I’ve been bad about blogging this semester. No posts on my progress with my degree. I apologize to any readers I have. 🙂 The semester has been a little slower, but it still keeps me busy.
My first class is Research Methods, one of the six core classes I have to take. I’ve been dreading it since I’ve heard all manner of things about how hard and tricky it can be. First off, the textbook is written by a sociologist and reads like a sociology textbook. I hate sociology. I took it in undergrad and really didn’t like it. I’m not sure why we aren’t using Basic Research Methods for Librarians from the Library And Information Science Text series instead. We aren’t sociologists after all. The text is rather a boring read and uses the same examples over and over again which is rather annoying. But, it is a textbook.
I took the class with a friend, so we could study together if we didn’t understand something or had a problem. Good thing too since I have this research proposal assignment. Now, I have no problem searching a database or OPAC for articles and books, reading them, and writing a paper, or helping a patron find information that way. I mean, I want to be a reference librarian after all. But doing the kind of research that involves hypothesizing, conducting a survey or observations, compiling data, analyzing it, and writing a paper to be published by some professional journal? Yeah, I have no interest in doing that. I’d rather jump into the Pit of Carcoon, but in the words of Han Solo, “On second thought, I hate long waits,” so I think jumping off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge would be faster. I’m joking of course. I have no desire to be published for revolutionizing library programs, writing the next great young adult fantasy novel on the other hand would be right up my alley. So doing a project where I have to propose to do a giant research project involving surveys and answering some big question is not something I want to do. My friend doesn’t like this kind of research either, but, thankfully, we don’t actually have to conduct it. Unfortunately, planning it has not been a walk in the park either. Our first draft went well, only 1.4 points off and feedback that helped us fix the issues. Our second draft we got three points off, but almost no feedback. It just said needs more detail and had some question marks. Not much to go on. I hope our changes are what the professor is looking for. Draft 3 is due next week.
And I know what your thinking, I thought she hated group projects. I do. But I’d much rather share the work in this proposal than go it alone. At least this once.
My second class is Seminar in Public Libraries. This class is very interesting. The professor really knows her stuff, you could say she wrote the textbook on it. Literally. The books is easy to read and understand, which is my kind of textbook. I hate it when I have to re read parts of textbooks because I can’t understand them. Her assignments are a little time consuming since the first two required going to a City Council meeting for a library and the second a community organization’s event at my library, not easy to do when you don’t have a car. But she gave a clear list on what we needed to talk about and go over in our reports. Since she didn’t give any guidelines as to weather it needed to be double spaced, with one inch margins, and APA citations galore, everyone in class took a different approach. Some listed the questions she wanted answered, and the answers under them. Some like me just answered the questions in paragraph form in the order she had them. And others took it a step further and wrote full APA cited papers. That were 13 pages long. With appendices. I know this because our reports were posted in the class discussion board for everyone to read and comment on, which isn’t bad when you have 2-5 pages a report, but when you get a 13 page one you want to ask the person whey the bloody hell they wrote so much knowing it was going to be this weeks reading for everyone else? I assume that if the professor wanted a full paper she would have said so. After all I got full credit last time for only writing four pages and not doing a full paper. Our third assignment was to be a paper on advocacy, but when the professor didn’t post the specs on it, someone e-mailed her and she decided to turn it into an advocacy letter instead, since letters were something we might actually have to do as librarians.
Other than that, the semester has been uneventful. I still work weekends as a receptionist at one of the local dealerships. It will be a year at Christmas. Too bad it’s not full time or I’d have a weeks vacation coming to me. The job keeps me busy on weekends.