Tag Archives: grad school

Leading a Virtual Student Chapter: The SAASC Community at San José State University

Rebecca Leung is graduating in May 2017 with a MLIS from SJSU. She served as the Chair of the school’s SAA student chapter from 2016-2017 and the Secretary from 2015-2016. In addition to her archival coursework, Rebecca interned at UC Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives, and at the Bay Area Video Coalition where she developed a passion for media preservation and moving image archiving. Rebecca graciously agreed to share her experience chairing SJSU’s student chapter for the online-only program.

The first Library Science course was offered at San José State University (SJSU) in 1928, though Library Science was not offered as a degree until 1954. Fifty-five years later, in 2009, the Library Science program at SJSU became an entirely online program. Now known as the School of Information, or iSchool, this program offers unique challenges and opportunities due to its online status.

San José State University’s Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC) formed over the 2002-2003 academic year. Undoubtedly, the chapter endured many changes as the community of student members transitioned from in-person to online interactions. By 2017, the transition is old news and current students are savvy to the online learning environment. No longer geographically tied to San José, California, students now log in from every corner of the globe. iSchoolers recognize their classmates by their names and thumbnail photos rather than by face. It is possible to feel disconnected in such an environment. What keeps these students motivated and engaged in their work?

SAASC offers a way for students with a passion for archives to join a community and connect in a virtual world. Through our programming, students learn directly from experts in the field, unfettered by geographical constraints. Through SAASC’s social media, students can stay informed and involved with archival issues. Our online publication, Archeota, gives students the chance to voice their thoughts, theories, and experiences.

SAASC’s programming initiative is lead by our Events Team and Vice-Chair Tiana Trutna, who plans and coordinates events. Typically SAASC holds two to four online events per semester. In the fall of 2016, we hosted Helen Wong Smith and Rebecca Hankins for a presentation on Cultural Competency and Diversity in the Archives. In the spring, Brenda Gunn and Sammie Morris presented about The Benefits of SAA Membership and ACA Certification and Lauren Kata spoke to us about Oral History and Archives in Practice. We also enjoyed a presentation by past SJSU SAASC Chair Catherine Folnovic about the e-portfolio, the iSchool’s culminating experience. (Alternatively, it is also possible to write a thesis.) Though we were fortunate to host these esteemed guest speakers, online events come in a variety of flavors. Other events included representation on a panel of iSchool student associations; collaboration on an event about iSchool publications (on behalf of Archeota); and an open house about SAASC officer elections. Though the majority of our programming is online, we still offer in-person tours of repositories when possible. This year SAASC members toured the SJSU Archives and Special Collections in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library; the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA; and the Sutro Library in San Francisco, part of the California State Library system.

SAASC’s online presence is managed by our Web Team, which is lead by Secretary Amanda Mellinger. The Web Team is the glue that binds our community together. Without Amanda’s website updates or team member Melissa Rupp’s posts in our Facebook group, SAASC members would not know how, when, or where to meet. Not only does the Web Team keep members abreast of the latest SAASC events and updates, but it helps to keep members informed on current affairs in the archival profession. For example, in October 2016, we participated in SAA’s #AskAnArchivist Twitter event. Jody Perlmutter tweeted questions from @sjsu_saasc while Melissa publicized the event on Facebook. By encouraging members to tweet their questions using this hashtag, students were able to communicate directly with practicing archivists and the SAA community!

Archeota is SJSU SAASC’s online publication. The inaugural issue debuted in Spring 2015 and this May we will release Volume 3, Issue 1. Archeota’s mission is to “profile (SAASC’s) current officers, promote and highlight SAA and SJSU SAASC activities and events, discuss happenings in the archival field, introduce students to professional responsibilities; and most importantly, function as a platform for students to create original content.” Catherine Folnovic helped found this publication. Upon her graduation, a new editorial team formed with Kimberlee Frederick as the new Managing Editor and Jennifer Castle as editor (as well as Chair-elect for 2017-2018). Archeota serves as the voice of the members of SAASC.

