Creating My Own Experience

When I graduated from Indiana University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Culture and Telecommunications from the College of Arts and Science, I thought my education was done. I was excited to enter the workforce and put my degree to use. I was shocked to learn that it turned out to be a lot harder to find a job in the field I wanted to go into, television and film production, and I quickly learned that it was an extremely competitive market in Bloomington, Indiana and unless I was willing to uproot my life to either New York City or Los Angeles, it was going to be hard to find a job that put my degree to use. I did what a lot of people coming out college have to do, find a job outside of my field so that I could support myself. Long story short, I was unhappy in the work force, doing a job that I never saw myself in. It was time to go back to school.

The first question I had to answer was, what did I want to go back for? What was my passion besides movies? What could put me in the best position to make sure I found a career right out of school? I originally thought I’d go back for computer science. I’ve always had a passion for computers and consider myself a pretty technology savvy person, but after looking into this, I quickly learned that my lack of code background would severely hinder my chances of success in this field. As cliche as it sounds, I love to read, so that is where I went next. How could I apply this passion to a career that I could love? Library school was the answer.

I am so excited to be back in school. I was skeptical at first about going back, but I am so happy that I finally am back. I was out of school for 4 years, and I can honestly say that I don’t miss working 40 hours in a job that had nothing to do with what I wanted to do at all. Best of all, I can take my passion for computers and technology and create my own experience with my degree. I think that was one of the major drawing factors of going back to school for library sciences. I get all the skills required to become a successful librarian but I can also acquire technology skills and get hands on experience with computers without having a heavy background in computer science.

The first thing after I decided to go back to school for library sciences was trying to decide how I was going to use my love for computers and technology and incorporate it into this degree. Luckily for me, someone had already had that idea and it was comforting and great to learn about the Digital Library specialization. As I looked through the courses in this specialization, I got more and more excited that this was exactly what I was looking for: a specialization that focuses solely on how computers and libraries interact. I am so excited after finding this specialization to take some of the courses. This semester I’m taking Database Design and it has fulfilled every expectation I could expect from it. In this course I get hands on experience learning SQL, a database language, and I get hands on experience with Access in order to create a database project of my group’s choosing. My group decided to create a database for a library. Already, in my first semester, I am getting hands on experience with computers coupled with library experience.

As I go forward with this program, I look forward to getting even more technical experience because as technology progresses, there is going to be a bigger demand for people with these skills, especially in the field of library sciences. The idea of libraries is changing and I am excited to be part of that change and hope by creating my own experience while I’m in school, I can find a career that is challenging, exciting, and combines both of my passions.

-Matt Malher

Digital Services with a Human Touch

January is now over and, hopefully, you are starting to settle into your classes and schedules. As it is still early in the semester many of you are probably not yet worried about the big paper or project you have due at the end of the year. On the other hand, some of you began to worry the first day of class when you saw it on the syllabus. In either case, adding a digital element may ease some of your concerns. Enter the Scholar’s Commons.

Scholar's_Commons
The Scholar’s Commons is located on the first floor in the East Tower of the Herman B Wells Library. It offers many services provided by librarians to help you with that paper or project. Many of these librarians have scheduled times when they take walk-in questions on a wide range of digital topics, or you can schedule a time that works for you. You can get help with digitization services or digital project development as well as many other services. Aside from the long list of services offered, there are many workshops and events that are hosted in the Scholar’s Commons. Some of these are geared towards improving your writing skills, while others aim to improve your coding skills, like the Digital Brown Bag series or the TEI Coding Workshop, where you can learn to do the coding that helped create the Algernon Charles Swinburne Project which is pictured below:

Swineburn.Project

However, if creating an interactive map is what you’re after, we have a workshop on February 18th from 1p-2p about using the free mapping tool CartoDB which was used to create this map here:

CartoDB

So whether you wish to do some text mining, map making, or anything in between, the Scholar’s Commons in the Wells Library is your one stop shop to add some digital pizazz to your term paper or project. So come on in now to get a head start, or procrastinate a bit (but not too much), and take advantage of the digital services provided in the Scholar’s Commons of the Wells Library!

-David Kloster

Perseus Digital Library

If you’ve ever had any passing interest in the Greek and Roman pantheon, or maybe you’re really into Ancient History, you might want to consider using the Perseus Digital Library.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu

Run by the Classics department of Tufts University, this digital library has been around in various forms since 1985.  Gathered in one place a user can find Greek and Roman materials with side by side translations of the works.  More than just texts and translations though, users can also browse a huge art library of coins, vases, sculptures, and even buildings.  A vital resource for any student in the Classics, this database also has uses for students in Arabic, Germanic, and Renaissance studies as they have begun to build up their collection in these areas.

Fresco of a Roman scholar
Fresco of a Roman scholar