iStudent Blog

Overview

iStudent Blog

Students in all of our programs, as well as applicants, will find the iStudent Blog a gold mine. Written by a current student, this blog provides important information and resources and useful advice, including posts about courses, career pathways, online learning, time management, student groups, conferences, and financial aid.

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iStudent Blog

Earning a Digital Assets Certificate as a Master’s Student

Published: May 4, 2021 by Leslie Parry

If you’re enrolled in the MLIS or MARA program at San José State University, you have the opportunity to earn an Advanced Certificate in Strategic Management of Digital Assets and Services in addition to your master’s degree. Best of all, you can complete the coursework at no additional cost and without extending your time in graduate school. Three different certificate pathways are available, and the nine required units can all be drawn from Special Session electives. 

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iSchool Alumni on the e-Portfolio: What I Wish I Had Known

Published: April 13, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Three recent graduates of the San José State University School of Information joined the ASIS&T Student Chapter to discuss “What I Wish I Had Known.” Now that they’re entering or established in the workforce, the alumni shared their wisdom with current iSchool students, discussing everything from course work to career paths. One of the main topics of conversation, unsurprisingly, was the e-Portfolio. While the alumni stressed three major points – plan ahead, don’t procrastinate, and get peer support – they also delved into the finer details. Below is their expert advice for tackling the biggest project in graduate school. 

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The Art of Self-Promotion

Published: March 31, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Networking and self-promotion can be challenging enough in a regular environment, but how do you excel at either during a pandemic? How can you make yourself indispensable during a time of unrelenting change? At a recent event hosted by the Special Libraries Association student chapter, School of Information alumna Tess McCarthy (MLIS ’12) explained how students can use this unprecedented time to their advantage. As a digital asset management systems librarian and self-described career transitionist, McCarthy shared her own professional trajectory, including the many ways she had to get creative in the COVID era. Here are her methods for positioning yourself well for professional advancement, even during quarantine.

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“Ask Me Anything” with Dr. Linda Main

Published: March 15, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Dr. Linda Main, interim director of the San José State University School of Information, met with iSchool students earlier this month for an insightful “Ask Me Anything” session. These regular, informal meetups give students a chance to chat with the director and ask about anything from career paths to iSchool resources to the LIS world at large. Below are just a few of the questions Dr. Main fielded. To view the full Q&A, click here.

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Tips for Staying Focused and Managing Your Time

Published: February 28, 2021 by Leslie Parry

While many of us may be finding it difficult to concentrate during this unprecedented time, graduate school remains a positive outlet for our intellectual and creative energies. The School of Information offers so many opportunities to apply our talents, strengthen our resolve and plan for a better future. So how do we put one foot in front of the other and keep distraction and procrastination at bay? Below are some resources, from academic assistance to online learning tools, that can help students stay disciplined and continue to flourish in a remote environment. 

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10 Ways to Build Career Opportunities as a Student

Published: February 7, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Last semester the San José State University Special Libraries Association student chapter presented “Building Career Opportunities in Graduate School,” a program featuring Kim Dority, career advisor at the School of Information. Dority, who is also the founder and president of Dority & Associates, an information strategy and content development company, gave a generous and insightful presentation about the ways in which iSchool students can start preparing for their future professions now. From keeping a journal to engaging professionals to practicing small talk, she says even small actions can make a big difference. It takes some planning, initiative and resourcefulness, but maximizing your time in graduate school will pay off in the end. Below are Dority’s top 10 tips for building career opportunities as an iSchool student.

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Making the Most of the King Library Resources

Published: January 29, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Whether you’re just beginning INFO 203 or conducting intensive research for a seminar, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San José State University has the resources to help you succeed. It’s true that in an online program you may never get a chance to walk through the library doors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of everything it offers. From one-on-one research support to specialized subject guides, students at the School of Information have access to a breadth of tools and services that are designed to support virtual learning. I spoke with Gareth Scott, library liaison, about the King Library resources he recommends most for iSchool students.

