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Posts Tagged ‘Drexel’

Graduation

Congratulations to me, I’ve finished my coursework at Drexel and now have my MLIS! This past quarter was particularly difficult, since I was moving and starting a new job while still taking three classes online.

Since it’s Spring Break for the College but the library stays open, I’m using this quiet time to work on weeding and mending books! I came across this little gem just now: Child of Pleasure by “D’Annunzio.”

"Child of Pleasure" by D'Annunzio

Trying to figure out if we should bind, fix, discard, or reorder this, I open it at random to see what it’s about and find this gem of a page:

The carriage was standing at the foot of the great stairway; a footman held open the door. ‘To Madame Van Hueffel’s,” said the duchess to him, while Andrea helped her in. The man left the door and returned to his seat beside the coachman. The horses stamped, striking out sparks from the stones.

“Take care!” cried Elena, holding out her hand to the young man. Her eyes and her diamonds flashed through the gloom. “Oh, to be in there with her in the shadow -to press my lips to her satin neck under the perfumed fur of her mantle!”

He kissed her hand – pressing his lips to it as if to leave the mark of his burning passion. He closed the door and the carriage rolled rapidly away under the porch, and out to the Forum. And thus ended Andrea Sperelli’s first meeting with the Duchess of Scerni.

….what IS this book??

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I see that I have inadvertently taken a summer vacation from the blog. My apologies, classes got the best of me and then I moved to a new place around Society Hill and have spent the rest of the summer reading and catsitting in exotic locales (like New Jersey).

I did, however, get to deal with some very interesting manuscripts, which I’ll write about in their own post. Classes start in a couple of weeks, and it looks like I’ll be taking Digital Preservation, Resources in Social Sciences [I’m a humanities girl, the social sciences are mostly a mystery to me], and Metadata & Resources Description. I nearly took Digital Libraries but decided there was too much overlap with Digital Preservation.

Last quarter was probably my favorite so far – my Content Representation class was by far my best class at Drexel, both useful and challenging (also the only class I didn’t feel I’d get an automatic A in), and my web design class was really fun, as well. I liked coming from these classes with something constructive I’d actually made – in these cases, a thesaurus and website, respectively.

Two more quarters, and then I’ll have my degree. So soon…

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Back in Philadelphia, which is quickly vaulting itself into Spring (with some crazy thunderstorms – hail!), and classes have started once more. This quarter looks promising – I was unsure at first whether or not Cataloging would be for me, but the kind of cataloging I do is so different from normal cataloging that I think the overlap will be minimal.

I’m in a web design class, called “Internet Information Resource Design” (why that instead of “web design,” I’ve no idea), which is fairly fun so far, although we haven’t done much except for create blogs for class.

However, I’m most excited about my Content Representation class. This is really the first class that has felt like graduate school. My readings for the first two weeks fill a binder completely (memo to self: buy much larger binder), and are really quite interesting – a lot of broadening of definitions of things like “information” (ie, a train can be a document), learning about metadata, reading about Dublin Core, and so on.

I’m excited to learn how to catalog and classify things like images, or music. We also have to create a thesaurus (not a Roget-esque thesaurus – for an explanation of the kind of thesaurus I’m talking about, click here), and that’s where I’m currently running problems – no idea what I would want to create a controlled vocabulary for. Regardless, this class will keep me on my toes, but I think I will get quite a bit out of it.

I’ve been managing to see at least a concert a week, even while in San Francisco. (See explanations of the concerts below the cut) (more…)

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New Classes

All finished with midterms, I just signed up for next quarter’s classes. Drexel does 10 (or 11 sometimes) week quarters, and this one ends March 30th. When I entered Drexel, I’d planned on studying primarily Academic Libraries, with thoughts of going into reference work.

After dealing with the tanking economy and having taken a few classes, I started panicking slightly and contacted a few different librarians, and graduating Drexel students, to ask them what was most useful to them in library school. The answer? Not those academic library classes, but the more technical ones.

A lot of the academic library classes seem to be highly theoretical, which I’ve heard rarely matches up with what one encounters on the job. I’ve switched gears from academics to now wanting an actual skillset to use in the profession. I might still take the Academic Library Service class, but for now, want to actually learn what metadata ACTUALLY is and how these things work in a more digital world.

So, after contacting my incredibly helpful (and patient) adviser, I’m going on a new track, and focusing much more on archiving, preservation, databases, digital libraries, and so on. I can’t learn these things on my own, and I think I have a better chance of potentially using them to be innovative. As such, here’s my new and improved course schedule for next quarter, with links to course descriptions:

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One of my final projects is a slightly unusual one – but then, the class is rather unusual for me since it’s wholly online. While doing the reading and having a lecture online isn’t too odd, normally what throws me off the most is the Discussion Board. So far I don’t at all find it equivalent to class discussion, where I’m rather chatty for on-campus classes. I’m more hesitant to post than I am to just chime in, partially because there’s less of this organic element that discussion in a classroom seems to have.

Anyways! Most of our final project has been a semester (whoops – quarter) long project. Drexel’s iSchool helps run the Internet Public Library – a wholly digital, free library. I have to answer reference questions (seven of them) for my project. I don’t know if this is the most-used part, but to me it seems so.

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The same week as my visit to the HDS, I went along with a Drexel section of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) to get a tour of the inner workings of the Philadelphia City Archives.

As it turns out, the City Archives are located in the same building as the HDS, but we went in through another totally anonymous entrance, over a block away from the entrance we’d used for the HDS. The Archives hosts the photos that make up PhillyHistory.org (which you should totally check out – has some great photos, and shows old maps of places. I saw a picture of my apartment in the early 1900s!).

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The other day I got the chance to go see the library’s high density storage (HDS) warehouse. It sort of felt as if I were being inducted into some kind of secret society. We entered the ware house through an unlabelled lobby, signing in with a guard, going down a few levels in an elevator, and through a maze of underground passageways until we walked through the BEST EMPLOYEE LOUNGE EVER (where they have a mass of canned goods. if there’s an apocalypse, I am heading here. They even had a telephone room. Just for telephoning), and entered a massive underground warehouse. It looked kind of like this:

Indiana Jones Warehouse

…Except with more books and fewer Nazis/Russians. Maybe. Those might have just been hidden. (more…)

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