The Final Four Classes

April 24, 2007

After some serious deliberation, a great deal of angst and even some periods of prolonged apathy, I have pretty much figured out the rest of my MLS program. A few minutes ago, I went ahead and registered for a second summer class. This means that I will be taking two classes this summer, one in the fall and then one next spring to complete my MLS program. I guess it is probably quite common for class selection to get more complicated as one progresses through the program. After all, there are always several sections of the required courses being taught – and one has lots of flexibility about when to take them and with whom to take them. The picture is much murkier when class choices are slimmer and when one has decided which professors to take and which to avoid.

I have to admit that my choices for my last four classes have much more to do with wanting to take certain professors and wanting to avoid certain others than an incredible interest in the classes themselves. I will be taking one class with a professor that I haven’t had before, but have heard good things about; two classes with a professor that I have had before and enjoyed; and one with a professor that I swore never to take a class with again. The irony of it may be driving me a bit batty. However, I have one required class left to take and I believe that taking it with this professor is the best choice that I can make at this point.

So barring cancellations my final four classes will be:

  • ILS566-Library Personnel Management – Summer 2007
  • ILS655-Digital Libraries – Summer 2007 – As of 5/8, I decided that I should just go with this one rather than ILS575. ILS575-Instructional Design Principles – Summer 2007 – This is the one that could get cancelled. If it does, I will try to take ILS655-Digital Libraries
  • ILS519-Collection Development – Fall 2007
  • ILS680-Evaluation & Research – Spring 2008

Am I thrilled with my course selections?? I don’t think so, but I’m not necessarily disappointed either. I’m really at a point, where I am much more concerned with finishing than with anything else. There were so many classes that I was looking forward to taking. Yet, these courses either weren’t offered or weren’t offered online. And I really have to ask myself, how much can one’s overall course selection really matter? Realistically, I’m not exploring my options for work in the library world. I already have found my place in library systems and am fortunate enough to have the work experience to back this up. I need to have my master’s more than I need to have course work in specific areas. So, ultimately, it feels good to have these decisions made and to have some sort of plan that should lead to graduation in about a year. That makes me happier than anything else!

To Confuse The Issue Even More . . .

March 4, 2007

After publishing the preceding post with my musings about class choices for my final four courses, I happened to look at SCSU’s ILS department web site to check on courses schedules. Oddly enough, links to the new guidelines for planning one’s MLS program were actually there. Of course, why they are listed on the course schedule page, I can’t quite determine. However, I was excited to actually see them posted. I don’t know when they were added, but it wasn’t that long ago. My advisor has told me a couple of weeks ago that the planned program form that was in use was revised last fall. I’m not entirely sure why this information wasn’t given to the students several months ago.

[For an institution that is supposed to be preparing students to work with information in an effective manner, their communication skills could be considered to be less than ideal.] 

Fortunately, the new guidelines wouldn’t have changed my course selection for this current term – so, I guess I can’t complain too rigorously. However, they do throw my future class plans into disarray. I need to check with my advisor about his thoughts on course selection. This new plan does break down the courses in the program into 7 groups. It is suggested that one the 5 requirements are met students should take their 7 electives from at least three of the remaining 6 groups. Most of mine are in one group – and the ones that I planned to take this summer are in that same group. Yikes!!!! This is a big headache!!!

The Last Four Classes

March 4, 2007

Given that I am now taking my 7th and 8th classes (out of 12) in the MLS program, I have to give some serious thought to planning the rest of my program of study. The initial planned program that the ILS department used is no longer in effect. From what I understand, the new guidelines are a bit more fluid – and there are no specific group requirements. Students in the specific tracks will still need to take different classes, but there will be more flexibility in class selection. This is good news, especially since some of the classes that I had specified in my planned program sheet haven’t even been offered at my time at SCSU.

At this point, there are 5 required courses:

  1. ILS501 – Introduction to Information Science & Technology
  2. ILS503 – Foundations of Librarianship
  3. ILS504 – Reference and Information Services and Resources
  4. ILS506 – Information Analysis & Organization
  5. ILS680 – Evaluation & Research

I have taken all but ILS680 – Evaluation & Research.

Those in the academic track have 2 required courses:

  1. ILS560 – College & University Libraries
  2. ILS565 – Library Management

I’m done with these (or will be come May). 

The remaining 5 courses are all electives. So far, I have taken (or are taking)

  1. ILS530 – Information Systems Analysis & Design
  2. ILS656 – Information Architecture

So, I have three electives left to take. While I am not quite sure at this point when I will finish my coursework, I am hoping to be done sometime in 2008. So, this means that I have to give some serious thought to my remaining class choices.

