Important News and Tips: Highlights from the Spring 2016 Director’s Forum

iStudent Blog

Published: April 13, 2016

Every semester iSchool Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh holds a Director’s Forum for students. All students at the SJSU School of Information are invited and receive emails notifying them of the date and time of the forum, as well as encouraging them to submit questions in advance to Dr. Hirsh that can be answered at the end of the hour-long Collaborate session.

I recommend attending these forums if you can (or listen to the recording of this one, if you can’t) because it’s a great way to stay connected with what’s going on at the iSchool beyond your class assignments.  In her most recent forum held on March 23, 2016, Dr. Hirsh talked about recent developments at the university, and news and events at the iSchool. Following these updates, Hirsh offered her encouraging tips for success, which are always worth listening to.

SJSU and iSchool News
Hirsh started off by welcoming attendees to the session and providing some big news for the San Jose State University. The university recently appointed a new president, Mary Papazian who will begin her post on July 1, 2016. In iSchool faculty news, Dr. Virginia Tucker, who has been an instructor at the iSchool for the last five years and teaching classes in online searching and the core course Info 202 Information Retrieval System Design is now an assistant professor in the area of Information Systems and Knowledge Structures. Tucker taught my section of Info 202, structuring the class and explaining the concept of data systems in such a way that made it logical and intuitive—something I wouldn’t have thought possible for my brain. Hirsh went on to announce with not just a little bit of pride, that Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers of 2016 List includes several iSchool alumni and one current student. How’s that for inspiration?

Dates to Remember
Hirsh mentioned a few dates to put on your calendar for the near future, including:

May 21, 2016 11-12 p.m. PDT The iSchool’s Virtual Convocation, a celebration of the graduating class of 2016, will take place in an online environment, featuring speeches by Dr. Hirsh herself and the graduating student honoree of the Ken Haycock Award for Exceptional Professional Promise. The convocation speaker for 2016 is Toby Greenwalt, Director of Digital Strategy and Technology Integration at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Greenwalt is an amazing organizer and inspiring speaker. If you want a sneak preview of his vision for libraries, be sure to check out this post about his presentation at the Library 2.015 Worldwide Virtual Conference. Dr. Hirsh has been working to plan the virtual convocation website and invites graduates from August 2015, December 2015, May 2016 to participate by sending in photos for the site. I’m looking forward to posting personal notes to my friends’ and classmates’ graduation profiles, expressing my utmost admiration. Even if you’re not graduating, be sure to check out the convocation pages—they’re really fun and inspiring for those of us still in the midst of our coursework.

Library 2.016 mini-conferences This year, Library 2.0 will feature two more days, in addition to the recent conference on March 16, 2016 focusing on the subject Privacy in the Digital Age. The upcoming conference dates and subjects are Library as Classroom on June 15, 2016 with the iSchool’s very own Dr. Michael Stephens as one of the keynote speakers, and Libraries of the Future on October 6, 2016. Library 2.0 is a great way to find out the latest in the library and information world from some of the industry’s top leaders and innovators. This blog has featured recaps of several past Library presentations, including three from the 2015 Spring Summit and three keynote speakers from October 2015, including Dr. Hirsh, Norm Jacknis and Toby Greenwalt.

Dr. Hirsh also encouraged students to submit their research papers to the iSchool’s very own Student Research Journal. SJSU’s School of Information gives students an excellent opportunity to be published in an open access, peer-reviewed journal—something that looks really good to future employers. Give your resume a boost and take a look at your past research papers and see if there’s something you can submit.

There’s another opportunity to show your iSchool spirit! Coming soon, the iSchool swag site, where you can buy merchandise for your graduating classmates and yourself. The store will have the usual t-shirts in different colors, pens, a flash drive (Note to self: back up, back up, back up) and even iSchool apparel for your laptop and iPad.

Tips for Success
Hirsh further reminded students of the wealth of resources available to iSchool students, including Career Development and important school information.

She also mentioned essential blogs and sites to “stay informed”:  

“There is a lot of value in carving out the time in a busy schedule to do an internship,” Dr. Hirsh reminded students, even while acknowledging all that we do. “It helps you try out a new area or do work that’s quite different than the work you might do on a day-to-day basis.” And it looks great on your resume.

At the end of the session, Dr. Hirsh encouraged students to contact her with any questions or concerns. The iSchool director is a very warm and friendly person.  If you have the chance to meet her in person at a conference or an iSchool informational meeting, she would be delighted to meet you and hear about your successes. As demonstrated by a few letters fromstudents and alumni, you can also email her with a proud list of your accomplishments.

Dr. Hirsh will be making visits to Canada to speak with current and prospective students in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 5, 2016 and be attending professional conferences throughout the spring and summer, including the Special Libraries Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA on June 13 and the American Library Association Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 25.

Keep an eye on your email inbox for updates about conferences, colloquia and future career workshops, or look up Events on the website.