

One grade is in

May 12, 2006

My ILS503 – Foundations of Librarianship – professor sent me an email last night with my final grade and I passed. She was very complimentary about the final project (pathfinder for Portuguese language materials) that one of my classmates and I completed – which made me very happy. I so enjoyed the project, and I really think that it helped to open my eyes to the diverse needs of patrons in public libraries. I have become very used to thinking of library patrons as 18-22 year old undergraduates.

All in all, this was a good class. I’m very happy with both assignments that I completed for this class (the pathfinder and the Robert S. Taylor biography) and feel as if I learned quite a bit. Now, I’m just going to enjoy the down time before summer session starts at the end of May.

Second Class is Done too!!

April 29, 2006

My final project for ILS503 – Foundations of Librariansip is done as of 3:30PM this afternoon. I’m even more excited to be done with this one. I worked with another student to develop a pathfinder (in both print and web format) for Brazilian immigrants in a specific library district in the New York area. This was an exhausting project – from which I learned SO much. As a person who works in library systems in an academic library, I very rarely have contact with the public. Admittedly, this is a big problem – and one of which I am very conscious. One of the reasons that I chose to return to school was because I believed that graduate school could help me expand my vision of libraries and how important the user experience is to making library systems better.

This project has really been an important part of this process. Ultimately, the library has a significant Portuguese-speaking immigrant population who have specific needs that the library cannot meet. While resources for Spanish-speaking patron abound, there are very few resources for those who speak Portuguese. I truly believe that the woman that I worked with and I only scratched the surface of the resources available. We developed a print pathfinder and a web page for the library at which my partner works. Overall, I learned so much about how different the needs of public libraries are from those of academic libraries.

I am so excited to be done for the semester. Summer classes don’t start until May 24th – and I am goind to take a much needed break between now and then (although I will be doing many different types of good luck dances to help me pass my classes . . . ).

I’m Psyched!!!

April 18, 2006

Yesterday, I finally got a grade back on my Robert S. Taylor biography – and I did fine. I was a bit concerned about the paper, since I ended up having to work on most of it while I was on vacation in St. Maarten. It took tons of discipline to try and get the paper finished (working on the beach with a laptop is a tricky proposition). Additionally, the initial draft was far longer than the specified 5 double spaced pages. Having to thin the paper out was difficult – and I thought that there was a choppy feel to the paper because of it. Fortunately, the professor did not find that to be so.

Anyway, this makes me feel much better about the class. It is very difficult to take a class and get absolutely no grades until the last two weeks of class. I have been hesitant about working on the final project because I had no sense of what the professor thought of my work. As such, I’m a bit behind where I should be – and will be spending all available time working on the project over the next two weeks.

At least, I feel like I’m making more progress than I was a couple of weeks ago.

Final Projects

April 12, 2006

I have two final projects that I am working on for both of my classes. In Foundations of Librarianship (ILS503), we were assigned a semester long project that is a “major (hands on) course project ” [quoted from syllabus]. The project’s focus was to design and implement an information service. The professor stressed that we are supposed to implement this project. I am working on a project with another woman in my class on a project geared to the public library where she works. We are creating a pathfinder with resources for non-native English speakers. The plan is to include English as a Foreign Language, immigrant and Test of English as a Foreign Language resources for the Portuguese speaking population in a suburb of New York City. This has been a challenging project for me since I know very little about this subject.

For Reference and Information Resources and Services (ILS504), we are supposed to plan and design an instructional/training project for a targeted user group in a specific library. For my project, I am designing a library instruction class for upper level undergraduates doing research using census resources. The class will be geared to teaching the students about using federal government resources. I am fairly excited about this project – partly because I love government documents.

ILS503 Final Project

February 6, 2006

For ILS503 Foundations of Libraryship, we must complete a final project in which we must design and implement an information service. The professor encourages us to create this service for a real organization. I will be working with another woman in my class to develop an English as a Foreign Language pathfinder for a public library that serves groups from Eastern Europe and Brazil.

Our proposal to the professor (written by my partner):

Basic concept: We aim to create a pathfinder for non-native Englishspeakers and new immigrants.

Summary: This will include suggested materials such as books and audio-visual materials. We also will include various internet-based reference materials such as web page translators and other translation pages that have been researched and deemed useful. We will add suggested materials for libraries to own to better service to the non-native speaking population. In addition there will be resources for new immigrants such as government offices and web sites as well as localized information (i.e. local international groups if possible). A shorter version of the pathfinder will be presented as a pamphlet for take-home usage and distributed at the particular library we have chosen.

Background of concept: Living in a predominantly English-speaking area, I have noticed that through the last couple of years of working at my Library, we have had numerous requests for language-learning materials, mostly from nannies, but also from newly-immigrated people. In searching for reference materials for them, the most common language tools were in Spanish. These were not useful to our patrons as they primarily came from Eastern Europe and Brasil and were not familiar with Spanish. Aside from the lack of materials for non-native/non-Spanish speakers, the patrons were also asking for local resources—things to do, places to meet up with like-minded people, etc. This made me think that there is a definite need for resources for this population which is often overlooked in the non-urban library. In working together, Jennifer and I will create a pathfinder of information resources for not only language learning, but also information for newly-minted citizens or people preparing for their citizenship tests. We will then actually implement it in my library as it something that my director has agreed we have a need for. This part of the project could easily be utilized in any library, just specialized for the chosen area.

I am very excited about the project. Here’s hoping it all goes well!!!

Classes Have Begun

January 27, 2006

The spring semester has started. I’ve been reading like mad this week to get myself into the spirit of things. So far, I’m fairly excited about both classes – a little bit more so for my Foundations of Librarianship class (ILS503). But this is only because Reference and Information Resources and Services (ILS504) focuses on professsional competences for a reference librarian – and I know that I do not want to be a reference librarian. Admittedly, it is an important class – and I know that I will learn a great deal (and that I need to learn the material). Also, ILS503 delves into a historical perspective of libraries and information services along with current trends and challenges (paraphrased from class syllabus). These are the type of issues that are of primary interest to me.

One thing that I am very excited about is an assignment to do a biographical research report on someone important to the field of librarianship. I was assigned Robert S. Taylor – whom I had never heard of before. However, I have been researching him for the past week and am thoroughly enjoying the project. His interest in information science and systems is right up my alley

I Added Another Class

January 15, 2006

Last week, I decided to take a second class this spring semester. SCSU added another section of ILS504 Reference and Information Resources and Services. – and I felt compelled to try and take two classes this semester. I’m a bit nervous about the amount of work – two classes and a full time job – but hopeful that the workload won’t be too much. I have ordered the one required text and the two recommended texts – and am hoping they come in before classes start on the 29th of January.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to read the textbook for ILS503 class (Foundations of librarianship) – Richard E. Rubin’s Foundations of Library and Information Science (2nd Edition – Neal Schuman Publishers, 2004). Admittedly, it is slow going. I have been enjoying the quite of life after the holidays and away from school – and now need to get myself back into school mode.