Library School: Fall Semester 2022

Library School Update Fall Semester 2022

It’s already past midterm and I haven’t yet posted about the classes I’m taking this semester. The semester got off to a fast start. I’m enjoying both courses very much. One has a heavy reading load and the other is focused on hands-on work with a smattering of readings primarily about professional development in the Library and Information Science field. It’s nice to have such different tasks to focus on. The italicized descriptions below are from the course catalog.

Course 1: Archives, History, and Collective Memory

This is a bridge course between Archives and History that explores the relationship between historical events, the creation and maintenance of archival records, and the construction of collective memory. It analyzes the role of archives and records in the process of documenting and remembering (or forgetting) history. Focusing on 20th century events, it considers such archival issues as repatriation, records destruction, contested history, and memory construction. These issues are presented within the context of various types of records, such as genealogical records, oral records, and records of material culture (artifacts) in addition to traditional print materials. Required for Dual Degree Archives/History students. Prerequisite: LIS 438 for Archives concentrators and dual degree students.

This one of the courses that jumped out at me the first time I looked through the course catalog. Glad I go into it this semester as it filled up fast and there was a waiting list.

Here’s the weekly breakdown:

  • Week 1: Intro
  • Week 2: What is Collective Memory?
  • Week 3: Archives and Collective Memory
  • Week 4: Historians and Collective Memory
  • Week 5: Commemoration, Memory, and Place
  • Week 6: Memory and Materials of Slavery in Massachusetts (My Uni is in MA)
  • Week 7: Genocide and Memory
  • Week 8: Collective Memory and Oral History
  • Week 9: Digital Archives and History
  • Week 10: Rewriting, Remembering, and Forgetting the Past
  • Week 11: Memory, Archives, and Social Justice
  • Week 12: Decolonizing Memory and Archives
  • Weeks 13 & 14 Student presentations and course wrap-up
Chicago Defender Headline, July 21, 1951

Regarding student presentations, we could opt to do a group project and create a website, podcast, video, etc., or write a solo research paper. I chose the solo research paper option for two reasons. The first is that I love to write research papers and want to continue to develop my research and writing skills. The second is that I have been curious about the Cicero Race Riot of 1951, which is an appropriate event to study in relation to collective memory (or forgetting). I was born in Chicago in 1966, grew up in Cicero, and hadn’t heard about this riot until sometime in the early 2000s. Have you heard of it?

Course 2: Advanced Field Experience in Library and Information Science

This course is a focused field experience combined with a related academic components. The field experience involves a minimum of 130 hours in an LIS setting and approximately 20 hours of coursework completed online. As a 3-credit course, it has a significant hands-on learning component. Through discussion with key personnel in the organization and working under professional supervision, the student gains hands-on experience in the information environment. Examples of coursework include: readings; discussion forums; reflections or journal entries; and/or examples of field work. Prerequisite: 18 credit hours including all SLIS core and concentration requirements. 

Long time readers of this blog may remember that I had an earlier field experience (internship) at the Coast Guard Academy Library Special Collections. That was such a great learning experience that I knew I would sign up for the advanced field experience course. I was able to arrange this field experience with one of my favorite organizations — the National Willa Cather Center! I’m still pinching myself.

The project I’m working on is to transcribe Willa Cather’s address book and a ledger where she kept track of her royalties, then help write more robust finding aids for both items. I’ve been enjoying this work immensely and am so grateful for the opportunity. One of my dream jobs is to work in a literary archive and this experience is confirming that desire. The National Willa Cather Center’s October eNews focused on archives and they included a segment on me as their current intern.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the courses or work I’m doing.


  1. Your program and your field experience sound so interesting! Makes me wish I’d gotten a degree in library science. I need s couple more lifetimes!!

  2. Wonderful, I love reading about your library school experiences. One cool job I did a few years ago now was transcribing a typescript diary of a woman who was involved with a famous author; it was used to underpin a book about their relationship and it was important to have it in Word format for that! The book is coming out very soon and I can’t wait to see how it call comes out, but I heartily enjoyed the typing job!

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