Student Dispatches, Vol. 1

DLISSA: Back at it again!

DLISSA is back at it again with the social events! On November 7th DLISSA hosted a Career Panel at the St. John’s University, Queens Campus. LIS professionals from the Whitney Museum Library & Archives, Scholastic Library and Archive, Stony Brook University, Brooklyn Public Library, and American Jewish Historical Society gathered to bestow their wisdom and experiences to current DLIS students. The event was followed by a Happy Hour at Nikko Hibachi, in Queens, where the panelists and attendees gathered to continue conversing and networking. A recording of the Career Panel is available here:

Fire Island sunsetPoint O’ Woods Historical Association Internship
By Kevin Quinn

During the summer of 2016, I participated in an internship that placed me in a peculiar location when one thinks about academics: Fire Island. Not to say that there isn’t any scholarship on Fire Island, but for most who know the area, beaches, bars, and boats come to mind. The internship connected me with the Point O’ Woods Historical Society, a group dedicated to the preservation of the history of this private community on Fire Island. Fire Island word cloudAfter Hurricane Sandy, the POWHS realized they had ‘dodged a bullet’ when most of their archival objects escaped the storms fury unscathed, and made the decision to begin the digitization process of all their materials for the sake of preservation, lest another storm come and destroy their heritage.

As an MLIS student at St. John’s University, the opportunity seemed like a great way to spend my summer, being that it was close to home, and that Fire Island is a prime destination for summers on Long Island. Paired with another student from St. John’s MLIS program, we spent around 5 weeks building the POWHS’s digital archive from the ground up. We started by taking inventory of their collection, and pinpointing the most vulnerable objects to digitize. Some of the objects we worked with dated back to the 1890’s, so the manner in which we handled and rehoused the objects was a vital component. After the physical preservation was complete, we began the process of building the digital archive using Omeka, an open source platform that utilized the Dublin Core metadata schema.

Going into this internship, I understood that a lot of my time would be spent creating and organizing metadata. One of the responsibilities I didn’t quite foresee was my role in educating the members of the POWHS on proper archival practice. Looking back, this was probably the most rewarding and beneficial part of the whole experience. Being my first true internship as an information professional, I was a little nervous that maybe I wasn’t as knowledgeable or as ready as I needed to be, but to quote Aristotle, “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.”

Returning to School
By Nancie Joseph

Choosing to return to school at 45, wasn’t an easy choice. But it was something I knew I wanted to do in order to do the job I love. In looking for a college, no local college offered the degree I was searching for. So I chose St. Johns Online Degree for Masters in Library Sciences. Friends and family thought I was crazy for doing online courses, along with working, having a family (especially at my age)….not to mention other life distractions (like social media).
When I had my first advisory meeting, the advisor suggested I only take 2 online courses, but I told him I wanted full time and believed I could handle it. At this time, I have A’s in all three classes (with 3 weeks left). My instructors have been absolutely WONDERFUL. The Faculty in the LIS program are willing to work with students who are struggling in any way through the semester.

One advantage to online courses is that you are able to see all projects that are required for each class and am able to start them early if you choose. Another advantage is that when there is a group project, you know in advance you won’t be able to meet face to face, so there isn’t the worry of finding a time that suits everyone. The group project I worked on this semester was the least stressful one I have ever done for school. The only disadvantage is that you don’t get to see expressions on people’s faces when they comment on your discussions.
My name is Nancie Joseph, and I would recommend the Library Information Services Degree program to anyone wanting to be a librarian. Don’t let distance from college hold you back. College on line (distance learning) is the new way to learn.

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