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!
As of last night I’ve officially completed my first week as a master’s student and I’m more excited than ever about my chosen career path. Every class seems new and exciting! Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned so far:
- Everyone that I have met has a deep love of J.K. Rowling. During orientation someone mentioned an obscure HP line and everyone understood. I think I’ve found my people.
- There are people from all different backgrounds here at SILS. At Kenyon, it was expected that everyone had come from roughly the same academic experience but here that’s really not the case. It’s interesting to see what different people bring to the table!
- There are no grades. This one is the biggest shocker to me! As someone who has
at times been called an overachiever, it’s going to take some time to learn to live without the ever-present ‘A.’ Here at SILS, classes are H/P/F, meaning high pass, pass and fail.
- Technology in the classroom is encouraged. I’m not sure how to deal with professors telling us to bring our laptops to class to tweet or google! The SILS program is about sharing collaboratively so the professors have encouraged us to be active on the web.
It’s been a great first week but the ease into classes is officially over — homework calls!
More posts like this:
For three weeks I learned from the best-of-the-best in the magazine industry: Cindi Leive, David Zinczenko, Pilar Guzman, Lavinel Savu, Matt Bean, Lorin Stein, and Brandon Holley to name a few. Beginning with lectures, I got a strong foundation in the basics of all facets of magazine publishing. My skills were put to the test with a final project that required an integration of all that I learned. The assignment was to create a launch plan for a new magazine complete with mockups of the magazine, website, and feature article as well as a social media plan, profit and loss statement, marketing plan, and app concept. Every student was assigned to both a group and a role, in my case the fashion and beauty group as executive editor. My role meant that I was responsible for ensuring that everything we turned in got done on time and was grammatically correct. I was able to draw on my skills from previous internships (Winter 2010, Spring 2011) but I was definitely pushed to learn new things.
My group came up with a fashion magazine concept that we felt was unlike anything on the newsstand today — street fashion. Rather than dwelling on the runways, we wanted our readers to gather inspiration from real life. This led us to make bold artistic decisions that some advisors felt were “masculine” but we stuck to our guns and did well in the presentation competition!
Without further ado, here’s what our launch book looked like (with credit to my group’s incredible art director Shannon Coffey.
Note: Since there was no budget for these designs, we had to use images from the web for educational purposes. No copyright infringement is meant!
(The gorgeous cover of our mock magazine)
(A very small part of our launch book statistics)
(The second page of a “front of book” spread)
(Sample blog post on Kirsten Dunst’s style evolution)
(The winning app concept “Pavement Pieces”)
Check out the posts I wrote during the NYU SPI Magazine Section:
Despite its challenges, this week has been such an amazing introduction to life in New York and to the publishing industry. It all started bright and early Sunday when I moved into my dorm. Having never lived in NYC I had no idea what to expect but I lucked out with a 3rd Avenue address and gorgeous windows to boot!
Shortly after settling in, my flat mates and I went out to explore the street fair on 3rd Ave. Filled with delicious food and cute accessories it was like a welcoming party!
After all of the excitement we called it a night since the morning promised the start of new classes. The NYU SPI (summer publishing institute) generally runs from 8am – 5pm but the first day it went until 8pm! The introduction was overwhelming, especially since we heard from David Zinczenko (EIC Men’s Health), Cindi Leive (EIC Glamour), Pilar Guzman (EIC Martha Stewart Living) and others. They assured us that the magazine industry is going strong but that the focus is shifting to a brand-based model.
(Here’s my flat mates and I in the front row!)
Day two was equally overwhelming! Part of the program assignment is to develop a launch plan for a new magazine and we dove right in! I’ve been assigned to the Beauty/Fashion magazine category which for many people is a really integral part of daily life. I never realized how flooded the market was! We presented our ideas for a magazine launch to the program directors and got their feedback. After our meetings we heard from Brandon Holley (EIC Lucky)! Lucky has been one of my favorite mags for a really long time so hearing from the EIC was like a dream come true.
(This is where my classes are – The Woolworth Building)
Day three we heard more about the digital aspects of publishing. I hadn’t really considered the way that brand extensions affect the main magazine brand. I found it a little harder to understand only because I know nothing about developing those types of technology but it was great to get a taste!
For a complete change of pace, Day Four was spent at Book Expo America (BEA). This year was the first time that the expo was open to the public. Special passes for “Power Readers” were given out through indie bookstores and other avenues. Some of these people rushed around only for the galleys (free advanced copies) and didn’t care to make connections with the publishers. Many of the publishers wanted to make sales and the Power Readers distracted from this goal. I managed to snag a few galleys so I will do a post on my “Book Haul” later this week.
It was back to magazine publishing topics for Day Five with information about the technological aspects of publishing. Most of this was so far over my head that I had trouble understanding it but I think the information that I did glean was really beneficial. Later that night my roommates and I headed out for our first weekend in NYC. We tried to stay close to home so Tonic East was the perfect choice. Hanging out with everyone from SPI outside of the classroom was a lot of fun! I’m sure that our level of comfort with each other will show in our final projects.
Sunday brunch, the essential NYC experience was amazing! The Bluebell Cafe is right down the street and the food was great.