Our programming, social media presence, and Archeota are powerful tools in the effort to keep SAASC relevant and active. Nonetheless, some of our biggest challenges are participation and a certain difficulty in gauging interest. Because we record all of our events, a small turnout for the live presentation does not necessarily indicate a small audience. Students have the opportunity to listen to the recording at their convenience. Despite these challenges, I am confident that SAASC will continue to grow and meet the needs of the student archivists at SJSU. The online platform contributes an element of flexibility that will enable future SAASC officers to experiment and innovate with new ways to create community.

2016-2017 Leaders
SJSU Officers
Rebecca Leung, Chair
Tiana Trutna, Vice-Chair
Amanda Mellinger, Secretary
Lori Lindberg, Faculty Advisor

Events Team
Tiana Trutna, Team Leader

Web Team
Amanda Mellinger, Team Leader
Melissa Rupp
Jody Perlmutter
Sarah Edwards Obenauf

Archeota Team
Kimberlee Frederick, Managing Editor
Jennifer Castle

Archeota. (n.d.). San José State University Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC). Retrieved from http://sjsusaasc.weebly.com/archeota.html

History. (2016). SJSU School of Information. Retrieved from http://ischool.sjsu.edu/about/history-and-accreditation/history

History of our student chapter. (n.d.). San José State University Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC). Retrieved from http://sjsusaasc.weebly.com

Past events and recordings of online meetings. (n.d.). San José State University Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC). Retrieved from http://sjsusaasc.weebly.com/2016—2017.html


[Student Experience]: Don’t Be a Robot and Other Time Management Tips for Graduate Student Survival

This guest post in the Student Experience series features helpful tips and compassionate perspective from Simmons College SLIS graduate student, Michelle Janowiecki–a perfect follow up to this recent post about stress management by our blog editor. 

Don’t type the words “life in grad school” into Google. The results are terrifying: articles upon articles that focus on a future of extreme sleep-deprivation, poverty, stress, and never-ending work.

After a semester of library science and history graduate school, there is some truth in this harrowing stereotype. Graduate students overwhelmingly have busy lives. We go to class, squeeze in work and internships, and hurry over to club meetings, conferences, and professional development workshops. We face late nights of work and early morning commutes. Despite this, graduate school is also more manageable and less scary than I expected. I’ve discovered that finishing deadlines and answering my commitments is a delicate but achievable balancing act. But in order to survive my first semester happy and whole, I’ve had to learn many lessons about managing my time and making time for myself. I offer them up here to all the people avoiding homework by reading this blog. (Don’t worry, it’s career development, right?)

Continue reading

Managing Stress: Learning from My Mistakes

I am writing this post the day before it will publish. For those who haven’t guessed this about the SNAP Roundtable blog team, we’re planning planners who like to plan. And have posts ready a week in advance. However, I decided this post was relevant and timely, because I am not actually sick. Yet, I am home sick today.

Last night, I sat up and watched the Iowa Caucus results come in, and then I went to bed. I woke up this morning, got dressed, made breakfast (including coffee!), and packed my lunch. And then I walked to the car and immediately fell ill. Without going into the details, I knew immediately that wasn’t going to make it to classes or my internship. So, I went back to the apartment, got a class of water, sent emails off to my professors and supervisor about not coming, and put myself to bed. About an hour later, I realized I felt worse, so I got up to check for fever. Nothing. I sent SNAP emails. I added to the lit review of my masters paper.

As I kept working, I started feeling better, and it was like something with lots of pressure was unknotting itself. I finally recognized that I had done something that hadn’t happened to me since high school: I had let stress make me sick. Well, since I inadvertently gained 10-ish hours of “free time” today, I dedicated some of it to researching stressors for graduate students and information professionals and the best ways to manage it so that you might fare better than I did today. Continue reading

Changing Course (Within Archives) During Graduate School

Winter break allowed me free time to read a bunch of the other blogs that I like to at least pretend to follow during the rest of the semester. There are really great options addressing different topics, some of which are on our list. Specifically, though, I had the opportunity to catch up with Hack Library School, and two of the recent articles made me think about my own journey within library school.

