Thursday, February 10, 2011

Musings of a Grad Student: Courses and Assignments

The U of Iowa Pentacrest. Click image for source.
The fourth week of spring classes is coming to a close and I have yet to post on school (for you newbies, I'm getting an M.A. in Library and Information Science).

Going into the program I had little context and very little exposure to the literature of the field. It was information overload all semester long. Now that I've got a bit of background knowledge I feel more prepared for classes and confident that I'm in the right field.

Here's the skinny on what a second semester LIS student is doing.

Class Schedule:
Monday: Database Systems - learning a little PHP and SQL. Two weeks ago I knew nothing about the creation of databases. This week I am creating my own modest database.

Wednesday: Research Methods - learning about qualitative and quantitative methods and reading theory on the subject. We will be doing our own research at some point about...something. In a few weeks.

Thursday: Resources for Young Adults - reading articles and books about young adults, their emotional/developmental needs, while reading an array of YA books. Yeah, this class is fun! There will be several reviews of books I'm reading for this class.

Work: I'm working a few hours at a library reference desk, too.

Assignments with due dates closing in on me:
-Class facilitation about (how did I get so lucky?) book reviewing and what it means for librarians. This requires reading outside of assigned texts and collaborating with teammates.
-Creating a database - it's scary because making computers do what I want is always tricky.


  1. Good luck with your classes and I hope your write more on the topic! I'm looking to go back to school for Library Science and would love to hear what it's like from someone going through it right now.

  2. I love reading you posts on school since you are in the program I hope to be in someday! I just began learning databases this year. I think they're kinda fun :) You know those people that sorta just have a way with animals? I'm like that with computers. Now research methods sounds very interesting!!

    Have fun with your database!! :)

  3. Your dataase and research methods classes sound fascinating. My favorite classes in library school were YA lit and Reference. For my Reference class we had a scanvenger hunt like assignments where we had to find the answer and explain how we got it.

    Enjoy your classes and be sure to take some breaks too from studying!

  4. I've been seeing something on the listservs this week about myths about librarians. One misconception, that I've encountered, is that I went to grad school (like, "You went to school to become a librarian?" or "You went college?" Um. yes.). All of those people who don't know what an MLS is, and what we do to obtain it, should definitely read your post. :)

    Good luck with your semester!!

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Red - If you're interested in library school you should go for it!

    Laura - I wish I had that knack with computers! It takes me a while to come up with code that works!

    Rummanah - I'm not working as much this semester so I have more free time. It's awesome! I have time for my blog!

    Jo - I've had similar encounters. I hope these posts will in a tiny way help show what exactly librarians learn before they can be a librarian!

  6. I wish I could take that Resources for Young Adults class! My end goal is to become a YA Librarian if possible, but sadly my university offers nothing of the kind. We did cover children's and YA literature in a class I took last term, which was fun, but it wasn't quite as focused as yours sounds.

    Best of luck with your assignments :) The one currently giving me nightmares is a long essay assessing a partnership in library services.

  7. I love that picture of the Old Capitol. I know it's a little different, but I was really overwhelmed when I started my English major because everyone just seemed to know how to do it all and I was just starting out! Now it's just second nature.