#HLSDITL, Day three!

As part of Hack Library School’s Library Student Day in the Life, a look at library students’ days around the world from October 28 – November 1, I am blogging about my week! I am a student at San Jose State University, an online program, getting my Masters in Library and Information Science. My focus is on youth librarianship. This day's theme: another day of feeling like everything is half done.

Woke up early and did some non-school related computer work and phone calls. Then, I tried to figure out if I should be a Regular or Special Session student next semester. The basic gist is, as a Regular Session student (I live in the Bay Area, am a full-time student, etc), I get access to SJSU's student services through their Associated Students (AS) and state financial aid. However, next semester SJSU has been forced to offer less electives to its Regular Session because of budget cuts, so if I want to get access to the electives I want I have to switch to Special Session. Special Session is an identical degree, except I don't get access to the AS services or funds and no state financial aid (not that they gave me any this year anyway :(!!!!). I am trying to figure out which path to take in this sad state of public university affairs!

Then I jumped on my bike to work, where I worked with one Kindergarten class, a first grade class, and 2 fourth grade classes, and then ran up to the Upper School Library for some basic tasks, and then biked home and laid in bed and read tween novels for my Materials for Tweens class (Tamora Pierce, anyone?).

After a quick dinner I had an online meeting with the American Library Association Student Chapter (ALASC) at SJSU, where I serve as the social media manager. In our meeting, we discussed a couple ideas for projects to support students and help them network. The meetings take place on Blackboard Collaborate; we use it mostly as a conference call program with a shared whiteboard. As an online meeting, there are many people on the board I have never met in person. A few of them I have met through our personal efforts or through volunteer experience. I joined the chapter so that I would widen my personal and professional relationships with other students. So far, I have wished for more in-person meet-ups, but often feel too busy!

Then I read about makerspaces and content creation in libraries, looked at the California Library Association conference website, and posted to social media for ALASC before watching Hugo (I'm reviewing it for my Materials for Tweens class). All in all, a day that left me feeling productive but behind!

Tomorrow: Halloween in the library!

#HLSDITL, Day one!

As part of Hack Library School's Library Student Day in the Life, a look at library students' days around the world from October 28 – November 1. I am a student at San Jose State University, an online program, getting my Masters in Library and Information Science. My focus is on youth librarianship. I am planning on graduating in May, having accelerated my pace and finishing in 2 years. This has definitely been a struggle, as I have continued to work part time, had internships, volunteered, and got married somewhere there in the middle. It's been an interesting ride: I came from out of left field into librarianship, having never worked in a library prior to entering library school. For my undergrad, I studied studio art, and spent the years after graduation doing graphic design/marketing for non-profits/my mom's small business, doing some political work, and making my own artwork, before I went to Laos on a grant and did art projects galore. What I learned there was that I love art's abilities to connect people with information and each other, and also the magical world of doing art on a grant for 9 months. When I came back to the Bay Area, I realized that I wanted to be less broke than I had been as a patcher together of odd part-time jobs and point myself in a direction that was a gratifying career, but wasn't art (I didn't want to mix art and money too much). And so, I remembered how much I loved libraries and librarians, and that libraries also connect people with information and each other, so there you go.

Long story short, this semester I am taking the Hyperlinked Library, Programming and Services for Children, Materials for Tweens, and Collection Development. I very rarely have class to attend; some of my classes have a monthly meeting or lecture, and others still have "chats" but very few of them require me to attend (I can always watch a recording). I just finished a group assignment in which we met for class, but this week is actually very free of required meetings for school.

So what I did today - after a very productive Sunday, I'm feeling pretty good about my workload this week. I have a few to-do list strategies (I really should consolidate), but generally I use an old envelope, an app called Wunderlist, and my Google Calendar to know how the week/month/day looks.

So, this morning I got up and working by 830 am, and did some school work/personal work all mixed up together:

  • I planned for an internship I'm taking next semester at the Oakland Public Library.
  • I called the eye doctor.
  • I added a book review to my Tween materials reading advisory assignment (for Hoot by Carl Hiaasen - got good reviews)
  • I answered emails about the California Library Association conference, which I am attending.
  • I checked my classes on their respective sites to make sure nothing was due today.
  • And then I went to work, at a school library here in Oakland. Today I worked on a project in which we art trying to both use space from weeded reference books and create a more participatory (and less book-branded) library space, so I made some madlibs on windows for students to write on. Then I assisted a teacher librarian in her 1st Grade class, where I helped them find books and occasionally shushed them.

    I'm also doing this thing called the Emerging Arts Professional Fellowship, where I am trying to think of ways to link arts organizations and libraries. My group, which is focusing on Open Systems, met to discuss our yearly project.

    Then I helped a friend set up an Ikea bed, and here I am now making sure that tomorrow I am not missing any deadlines.

    Most of what I do as an online student is try to stay on top of a pile of drifting icebergs that I think I can control, but occasionally I lose sight of one of them and it drifts away, and as a person alone in the sea I must work very hard to stay on top of my icebergs. However, I also don't commute, didn't move for school, and have had to work extra hard to make connections, which has pushed me out of being afraid of networking and into doing it like it will save me from polar bears.

    Tomorrow - more school, dealing with budget cuts, plus pumpkin carving!