Reflections of the second semester

So the second semester is almost at an end. Semester two for the most part was more tolerable than the first, mainly because I had some electives, I will attempt to give an overview of each of the courses and my opinion of the course and/or professor.

Management course(LIS9005) – This is the last of my mandatory courses, it was a poor class, but my prof can’t be blamed, mainly because she was a great prof. The class spent 8 weeks going over team building  and one management based group project. The last few weeks has actually started to get into the whole management portion of the course, but it feels like it is too little, too late. The Prof (Sarah Roberts) is a great prof, she made an otherwise boring class somewhat entertaining and would get us involved with her stories and experiences, as well as encouraging class participation. Since everyone is required to take this course I suggest taking it with Roberts as her counterpart Pam McKenzie has a bit of a negative review from students I’ve talked to.

Special Libraries – A great class, I was originally told this is a better management course than the actual management course, and I would tend to agree. The prof is once again a great prof, a little heavy with the jokes though.  Professor Craig is a corporate librarian who puts the class through a semester long project of building libraries of your choice in groups of 3 or 4. My group did a Library for Ubisoft, another did a Lego library, and another ended up doing a Foodshare Library. It was a great experience and put us through the paces in building a final report through User Reports, Budgets, Collection Development and more. The class is only offered in the fall, but I suggest this for anyone in the program, not just those interested in Special Libraries.

Intro to Archives – Another interesting course. The prof knows his stuff, but Lutzen Riedstra is a very soft spoken man. His lectures could put a raging bull to sleep. The course consists of 3, 5 page papers on weekly topics that can be spread out throughout the semester depending on what aspects of archives you are interested in. The final essay is an option between doing and archive visit in a group and writing about it, or writing a 15 page topical paper of interest to you. The archive visit is fun, and I would suggest any who take this course to do that option.

Government Information – I did this online and that was certainly a mistake. The prof for the online version of this class is a government librarian from Queens University. He knows his stuff, but is not really professor material. His marking scheme is a mystery to me, but I survived his course. The course is good if your interested in learning how to find and analyze government information, though it is not a bird course that is for sure. Government information is not easy to find or navigate. Topics covered include: Canadian Government Info, US Government Info, UK Government info, International Government Info (such as UN, World Bank, etc.). This course may have been better as an in class course, and I hear the person teaching it on campus is pretty good.

Digital Libraries – Don’t let the title fool you, this course is a good course, but not what you expect. Basically you spend a semester building a website for a collection of your choice. You also do this using a program called Greenstone, it is a challenging and outdated program. If you are not technically savvy this course is not for you; The class is not taught well, as Gord Nickerson just speeds through all kinds of topics without allowing time for it to sink in. The tutorials he has are on Youtube and these are what you will be required to do if you want to learn anything about using Greenstone. These tutorials (10 of them) are worth 1% of your participation mark each, and will likely take up to an hour or two to go through each of the tutorials.

So there is my two cents on this semester.

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