Dear Publicists, Publishers, Authors and Generous Book People,
I am in graduate school, pursuing a Masters in Information and Library Science.
While the program is fascinating, the coursework and reading load are a little intense.
And I have fallen behind on book reviews. Please limit the books you pitch or send me to the following categories:
- Historical fiction
- Foodie lit or foodie memoir
- Historical mystery or forensic-based mystery
- Extremely well-written YA genre fiction (no vampire romance, please!)
I will still be posting book reviews here when I can. But I cannot guarantee a timely review of your book, though I will do my best.
Thank you so much for keeping me Surrounded By Books
I got to go on a tour of Tumblr, arranged through my library school. It made me giddy with delight!
Giddy blithering follows under the cut. Read more…
I’m interning at Baruch’s library on Fridays. And thanks to an excellent mentor there, I’m getting to meet each of the librarians and ask questions about daily work, career path, their backgrounds. A fantastic, invaluable resource. Might even help me figure out what I want to do as a librarian, but thus far, everything from collection development to metadata to reference has been really interesting, sounds relatively do-able, and worth a shot.
I also spent an intriguing while seeing how the library website works, and familiarizing myself with what’s available and how to access it. This sent me down an excellent rabbit hole in my own research, as the Research Methods project is starting to take place as a group project, where we divide up the tasks of growing a research study from previous papers and figuring out how to get it off the ground. A comment I made in passing led to me taking ownership of a section of the project, involving using social media in interesting ways. Which will be perplexing to implement, but it’s fun to try to find literature that points in guiding directions… or provides guidance if you squint.
Then I met up with a grad student buddy who’s new to the city and not studying library science (GASP!) so it was interesting to hear about some of grad school life outside my own particular ivory tower (he’s studying history), and to try to think of what I take for granted as wonderful (and delicious) and not to be missed in NYC, but also adapts to a grad student’s budget and time. Ongoing project.
It’s gorgeous out. Need to go to the library. Wish it had some kind of patio/balcony/ retractable roof so I could be both outside and doing library things. But if that’s the worst of my problems, life is good.
Found this on Tumblr:
In ancient Egypt there was a library at the Temple of Thoth where the scribe priest had a woman assistant librarian whose title was “Lady of Letters, Mistress of the House of Books”
I need to track down more information about this.
Reporting in from the first week of class.
It’s going to be a fascinating, hardworking semester.
I am taking a class in Metadata and a class in Research Methods.
And, if I use the blog the way I often do, to report back, think out loud, and clarify my thoughts about grad school.. the blog is going to look like:
Library library library library library library. Library library library.
Library library library library library library. Library library library. LIBRARY!!! Library library!
Library library library library library library. Library library library. LIBRARY!!! Library library library!
Library library library!
I will try to squeeze a book review, or a general bookish list in there somewhere, sometimes.
But I make no promises.
Because there is a lot of reading to be done. I find it potentially fascinating. In Metadata, I will be learning schemas for how things are categorized, sorted and tags, different schemas for different kinds of collections. Metadata can be called “data about data.” I expect to find it intriguing, if sometimes frustrating. And let me say this, I really think I’ve found an instructor who’s a good fit. And you know that’s true, because I’m willingly taking class on a Tuesday, and missing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for it.
And my Research Methods class, which I just had this afternoon… was A) smaller than I was expecting, and B) much more project based than I was expecting. We’re actually going to help the professor design and possibly execute a research study about e-books! Like, a real, maybe it would be published and my name would be on it somewhere, research study. Kind of mindblowing. And also, interesting topics and tangents to read about and write about.
I wish I could read and digest what I read, faster. I feel like I’m having to chew and chew and chew on what I read for school, for hours at a time, and there’s so much out there to be read. I wish I had more capacity to wolf it all down in great gulps and then jump to the next thing. I need to find a way to upload library science journal articles directly to my brain. (And not get, ahem, distracted by various social media platforms and/or lovely terrible television… um. Ahem.)
And this from a girl who’s always been told she reads fast.
My research methods class is focusing on e-books in academic libraries. I’ll know more about it after class meets on Thursday, but one of the parts of the class is to write a research paper, starting with a question, doing some background lit reviewing, and conducting a study, then analyzing the data.
I did a very smart thing when I went to Baruch to get the details of my internship there sorted out. I mentioned the class topic, and a couple very general thoughts about it to the librarian who’ll be my supervisor. And he connected me with a User Services Librarian!
And he told me there are all kinds of ethnographies of library use and behavior. As in, anthropological studies of libraries.
Why is this, my third, and last, year of school, the first time I’m hearing about this? The intersection of library science and anthropology?
The Anthropologist in the Stacks: Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist and folklorist. “n 2009, she was hired by UNC Charlotte’s University Librarian, Stanley Wilder, to be the Library Ethnographer. In and among all of the interviewing, observations, focus groups, and usability testing, she is still figuring out what that means.” It means: I’m going to have fun reading this, that’s what!
The ERIAL project: a study of college libraries and student culture, in Illinois.
I especially like the blog-as-research-chronicle idea, making a good thinking out-loud space.
Here is what I’m thinking about: e-books, and students’ learning habits, and whether/how they take notes in electronic materials. Or print them out, like I do. Just doing the first nibbles on this idea, and so far, I haven’t seen anyone asking about this. It’s early, yet, though. I haven’t even had class.
Classes are starting up again on Monday.
Where, exactly, did the summer go?
I feel like there is so much I haven’t done yet! I did some good things, like going to San Diego for SLA, getting in plenty of family and beach time, reading some good fiction. But I still feel like I ran out of time for things I wanted to do:
- Updating my historical fiction blog, which really deserves a life beyond last summer’s school project
- Staying in touch with all the wonderful people I met at SLA in June… I sent a few emails, but still…
- Reading The Three Musketeers. I did see a rather excellent play of it. So, can I have partial credit?
- Reading about collection development,, because I won’t get a chance to take the class at Pratt.
- Lolling in a hammock at Governor’s Island.
- Reorganizing my bookshelves. The system currently in place makes sense to me. But it wouldn’t stand up to librarian scrutiny, I fear.
On the plus side, I got my hands on advance copies of the syllabi for my two fall classes: Research Methods, and Metadata. So I’ve been clearing the cobwebs from my academic brains by trying to get ahead of the reading.
Also in the offing for the semester: I’ll be getting some hands-on internship experience. And still working at the business books company, no some new book campaigns.
I might even remember to sleep, on occasion.
I might also have just bought way too many highlighters and a pencil case. In my defense, I found a sale on school supplies.
Thanks to the very nice publicists at Simon and Schuster, I am running a giveaway here on the blog.
UPDATE 9/4/13: The Contest is Closed and Winners Will Be Notified by E-Mail.
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