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Finding Hope and Gratitude in a Difficult Year

Published: January 4, 2021 by Leslie Parry

As I welcome a new year, I find myself a bit shell-shocked reflecting back on 2020. When 2020 began, I did not anticipate that I would spend most of the year sequestered at home with two squirrelly preschoolers, trying to juggle family, school and work in the same space, adapting to new routines and mourning old ones. Honestly, I felt 2020 was more about enduring rather than achieving. But my iSchool classes served as a kind of oasis during this time — a chance to connect with other minds, ponder the current role of information in society and focus my attention on meaningful work. While it’s been a challenge to find joy under the combined stresses of the pandemic and the election, as we enter into a new year, I’m also filled with gratitude that I simply made it through. So I asked fellow students at the San José State University School of Information: What did you become grateful for during 2020? What gives you hope in 2021? Here are what our fellow peers shared: 

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How to Find a Mentor in Graduate School

Published: November 30, 2020 by Leslie Parry

Enrolling in the San José State University School of Information is both a thrilling step and a daunting one. With so many pathways possible in the information science field – and any number of courses and specialties to choose from – how can you be sure you’re making the best decisions for your future career? Who can you turn to with your carefully considered ideas and random, panicked questions? Luckily, no matter your needs or interests, the iSchool can help you find a mentor. Whether they’re seasoned professionals, recent alumni or even senior students, mentors can offer anything from academic recommendations to career advice; they can suggest networking opportunities as well as skills to hone for your résumé. No matter if it’s a formal mentorship sponsored by a professional association or a more informal connection made through the iSchool – having a mentor is critical to professional growth. To find a mentorship opportunity that’s right for you, check out the resources below.

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Spotlight on: REFORMA Student & Alumni Group

Published: November 16, 2020 by Leslie Parry

The newest student group at the San José State University School of Information, REFORMA Student & Alumni Group, is only a few months old but already boasts a strong membership base, a busy event calendar and a vibrant presence in the iSchool community. The brainchild of Assistant Professor Dr. Michele Villagran, who serves as faculty advisor, the group seeks to connect students and graduates who are interested in working with Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities. Drawing on resources from the national REFORMA association as well as from local REFORMA chapters, the Student & Alumni Group is focused on building a supportive community and positioning students to be well-connected, culturally competent professionals upon graduation. MLIS student Rosa Rodriguez, who serves as president, highlights the group’s unique initiatives and opportunities.

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Ask an Archivist: Craig Simpson, MARA Liaison Librarian

Published: November 9, 2020 by Leslie Parry

October was American Archives Month, and to celebrate I had the chance to talk to Craig Simpson, director of Special Collections & Archives at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and liaison librarian for the Master of Archives and Records Administration  (MARA) program. As a certified archivist and SC&A director, he leads all the operations in his department, from reference services to digital projects. As the liaison to the MARA program, he curates LibGuides, creates tutorials and assists with research across disciplines.

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A Look at the iSchool Advising Toolkit

Published: October 25, 2020 by Leslie Parry

Of all the resources available to iSchool students, the advising toolkit is one of the most valuable. No matter where you are in your program, the toolkit can help you plan classes, choose an advisor, track your academic progress and get ready for graduation. With new tools and features just added, it’s worth examining at any (and every!) stage of your iSchool career. You’ll find general information at the top and program-specific links toward the bottom. (You can also click on the Getting Started tab to access toolkits related to policies and procedures, career plans, and student wellness and success.) 

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Mental Health for iSchool Students

Published: October 18, 2020 by Leslie Parry

The pandemic drags on, wildfires are burning and a high-stakes election looms. Meanwhile iSchool students are working hard to meet everyday challenges, balancing classes with jobs, families and other commitments. As members of the information community, we are likely drawn to systems, service and structure, which can all seem a little tenuous right now. How do we take care of ourselves during a time of anxiety and uncertainty? One valuable, free and currently virtual resource at San José State University is CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services). CAPS offers a variety of mental health and wellness services, including counseling, support groups, workshops and referrals. I asked Cat Fillmore, a faculty counselor and case manager, what resources she recommends for graduate students during this time.