Registration for summer session starts this week. I’m thinking about taking ILS566 – Library Personnel Management or ILS568 – Library Public Relations. I think both subjects are important, but that as a department manager a class on personnel management might be of more immediate use to me. There is a slight part of me that wants to take both (but so far, I’m not giving into that desire. Also, that would mess us the rest of my plans).

As for the fall, although part of the course schedule has been posted, not all classes are currently listed. I really want to take ILS534 – Library Automation – which of course, is not listed yet. This means that I don’t know who is supposed to teach or (or even if it really will be offered). As for ILS680 – Evaluation & Research, this class is causing me some angst. Three different professors teach the course – and one of them is the professor that I refuse to take again. The second, I haven’t had as a professor and the third is the one that I think I want to take. However, this professor only teaches ILS680 during the summer and fall semesters – when I really want to take it during the spring of 2008.

Anyway, now I’m more confused than ever. What to do? What to do? What to do?

I’m Now Enrolled!

December 30, 2005

I received a copy of my planned program from the Graduate School at SCSU yesterday afternoon along with the letter of acceptance from the School of Graduate Studies (rather than the School of Communication, Information and Library Science). All appropriate people have signed off – and I am officially enrolled in the MLS program. So far, I’m very impressed with the people and the program at SCSU.

Planning my MLS Program

November 23, 2005

Now that the final for my class is over, I have been working on my program of study for my MLS. At Southern Connecticut State, accepted students must complete a program of study which details their planned track and expected classes. I had initially thought that I would take the Information Systems/Technology track because my current position at my library is in systems. However, the Info Systems/Technology track is extremely rigid with no room allowed for electives – and I would have to take several classes that I would prefer not to take. After an email discussion with my advisor, I decided to take his suggestion to take the Academic library track. This track is flexible enough to allow me to take most of the computer/systems/technology classes that I want. I finally have the plan complete and ready to be mailed. I won’t be considered a matriculated student at SCSU until the school receives this document. Fortunately, I remembered to make a copy of this document given that if I decide to take different classes than I listed I have to revise the plan – and that would be tough to do if I didn’t have a copy. I will confess that I didn’t remember to make a copy until after I had sealed the envelope. A big almost whoops!!!!

My planned program looks like this:

Course Requirements:

Group I (Core 1) Requirements (2 classes)

  • ILS501 Introduction to Information Science and Technology – Principles and applications of computers and information technologies in libraries and information centers. Scheduled fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • ILS503 Foundations of Librarianship – The development structure and function of library/information agencies. Scheduled fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Group II (Core 2) Requirements (2 classes)

  • ILS504 Reference and Information Resources and Services – General reference sources; their content, evaluation and use. The reference process and the organization of reference and information services as they relate to different types of libraries. Lab in on-line retrieval.
  • ILS506 Information Analysis and Organization – Principles of developing, evaluating, and organizing collections of all types of materials. Descriptive and subject analysis of materials. Commonly used guides, codes, and source materials. Lab in on-line retrieval.

Group III (Core 3) Requirements (1 class)

  • ILS560 College and University Libraries – Organization and administration of academic libraries. The role of libraries in research and the relationship of academic libraries to curricula, students, faculty, and administration.

Group IV (Professional) Requirements (1-3 classes)

  • ILS530 Information Systems Analysis and Design – An introduction to systems analysis in libraries. Includes flow charting, form design and control, time and cost analysis, sampling, and automation.
  • ILS537 Information-Seeking Behavior – How people acquire, store and use information they receive from their environment. Topics include behavioral, cognitive, and affective aspects of information-seeking. Applications to information systems and user instruction.
  • ILS565 Library Management – An examination of the general principles and practices of library management.

Group V (Technology) Requirements (1-3 classes)

  • ILS534 Library Automation – An overview of automation with emphasis on computer assisted library processes: subsystems in technical services, user services, administrative services.
  • ILS535 Information Networks – An examination of the impact of cooperation, consortia, and networks on the library/information field: developments, network characteristics, problems, and issues. Converging technologies and implications for emerging trends for information professionals are examined.

Group VI (Research) Requirements (1 class)

  • ILS680 Evaluation and Research – Principles and methods of evaluation and research are systematically reviewed. Major research undertakings are considered, as well as landmark studies. Prerequisite: 24 credits in library science or instructional technology.

Group VI (Elective) Requirement (1-3 classes)

  • ILS599 Special Projects

That is 12 classes for 3 credits each for the total 36 required credits.

Whew! Writing it all down makes it seems like an insurmountable task. With only one class down, I have 11 more to go. I’m looking forward to it all, but wonder if I’ll ever be done.