I got my digital library project grade today – and I’m very happy with it. The one comment the professor made was that added metadata and more consistent metadata would aid the project. So, I have passed another class – ok, I don’t have final grade for the class, but I think passing is a safe assumption based upon the grading scheme. Yeah!!!! Now, I can enjoy what little time is left of summer break.
For the past six months, I’ve been feeling as if school is one big roller coaster ride consisting mostly of low points. This feeling comes less from actual classes than it does from the overall distance education experience. I often find myself in danger of wallowing in the negativity – and that just isn’t right. So, I write this post to remind myself of the positive. This semester, despite my complaints about going to school in the summer, was a wonderful one. I took two great classes with two engaged and attentive professors – who teach great online classes. I learned valuable things. I will be a better librarian for what I learned. A big thank you to both of these professors!!
I was prompted to write this post by an email from the professor who taught ILS566-Library Personnel Management. Around 6:30PM, she sent me an email with a grade for my final exam – and for the class itself – less than 24 hours after I had submitted the final exam. I know she is going away – this is why the final was due yesterday rather than tomorrow. I’m sure she wants to have her grading done before she leaves. Such a turnaround time on grading isn’t the norm, but I appreciate it – I really, really appreciate it. Tonight I will only think of the positive.
I just finished the three reviews of my classmates projects – two were digital libraries and one was a paper looking at how some academic digital library initiatives are emulating Google. So, I am officially done with ILS655-Digital Libraries. Yeah! And now, I need to get some sleep. I have 48 hours to complete my final.
I’m almost done!!!
. . . otherwise known as post-project affective disorder. I just turned in my final project of ILS655-Digital Libraries – and I’m feeling rather depressed about it. Of course, this seems to be the case after every project (or at least the vast majority of them) that I do. As soon as I submit it, I start to question everything, second guess every decision and wish that I had spent more time working on the project. I usually need several days for my mental state to return to normal – hence the PPAD. I think it is worse with this project because they are going to be reviewed by others in the class. While I understand the value of this technique, it is always nervewracking to read what others have to say about one’s project. Also, the digital library that I chose to create was one containing technical support resources for library staff. It is a much larger project than I could have possibly completed for this class, so I could only do a small portion. This generally means the project has a not-quite-done feel to it.
I guess I need to focus on the positive. I just finished the bulk of my work for the semester. I do have a final that is due late on August 1st (for ILS566-Library Personnel Management) and the three reviews of classmates’ digital library projects. The end of the semester is in sight. By this weekend, I will be done. And then, only two more classes to go. Can you believe it? I can’t quite wrap my head around it all.
I am working almost exclusively on my digital library project which is due on Monday, July 30th (for ILS 655-Digital Libraries). Currently, I am adding metadata to all of my resources, making sure my metadata is consistent, and going back and forth and back and forth fixing things. While I am enjoying the project overall, I am not having much fun with this metadata stuff. Well, actually that isn’t accurate. I am quite keen on coming up the overall metadata scheme – categorizing and classifying my resources. However, the brute force need to put metadata page on every page is testing my patience. I wouldn’t want to do this for a living.
I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of good metadata. However, I’m sure it will be a long time before I go near it again. Metadata on web resources – you are not my friend!
The end of the summer semester at SCSU is fast approaching. In ILS566-Library Personnel Management, I have one discussion question to formally answer and then a final exam which must be completed between July 25th and August 1st. In ILS655-Digital Libraries, I have several discussions to participate in and the major class project which is due on July 30th. I believe we then must comment on other projects from the class. While I am in a decent position grade-wise with the work that I have already completed, I have a serious amount of work to do for this course project. Hence, the weekend of homework to which I alluded in the title of this post.
For my course project, I am creating a digital library of technical resources specifically designed to help library staff – this includes some videos, documents and website links which have been created at my place of work. The idea is to create a kind of knowledge-base for specific applications that people in the library use consistently. I’m fairly excited about the project. I was dragging my heals – mostly because I was busy being apathetic about school. I finally decided that I needed to work on a topic about which I was interested. My attitude about school underwent a dramatic shift once I started to refocus my efforts in those areas that I believe to be most critical. This is good, because I was starting to get nervous about my state of mind. I truly believe that my school experience will ultimately be what I make of it – and I was not even making a decent effort. Things seem much brighter now.
I hate going to school in the summer – absolutely abhor it. There is just something that seems so wrong with the whole concept. I’m sure it harkens back to the fact that as children we got the summers off from school – and that it was such a wonderful time. Of course, I know that I only have myself to blame for my current pain. No one forced me take one class last summer or two classes this summer. It was really my own idea. Of course, last summer’s class was bad – possibly the worst in my entire program so far. This summer, my two classes are really good – and, in theory, I’m enjoying them. However, I also forgot that summer classes are a bit accelerated due to their shorter timeframe. This means that I currently have work to do all of the time! So, I don’t remember last summer fondly – and I doubt that I will remember this summer with anything less that frustrated irritation.
This week, I have had two assignments due. The first was a digitization assignment for ILS655-Digital Libraries which required us to create (or digitize) a text, sound and/or movie file. It wasn’t difficult, and I actually let myself play around with Photoshop and Windows Movie Maker. Oddly enough, it was a fun assignment, and the professor graded the work within 24 hours. The second assignment involved writing 6 mini-essays on different aspects of outsourcing in libraries. This definitely wasn’t as much fun as the digitization assignment, especially since I was pushing the deadline to actually finish it. I finally completed it last night about 10PM – only an hour before it was due. I have very mixed feelings about the quality of my work, but am happy to be done.
Within the next week or so, I have two more assignments to complete. By 11PM on July 5th, I have to write my reactions to two scenarios that involve ethical dilemmas in hiring (for ILS566-Library Personnel Management). I also have to write a review of a digital library or of a digital library technology (for ILS655-Digital Libraries). This one is due on July 9th. I would like to just be able to enjoy some time off for the the 4th of July, but I guess I will be busy doing homework.
Good news for the future: This should be the last time that I take summer classes. I will cling to this fact to help get me through this summer session!