Back to School 2015: Clothing

 

One of my favorite parts of going back to school was always picking out an outfit for the first day. Now that I am a school librarian, some of the fun has worn off but I still get the urge to put together outfits to make a great first impression. Rather than stop at one outfit, I thought I’d try to mix and match my wardrobe into enough outfits for the first month of the school year (and by then it will be time to add in some fall clothes)!

Outfits 2015 1

Continue reading “Back to School 2015: Clothing”

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Managing My To Do List

As the semester draws to a close, my to do list seems to be growing by the second. Between school, work, Girl Scouts, job applications, and masters paper writing I’m swimming in deadlines. To keep everything straight I’ve been trying to streamline my to do list system but I haven’t quite found a winner. Here are a few products that I’ve tried.

Lilly-Pulitzer-Large-Agenda-Month-View-2013

  1. Sticky notes on my planner
    These worked well for a few days but my planner is just too big to haul around everywhere. I ended up creating more post-it notes when I was out and about, but these never quite made it back to the planner.
    20100105-moleskine
  2. A separate Moleskine
    I used this system throughout undergrad. I’d keep a planner and a separate small moleskine with my to do lists. It allows plenty of room to write and organize, plus it’s small enough to fit in a pocket. This time around it doesn’t work so well because all of my to dos have very specific deadlines (i.e. Tuesday at 3:00pm) and those are hard to keep track of without a planner nearby.
    todoist_update_iphone_hero
  3. ToDoist
    I have friends who use this task management software and love it. Me, not so much. I hate that it doesn’t sync with my iPhone unless I pay extra and the tagging system was just too convoluted.
    getting-things-done
  4. GTD list
    The mother of all organization systems, the Getting Things Done Method is more of a lifestyle than a to do list. No matter how much I wanted this to work for me (as evidenced by the fact I’ve check the book out of the library 5 times), it’s too complicated and time-consuming. I was trying to save time, not create more to do!
    reminders_5
  5.  Apple Reminders
    This is my current system. I really like that I can create and color code a lot of calendars, because it keeps my to dos organized. Even better, it syncs with my iPhone and iPad, plus I can access it from any computer via iCloud. There are a few downsides: I don’t like that there isn’t a way to see all of your to dos at once. You have to click into a specific calendar to see what is due. This can be helped a bit by putting due dates on everything and then viewing what is due today… but I don’t always remember to add a specific date and time especially for things like changing the air filter or vacuuming.

What is your favorite way to organize your to do list?

Library School Day in the Life 2013: Tuesday – Friday

I am documenting my life for Hack Library School’s Library Student Day in the Life. For other great bloggers who are participating, check here.

After I posted last Monday, I realized that midterms was absolutely the wrong time to try to blog every day! As much as I love sharing pieces of my life — especially for something as cool as the Hack Library School “Day in the Life” — it’s just too much pressure during a stressful time at work. Rather than adding even more to my plate with daily posts, I thought I would post what my days looked like as a whole. Without further ado…

Tuesday: 

Tuesdays are “school days” for me — I scheduled all my courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester so that I would have more time for my internships. My first course of the day, Cataloging, is at the absurd 8am hour. If I didn’t love the class so much I might be inclined to resent the sleep invasion.

The course covers the fundamentals of cataloging books and other printed materials. Of course this is much more difficult than it sounds. Have you ever seen a MARC cataloging record?

Sample MARC record

Not as simple, right?

After my cataloging class, I rushed to the library to get in some last-minute studying for a midterm. Management for Information Professionals is a required course for my masters but it’s also one of the least “library science” related. A lot of what we’re learning is basic management theory (administrative model, scientific model, etc) rather than putting all of it in a library setting. The midterm went well…I think.

Wednesday:

I spend Wednesday mornings interning at Duke University Press. For more about my job there check out my previous “day in the life” post here. I love working at DUP because I get to work with many editorial assistants. Since each editor’s list is so different, I sometimes feel like I have three different jobs! The tasks are never the same so the learning curve can be a little steep — at least it’s never boring!

Later in the day I head over to my internship at the public library. Wednesdays are usually programming nights so I either help out with the events or cover the desk while someone else works them. This Wednesday there weren’t any programs, so I got to answer reference questions and help people find books. I never thought I would end up in a public library but this internship has shown me how much fun it can be. For more on why I love working at a public library check out this post.

Thursday

Much like Tuesday, I start my day in Cataloging. With the weight of the midterm no longer hanging over our heads we work on serials. Just when we thought we’d gotten our footing, these pulled the rug right out from underneath us! Serials are cataloged in a very different way from books, especially because we are learning to catalog them using a different (older) set of rules. Though I took furious notes during class, I’m fairly sure the material will take a few more days to sink in.

My afternoon class is an introduction to databases. I’ll be honest — I signed up for this class because it fit into my schedule well. I had never considered doing a library job that required me to learn the inner workings of a database, nor had I ever thought I would understand the structure if I tried! Color me surprised. This is by far my favorite class. Perhaps it’s because I get to use a different part of my brain or maybe because it’s set up more like an undergraduate class — who knows the reason, I just know that it rocks my socks! I can’t imagine doing a library job without understanding databases; they now seem so integral.

