So my first semester has come to an end……thank god that is over. It wasn’t bad or too much, it was just intense….especially those final two weeks. Here are my thoughts on various aspects of the program now that I have a semester under my belt.
9001 – This is basically your theory class. I had Prof. Cameron Hoffman, a PhD LIS candidate. Cameron was great, had all kinds of stories and kept the class interesting. If your here for the practical and not the theory you will likely hate this class. It covers everything from Library as a place, Library Space, Copyright, and a plethora of other library related issues. The Fall semester I believe is tought by Prof. Troscow, with Cameron as a T.A. Also had lots of guest speakers.
9002 – There are a few changes to this class that are coming this fall, but here is what I had to endure. Taught by a great prof named Davies, makes an otherwise tedious class somewhat bearable. The class was taught to us as a Cataloging class, and we went through everything from Dewey Decimal system, to Library of Congress Subject Headings and AACR, with a bit of MARc 21 thrown in for flavour. If you have no idea what I am talking about DON’T PANIC. You basically get one class of each so you have a broad view of cataloging. The new class is supposed to throw in an introduction to Archives, so I imagine that it will be less cataloging than I had to endure.
9003 – Reference services. I mean what else does a librarian do all day than hang around on facebook and answer the occasional question, right? Wrong. This class I was pumped for, as my practical librarianship class. It was….sort of. It had quite a bit of theory in it as well as the practical. The prof I had was Prof. Heather Hill, she wasn’t bad, but would have liked a more practical reference class.
9004 – STATTTTTS! Yep, you have to do em, there is no escape. Once again don’t freak out over the stats, it is only a 3 week portion of the course, that you glean over. This is the Research methods course, I had prof. Lu Xiao, whom is a great prof, and is easy on the stats. I’ve heard the other professor expects more statistical and research based stuff, than Lu did. So if you can get into Lu’s class do so.
9005- I could only take 5 course, and they forced me to take 9005 in the second semester. Therefore No Comment on this course.
9006 (no longer offered) – This was the Online Searching course. Your likely looking at me like I’m nuts, I thought the same thing too…’I already know how to search online’, don’t be so cocky. This course basically shows you how to use databases, and offers a variety of different resources most people are unaware existed. I still think it is not worth a course, maybe a 2 week intensive seminar. It was a pain, but I learned a lot, and the course is being dropped and everything I learned in it is being dumped primarily into 9003, with a smattering throughout the rest of the core courses.
When I entered the program there was an option to gain Areas of Concentration (AOC). This is no longer the case. Because my semester was the last semester with this option, we may still try…..though with the changes to the program that is not likely to happen.
The fall semester falls under a new and broader LIS program. the AOC’s no longer exist so they really don’t offer enough courses to meet the AOC requirements. As of now (Aug, 2013) the program is broken up like first year undergrad. Feels like a breadth requirement. This is what is offered even though I have seen jobs still asking for AOC’s.
Elective Class Selection
The selection of classes is limited, compared to what was once offered, this is a complaint I have heard across the board. I registered for my electives at the end of my first term and found no problems with getting the electives I wanted, though I had heard otherwise from previous cohorts. This may have to do with the mass intake of 120 new students every September. You guys will be screwed, and screwing me too. When you try to select elective courses now it is a grand old cluster of first come, first serve. With 150 students clamoring for courses they want it is unlikely that most will get what they hope for. Have fun, and remember to blame your friendly neighborhood FIMS and University for the system. Although one, should mention the old system may have been less chaotic, people got in by a merit system. Top marks, meant you got what you wanted, at least that is what I’m told by previous cohorts.