Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Tools Needed For Success at SJSU SLIS

In an online program it’s very important to learn prioritization.  Students must learn to balance the demands of the program with other aspects of their lives which may include jobs, family and a social life.  You must learn to schedule daily time for your classes.  If you don’t work on your classes every day, it’s likely that you won’t do as well in your studies as other students who are more dedicated.  I have always given first priority to my schoolwork  when I wasn’t required to work at my paying  job.

Due to the critical importance of  technology in the online program and in the information professions, LIS students must master an increasing array of technological tools. When I entered the program in 2009, I was already proficient in Word and Excel due to my previous use of these applications during my employment history.  I had to learn how to take a screenshot during LIBR 203.   There are different methods for taking a screenshot depending on the system you are utilizing. I used this skill in my Web Usability class, so I’m glad that I mastered it.  I have also used it in reporting website bugs on Goodreads. Technical support teams for  information organizations would probably all need screenshots for bug reports.

Since information organizations increasingly maintain internal and public blogs, I had to learn how to maintain a blog in LIBR 203.  I absolutely loved the experience.  If I hadn’t been so involved in classes, I would have established this blog earlier.  Maintaining a blog on a weekly basis with the type of substantial posts that I would prefer to write isn’t something that I could manage to do during the course of  my 2010 and 2011 semesters.   When I was forced to drop out of the program for two semesters,  I was able to start this blog on WordPress. I also started a personal blog for book reviews on Blogger.

Another important area  for success at SLIS is the need to learn APA format for papers.  When I took LIBR 203, APA wasn’t a part of the syllabus.  My undergraduate major had used MLA.  I had no previous experience with APA.  I struggled a bit with APA format in my first semester at SLIS.  It would have been useful to have had an orientation to APA in LIBR 203.  So I’m glad that APA has been incorporated in this course.  Students who intend to become academic librarians will be utilizing APA in their academic careers beyond SLIS.  This is an extremely useful tool.

I remember Dr. Haycock’s webcast about teamwork from when I took LIBR 203. Since staff at an information organization needs to function as a team, we have numerous team projects in our classes at SLIS.   I remember that he emphasized the importance  of discussing team process before beginning the project.  I’m glad that I took this to heart because the complex team project for LIBR 204 definitely needed such a discussion.  It also turned out to be my favorite team experience because we followed Dr. Haycock’s advice.