Today is the official start to my final semester in the MLIS program at Kent State University. It has been a challenging balancing act alongside my day job, side jobs, and general life stuff, but a great experience all the same.
The one thing I will say about this particular program — you 100% get out of it what you put into it. I learned so much! Fell in love with metadata, got to see the real value of linked data, and learned very quickly just how challenging cataloging really can be.
I am taking three classes as I button up my degree: Copyright, Information Policy, and a course framed to help develop portfolios and prepare students for entering the LAM field as a professional.
Part of my portfolio course will involve creating an online portal of sorts for it. I will be using my personal domain name that I have squatted on for many years: ryanspellman.com Once it is up and ready I will be sure to post about it here and get them both linked together.
Here we go! In less than three months this journey will commence… and who knows what will come next?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my first full-on metadata course has really piqued my interest. The focuse has been on developing a basic understanding of various core schemas (such as DCMI and VRA Core 4.0) and how to develop schemas and application profiles to address specific needs. It has been deeply fascinating to see how it all works behind the scenes. It is powerful, yet unseen stuff!
Part of the class has involved making “fact sheets” for various popular schemas. I plan to share those over the course of the next month or so. I am not sure that it could be a viable professional direction for me. Regardless of that, I have plans to keep learning and working with it. All sorts of interesting projects have come to mind!
Here I am, soon to enter my fourth semester in Kent State’s MLIS program. If all goes as planned, this is my half-way point to finishing my degree.
It has been excellent so far, and I am looking forward to what is to come. I have to admit that working 40 hours a week at a library and doing 2-3 graduate level courses about library-related work can push me to the edge of burnout on occasion, but in the end I feel I am in the right place.
I took three classes over summer session: one on data fundamentals, one about internet technologies in which I got to work with some new web development concepts (to my pleasant surprise!), and a survey-type course on information institutions and professions (the last of my MLIS required core courses).
I picked up a lot from all of these courses. In particular, my favorite was learning how to work with RESTful APIs on a basic level and incorporate JSON into dynamic web builds. I have a lot of background in web design, and a little in web development, so I wasn’t sure if I would pick up anything new. However, the course was excellent. It has even given me an idea for a new web project I would like to work on when I have time. I might share more on that soon.
Moving forward I plan to dive deeper into metadata, information organization, and hopefully take a special topics class on linked data if Kent offers it this coming spring semester.
Anyway, I think of this blog often and always look forward to tossing an update in when I can. Both work and my studies have been quite hectic lately!
My second semester in Kent State University’s MLIS program just wrapped up. This semester my focus was on People in the Information Ecology and Research and Assessment in Library and Information Science.
People in the Information Ecology was a very interest journey. The whole semester amounted to three individual literature reviews on a chosen user group, ending in a larger synthesis of these three into a larger holistic literature review. My focus was on the international student in the United State of America. It was a considerable amount of work, but well worth it. I learned so much about information seeking behavior and information needs for this user group. I have plans to share some of what I learned in this blog soon.
My Research and Assessment in Library and Information Science course was a good opportunity for me to fine tune and expand my understanding of research methods and techniques. In my Communication Science undergraduate program at Ohio University, the capstone was a fairly significant semester-long research project, which itself had a preparatory prerequisite research techniques course. Thanks to this, i already had a pretty solid foundation on some of these topics. Even so, it was a very good exercise and really did expand my knowledge quite a bit in this area. The course culminated in a research proposal. I took the opportunity to explore a research project that I might try to pick up someday that aims to explore if there is a connection between pre-college public library patronage and lower academic library anxiety among first-year college students. More on that soon as well.
It was a good semester and I am looking forward to the next! I hope to have time to engage a little more with my blog here over summer. I am taking classes but not quite as heavy of a course load as usual.
I am on the cusp of my second semester of Kent State University’s Master of Library and Information Science program. I did not blog much during my first semester, in part because I still had work to do on this site and in part due to an uncertainty of whether I would be adding “journal-like” entries here.
Well, just this past week I finalized some important aspects of this blog theme (support for comments and some design fixes) and I have also decided that informal posts here might benefit me better understand my experience — so here I go.
Last semester consisted of two courses: The Information Landscape and Information Organization.
The Information Landscape was essentially a survey course of information organizations. It was a good chance to learn more details about pathways in this field. There were plenty of moments where it felt like it bordered on busy work, but it really came down to getting out of it what you put in. Above all, the course was a great chance to meet other students and network a little. There were two separate group projects running at the same time, which necessitated a lot of group meetings and communication beyond Blackboard and email.
Information Organization was an outstanding course. Starting off there was a heavy focus on information organization theory. About midway through we began to learn about various metadata schemas and knowledge organization systems. This course really opened my eyes to how amazing metadata science can be, so much so that I have considered taking more metadata courses when the opportunity arises.
This coming semester I will take Research and Assessment in Library Information Science and People in the Information Ecology. Looking forward to getting back at it and one step closer to the MLIS! My plan is to blog a little more regularly now that the site is mostly wrapped up.