First, Carissa Hansen posted about reading her personal statement from her grad school applications now that she’s been in grad school for a semester. The column is solid advice for anyone applying to schools now, but that’s not the part that stuck with me. Rather, it was the re-reading part that prompted me to pull up my statement. I had to! I took the post almost as a dare. I only vaguely remembered what I’d written. Re-reading it reminded me of how much I’ve changed my focus during the past two years. Next, I found the piece on learning LIS tech as a novice by Dylan Burns. Oh, how I relate… Continue reading

Managing Your Career: One Archivist’s Journey, Pt. 2

Last Friday, we began a four-part mini-series in which Kate details her journey from library student to curator of a special collection. If you missed the first part, it can be found here.

Guest author: Kate Crowe
Curator of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Denver

First Time Job-Hunting/Interviewing (Part II)

I graduated from library school in May of 2007 with an MLIS from Emporia State University. As I mentioned in the previous post, I graduated with no “real” library experience, outside of my 100-hour practicum. Despite this, I got a job offer that I was interested in – a two-year project archivist position that did require an MLIS but did not have benefits and had no guarantee of employment after the project’s conclusion. I accepted it within 3 months of graduation.

I know for a fact that the halcyon, pre-recession days of summer 2007 had a lot to do with the job even existing – but, in addition to the economic forces, in play at the time I did several things during the job seeking/interviewing process that I believe worked well, and there were several things that I believe I either would’ve done differently in retrospect or would’ve been on the lookout for that I was not at the time. Continue reading

Managing Your Career: One Archivist’s Journey, Pt. 1

When Kate and I first discussed her writing a post for the blog about project archivists, she said she had a lot to share. This has developed into four posts that best work as their own stand alone mini-series. So, for the next four Fridays, we’re going to see Kate go from library student to a curator of special collections. There’s really solid advice for those thinking about applying to graduate school, those in programs now, those graduating in December and May, and those who have been in the field a few years and know it’s time to take the next step. This is the first in the series.

Guest author: Kate Crowe
Curator of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Denver

What follows are a series of topically focused blog posts, all focusing on my journey from library school student (beginning in fall 2004) to project archivist (September 2007) to Curator of Special Collections and Archives (summer 2012). Each will focus on what I did/what happened, and include information on what I wish I’d known and/or done at the time.

While I hope most of it will be applicable to all students and new professionals in cultural heritage work, my entire career has been in academic archives at a mid-size private research university in the American West. Additionally, I’m a white, cisgender, middle/upper middle class lady person (she/her/hers), so all of that factors into my story and my advice as well. So, take it all with a grain of salt and all of the above in mind. I hope you find it helpful!

Choosing A Library School/Getting Through Library School (Part I)

When people ask me “Why libraries?” I usually say that I’m the child of 2 librarians, and so I didn’t really pick libraries, they picked me – also, I am highly unoriginal.

A bit of background: both of my parents received PhDs in library and information science, and my father went on to become Dean of Libraries and then Vice-Chancellor at the University of Kansas (KU). As a result, I literally grew up in large, Midwestern R-1 academic libraries, first at the Ohio State, and then at KU. Both of my parents seemed to have interesting, meaningful jobs, they made enough to give us a nice, middle/upper middle class life, and seemed to genuinely enjoy what they did. So, choosing to go to library school and follow in the “family business” seemed like a no-brainer. I entered library school right after graduating with my undergraduate degree in history. Below, you’ll see what I screwed up, and what I think worked well, and what I wish I’d known or done in retrospect. Continue reading

SAA 2015: Session 609, Graduate Student Paper Presentations

In advance of the 2015 Annual Meeting, we invited SNAP members to contribute summaries of panels, roundtable and section meetings, forums, and pop-up sessions. Summaries represent the opinions of their individual authors; they are not necessarily endorsed by SNAP, members of the SNAP Steering Committee, or SAA.

Guest author: Marissa Kings, MLIS Candidate, Archival Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

How can archival records inspire artists? How are libraries, archives, and museums interpreting copyright laws? What do users expect to find in finding aids?

This session, moderated by University of Michigan Doctoral student and SAA 2014 graduate student paper presenter Adam Kriesberg, featured the graduate papers of three presenters who explored the above questions. Continue reading