Friday

Another day, another shift at Duke University Press. Fridays are a change of pace at the press because I usually get to work on manuscript descriptions. This means that I get to read the manuscript (or at least the introduction and first chapter) and write a one-page description of the author’s argument and main points. Sometimes I feel completely out of my depth but more often than not one of my Kenyon courses touched on the topic at hand — see, a liberal arts education IS useful! To be honest, without the range of courses I took at Kenyon I would be up a creek. One week I could be working on a political book about a former president, the next week it might be about Afghanistan during the turn of the century!

Liberal Arts

After working at the Press, I head off to the library for another closing shift. I usually spend an hour working on readers advisory lists or programming before hopping on the desk to answer patron questions. Since the library closes at 6pm on Fridays there’s usually a flurry of activity in the DVD section; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Do you guys have any comedies?” You’re asking the wrong librarian, this girl prefers documentaries or period pieces!

So there’s my typical week in a nutshell. I hope it maybe convinced you that library science isn’t all shelving books and shushing anymore!

Library School Day in the Life 2013: Monday

This week I will be documenting my life for Hack Library School’s Library Student Day in the Life. For other great bloggers who are participating, check here.

A big hello to anyone who found me from the Hack Library School wiki! My name is Alexandra and I am a first year student at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Library and Information Science. I’m a little ashamed to admit that nearing the middle of my second semester I am no closer to figuring out what area of librarianship I am most interested in. I am pulled in opposing directions: on one hand I love working with teens in the public library for my internship, on the other hand I always thought that I would work in a government library in Washington, D.C. Only time will tell where I end up but until then here’s my “day in the life.”

Monday morning. Most of the world considers it the most dreaded morning but for me it means a few more hours to catch up on reading and homework. Because I work part-time at Duke University Press and intern at a local public library at night, I have a little free time on Mondays. Usually I use the time to do the all too essential household chores but because it is midterms at SILS I’m knee-deep in notes and textbooks. A lot of the courses at SILS don’t have midterms, only midterm assignments, but Library Management has a written midterm. It’s been a really long time since I’ve taken a midterm exam. Like a really long time. As an English major at Kenyon College most of my midterms consisted of writing a paper, same for the courses for my history minor.

After hitting the books for a few hours, it’s time to head to work. Though publishing isn’t directly related to library science, the internship was posted on the SILS list-serv and I immediately jumped on it! Duke University Press is only about eight miles from my apartment but because I have to go past Duke University it usually takes more than thirty minutes. I use my car time to listen to a book on CD; my current book is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

Once I finally arrive at DUP it’s time to go through the daily grind. This can mean anything from logging recently submitted manuscripts into the database, to writing one-page descriptions of books going before the board. The work can get a little tedious at times — there are only so many ways to make sending a FedEx package interesting — but I learn a lot of things that could be considered transferable skills.

After several hours of editorial work, I dash out the door and head to grab some dinner. Monday nights are reserved for a few hours of fellowship with friends but there’s always a few hours of homework to do before classes on Tuesday.

Check back on Tuesday for another Library School Day in the Life!

Just a little Kenyon love

My idyllic little college got a lot of love from a pretty famous alum a few days ago and I thought I’d share it with you. John Green is the latest in a long line of creative Kenyon folks: Robert Lowell, Laura Hillenbrand, James Wright, Caleb Carr, E. L. Doctorow, Alison Janney, Paul Newman, Josh Radnor, Rutherford B. Hayes, Jim Borgman, and Bill Watterson, to name a few. Though the list itself is awe-inspiring, it’s even more shocking once you realize that Kenyon graduates a mere 450 students every spring.

Green says it best: “In short I know that nostalgia is in the business of twisting memories into lies and that there are lots of great colleges and universities but let’s face it: Kenyon is the best one.”

Copyright & Fair Use

Today in my Collection Development class (INLS 513) we talked about the ways that copyright law affects libraries. Because copyright law in the US is so challenging to understand, we view several movies to help with our understanding. One student suggested that we check out the following film that uses Disney clips to explain copyright law. It’s adorable and informative — check it out!

Check back later this week for my holiday wish list series!

Support Books of Wonder

First off I’d like to apologize for not posting for a few weeks. School has really revved up and I’m spending more and more time working on group projects! I have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks but before I get to book reviews and library school discussions, I wanted to do a quick post on a subject that is close to my heart: children’s literacy.

My passion for children’s literacy is no surprise to those who know me. Reading is such an integral part of who I am — I can remember what book I was reading during almost any major life event. More than that, my love of literature and my passion for literacy are the reasons why I chose to pursue my master’s in library science!

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Books of Wonder in NYC and listen to Peter Glassman talk about how children’s books are an important piece development (check out my posts about my stay in NYC here). By the end of the morning Mr. Glassman had all of us in tears! BOW is such a great resource for children in NYC; they hold author events, readings, special parties and volunteer at the local children’s hospitals. There’s something magical about walking in to Books of Wonder — a little like crossing into Narnia!

Needless to say, when I heard Books of Wonder was in trouble I was shocked! Here’s a little video about what happened:

Did that video break your heart like it did mine? Check out the link below to help them if you can.

http://www.indiegogo.com/booksofwonder?a=1659280