Spring Semester Reflection

I officially finished my spring semester on May 3 and am 3/4 done with my MLIS! Then I ran off to Paris for a week. I arrived back to Tallahassee last night and am now prepping for my summer classes that begin this week. Before I focus on what is upcoming, I want to reflect quickly on the spring semester. I took Grant Writing, Copyright Law, Digital Libraries, and completed an internship at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Grant Writing
I think this class was the best class I took in grad school that was offered by the School of Library and Information Studies. The class was taught by a librarian that works at FSU, which I think helped for the practical learning outcomes. By the third week of class we were starting to write our grant. We went section by section and our group members reviewed it. I learned so much! Now, one of the things I learned is that I’m not fond of writing grants… but I know how to do it. I feel that if I ever do write a grant in my future as a librarian, I will benefit strongly from this course experience.

Copyright Law
I got a small glimpse of copyright law in my Introduction to Information Policy course, but with how much copyright is intertwined with scholarly communications, I decided I needed to know more. I enrolled in the Copyright Law through the FSU College of Law. I gained familiarity with both statutory law and legislative history, discussed the Georgia State case, and had class an hour after the Kirstsaeng decision dropped. It was a great class! No class in graduate school has better prepared me to be a librarian. I also wrote a Copyright 101 post for Hack Library School.

Digital Libraries
I had very high expectations for this course, since it was the LIS class that I’ve been most excited to take. Unfortunately, my expectations were a bit too high, but I’m so thrilled with the digital library that my group and I created. The prerequisites for the course were Design and Production of Network Multimedia and Information Organization. I found that I really didn’t use what was taught in the Design and Production for the class, but Information Organization can in handy when my group needed to determine how we wanted to organize our collection. Overall I felt that the Museum Informatics class I took in the Fall prepped me for the Digital Libraries course most of all. If you’re a FSU MLIS student, I highly recommend the course (mine was taught by Dr. Urban).

My group consisted of myself, Eliza and Karen (who I went to college with in undergrad!). I think we made a great team and it was the most positive online group experience I’ve had. It can be really tough to work together without meeting in person, coordinating schedules with people in multiple time zones, and creating a product that everyone is very proud of… but we did it! We created the A to Zine Digital Library. We curated the collection by requesting zine submissions or contributing ones we made ourselves. Then we digitized the zines and put together the library in Omeka. Unfortunately, the class experienced issues with Omeka 2.0, so we were unable to build the library until three weeks before the end of the semester. We also experienced issues with file sizes, since we had PDFs of the digitized zines that were much larger than the 2MB limit, and I wasn’t able to use Neatline for the digital library, because there isn’t a compatible plug-in for 2.0 yet. Overall I am I so pleased with what we created. I really enjoyed building the library and working with a zine collection, so I’m planning to continue the library in a new form in the near future.

Internship
I interned at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory as a Science in Literature intern, which I previously wrote a little about. I worked in the Public Affairs Department to curate a collection of literature that highlights science for children, young adults, and adults. The collection is currently housed here. When I arrived there were 76 books in the collection, but it was organized by book type (picture book, chapter book, fiction for grown-ups). I set out to determine what the best way to organize the collection would be. Ultimately, it was decided to organize by age groups 4-8, 9-12, Young Adult, and Adult with corresponding grade levels K-1, 2-5, 6-8 and 9-12, and College since teachers will be the primary users of the collection. I also organized the collection by the science topic that the book highlights (Earth and Space, Biology, Electricity and Magnetism, etc.) and provided each book with science concept tags for better user searching. My ideas going into the internship were a bit different than what the MagLab wanted, so the internship provided me with experience in compromising in order to accomplish what the organization needed. I ended my internship with more than 200 books in the collection and the collection should become available with the new MagLab Ed website launches at the end of summer. I’m excited to see it!

Summer
And now my summer semester! I’m taking Research Methods in Information Studies, Management of Information Organization, and Digital History. I’ll also be interning at the Claude Pepper Center two days a week primarily working on data entry for the Pepper and Tom Brokaw collections.

I will complete all my credit requirements for the MLIS by the end of the summer semester, but I won’t be graduating. If you follow me on tumblr or twitter, you already know this, but I’m moving to Florence to be the Library Supervisor of FSU’s Study Abroad Library! I’m incredibly excited. It is a full-time professional internship for one year, so I will remain a student, take internship credits, and officially graduate in August 2014.

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