iStudent Blog: iSchool 101

iStudent Blog

Why Join a Student Group?

Published: September 17, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Student groups are a cornerstone of the San José State University School of Information. They offer professional connections, personal camaraderie and the chance to hone valuable skills outside of the curriculum, particularly in the areas of leadership and communication. So what does it mean to take part in one of these groups? What opportunities do they offer at the iSchool and beyond? These were a few of the questions posed at the Fall Student Group Meet & Greet, which featured the American Library Association (ALA), Society of American Archivists (SAA), Special Libraries Association (SLA), REFORMA and ASIS&T student chapters, as well as the Student Research Journal, the First Generation Student Group and VCARA. Over the course of the presentation each organization had the opportunity to introduce themselves, talk about the benefits and responsibilities of student group involvement, and connect with potential new members. Read on for a lightning round introduction to these award-winning organizations. (You can also view the entire presentation on the ALA student chapter’s YouTube channel). 

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The SJSU Writing Center: An iSchool Student’s Secret Weapon

Published: September 2, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Fall semester is finally here! Whether you’re just beginning INFO 200, preparing your e-Portfolio, or simply trying to recover your student brain after summer vacation, you’ll likely be tackling some major assignments in the coming months (or – gulp – weeks). Need help with a research paper? Want a refresher on citations or abstracts? Can’t be sure whether to use “who” or “whom”? The San José State University Writing Center offers a host of excellent free services – and a number are designed specifically for graduate students. From tutoring to live-chat sessions, how-to videos and handouts, the Writing Center can help you navigate the complexities of academic writing (or just master the nuts and bolts). Writing skills will be an asset in school and beyond, so there’s never a wrong time to reach out. I spoke with Michelle Hager, Director of the SJSU Writing Center, about the most useful resources for School of Information students.

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New Graduates Reflect on Their Time in the iSchool

Published: June 14, 2021 by Leslie Parry

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! A virtual convocation was held to honor the School of Information’s newest graduates. The recorded event, which can be viewed here, featured excellent speeches by Debbie Faires, recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Patricia Franks, recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Professor Award, and Samantha Hamilton, recipient of the 2021 Haycock Award, who spoke eloquently about the intersection of information science and environmental sustainability.

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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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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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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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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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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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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!

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MLIS Semester Picks Up Steam

Published: February 16, 2020 by Havilah Steinman

The semester is picking up steam here at San José State University’s iSchool. Recently, the iSchool hosted an open house for the Masters of Library and Information Science program, which is accredited by the American Library Association. Whether you’re considering pursuing your MLIS, have just started your degree or are about to graduate, this event is full of important information to guide your academic and professional journey. I share some of these highlights below, and the recording of the open house is readily available here

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iSchool Director’s “Ask Me Anything” Continues

Published: December 3, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

One of the greatest strengths of the San José State University’s iSchool is the accessible leadership by which it is guided. Once a semester, Dr. Sandra Hirsh sends out the call for questions and hosts a live session where students can chat with her. I had the fantastic opportunity to attend and ask a few questions of my own! Please see below for some of the questions covered during the event, and the recording is viewable here

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Peer Mentorship: An Opportunity to Strengthen Information and Communication Skills

Published: April 16, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

Students at the iSchool in the Master’s in Library and Information Science and Post-Master’s Certificate programs have excellent classes to choose from. Every new student begins with INFO 203 Online Learning at the beginning of their program to become acclimated to the rigorous academic expectations of their work, as well as the technology used in the program. Peer mentors are a pivotal part of the INFO 203 process, and Debbie Faires, director of online learning, has just opened up the application for peer mentors in the Fall 2019 semester! This past semester, I had the opportunity to work alongside several other INFO 203 peer mentors. In this post, I share some of their insight about how the mentorship experience benefited them.

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iSchool Best Practices with Vicki Steiner

Published: February 5, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

The first few weeks of the semester are crucial to gear up for what’s ahead in your classes. Whether you’re a new student taking one core class or a continuing student with a couple semesters under your belt, these words of wisdom from Vicki Steiner are sure to help you get prepared! Steiner is not just a faculty advisor and lecturer here at the iSchool, she is also an alumni and completed her MLIS in 2010! I have shared our conversation regarding iSchool best practices with you below. 

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Tips for iSchool Success from New Student Orientation

Published: January 22, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

Can you believe the new semester begins on January 24th? On January 14th, over 80 students gathered to participate in a New Student Orientation and prepare for the start of classes. A full scope of material was presented, which was helpful for incoming students as well as for all of us students continuing our program. Here I share some highlights I gleaned from the orientation that I hope will be useful to you!

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Key Takeaways From the Fall 2018 Director’s Forum

Published: October 29, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

Five p.m. is a little late for me to have coffee, so I brewed myself a herbal tea and sat down at the computer for the last virtual coffee chat of my iSchool career. Every semester, Dr. Sandra Hirsh, professor and director at the School of Information, hosts an informal coffee chat via Zoom to provide news and updates, as well as connect with current students and answer their questions. If you missed this semester’s forum, read on for some of the key points. You can also watch the full recording here

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20 Signs You’re an iSchool Student

Published: Monday, September 17, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

The hard work of this semester has only just begun, so I thought I’d keep it light this week with a post about being a student at the SJSU School of Information. I’m sure you’ll relate to a few of these signs from my list and hopefully chuckle at a couple of them too! If you’re a new student or thinking about applying to the iSchool, here’s a little preview of what’s in store.