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Don’t Miss: The SJSU iSchool’s Diversity Webcast Series

Published: October 12, 2020 by Leslie Parry

The fantastic 2020 diversity webcast series continues its run through the fall. If you haven’t already, you can check out past episodes through the SJSU iSchool Podcast Feed via Apple Podcasts, SJSU iSchool YouTube Channel and iSchool On-Demand Webcasts Portal. Under the direction of Dr. Michele Villagran, Chair of the Diversity Committee for the SJSU School of Information, the eight-part series features a variety of speakers discussing equity, social justice, cultural competency and other issues as they relate to information service. 

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Alumna Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken Highlights Top 5 Resources for iSchool Students

Published: September 27, 2020 by Leslie Parry

Hello readers! I’m Leslie Parry, a MLIS student from Los Angeles. I’m thrilled to be taking the helm of the iStudent blog. I recently had a chance to talk to my predecessor and iSchool alumna, Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken (‘20 MLIS), about her time in the program. As a student, Havilah took advantage of as many resources as she could, not only because they strengthened her résumé and allowed her to network, but because they helped her develop skills that can’t always be mastered in the classroom. Now a reference librarian at the San Diego Law Library, she describes the resources that best prepared her for life after iSchool

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Library Conferences Go Virtual

Published: September 16, 2020 by Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken

Each incoming student at the iSchool at San José State University has the opportunity to join one professional association free of cost for one year. This perk of enrollment in the program offers returns in spades depending on the level of involvement each particular student chooses to dedicate to their chosen association. During my first semester in the MLIS program at the iSchool, I chose to join the American Library Association (ALA), and have remained a member since. Founded on October 6, 1876, during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, ALA is a pillar of librarianship ethics and best practices and remains on the cutting edge of information technology. This has never been more true now during the time of the pandemic when ALA seamlessly moved their annual conference online.

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SJSU iSchool Highlights Student Wellness

Published: July 26, 2020 by Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken

It’s been quite the summer at the iSchool at San José State University. Fall classes are right around the corner and summer classes are well underway. While all of the programs, including MLIS, MARA and MS in Informatics, are delivered 100% online, this has not been a normal season. With the threat of the pandemic growing at varying rates throughout the world, finding wellness and joyful moments has proved to be even more difficult. In light of this, please review the excellent free resources below available to all SJSU iSchool students.

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Ask Me Anything with Dr. Sandy Hirsh

Published: June 18, 2020 by Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken

Dr. Sandy Hirsh hosted one of her final Ask Me Anything sessions before she transitioned to her new position as associate dean for academics in the SJSU College of Professional and Global Education. Hirsh served in the role of Director of the iSchool for over ten years and you can read more about her excellent service and leadership here. I had the opportunity to attend the session and have chosen a few questions to highlight for you all below (click here to view the recording). As new safety measures with Zoom are implemented, check your email for the recording password. The subject line of the email is “[Event] Recording of Director’s “Ask Me Anything” Session”

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Equip Yourself for a Successful Summer!

Published: June 12, 2020 by Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken

Summer is here, and while it may look different from what we expect, this is an excellent time to get equipped for a fabulous library and information science career. Whether you’re just starting summer classes, getting geared up for the e-Portfolio or about to start classes in the fall, check out this roundup of virtual events and resources below to jump start, or continue to evolve, your experience in the library and information science profession! 

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The e-Portfolio: Myths and Truths

Published: May 31, 2020 by Havilah Joy-Steinman Bakken

The e-Portfolio is a capstone experience the majority of iSchool students at San José State University will plan for, experience and benefit from. This large, scholastic decathlon represents not only your upcoming freedom from school, but also your newly garnered skills and brilliance in the library and information profession field. Each student has their own unique perspective and experience working through it, but the majority of us experience at least some amount of anxiety while it looms ahead of us. I had the opportunity to complete the e-Portfolio amidst the craziness of life, and I hope what I discovered from my own personal experience, and chatting with my fellow students, is helpful to you!