Library of Congress, Bookbinding & More: Spring 2019 in Review

Introducing PALA to prospective students in March.

From a trip to D.C. to hands-on workshops and behind-the-scenes tours, we had an eventful spring semester! Here’s a look at some of the events we shared with the Pratt community.

Washington, D.C. Trip

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The highlight of our semester took place in April, when we hopped on a bus with a group of students for a whirlwind visit to Washington, D.C. — there and back in one day! After a general introduction to the Library of Congress with a tour of its Thomas Jefferson Building, our generous host Muzhgan Nazarova led us to several corners of both the Jefferson and the James Madison Memorial Buildings.

In the Manuscripts Division, we learned a bit about the joys and challenges of reference, particularly when it comes to housing the papers of many Supreme Court Justices (“They always seem to pass away on a weekend,” said Manuscript Reference Librarian Patrick Kerwin, “so we’re very busy on Monday morning!”). We saw that the Performing Arts Reading Room, like much of the Library of Congress, still relies in part on card catalogs. This is the access point for the the Music Division’s collections, which famously includes five Stradivari stringed instruments (and perhaps more interestingly, it also includes around 2,000 flutes, given to LC, some say, as a move to out-donate the Stradivari donor). Finally, Nazarova provided an overview of what she and her colleagues accomplish in the Asian & Middle Eastern Division. Shelves of books in languages of the region line the walls of the office, waiting to be cataloged by librarians who seem to speak at least four languages, but often many more.

We also registered for and received Reader Identification Cards, so we look forward to opportunities to return to the Library to do some research. Having seen first-hand the dedication and enthusiasm of the librarians we met, we really can’t wait to go back.

Bookbinding Workshop

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During a fun workshop in March, we received instruction and hands-on practice in bookbinding at the Center for Book Arts. Since we’re training to work with them full-time, it makes sense to understand the mechanics of books. Plus, a little deep concentration with a needle and thread certainly helped as a form of meditation at a time when we were well into the intensity of mid-semester classwork.

Professional Events

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Being in New York City has a million perks, but for a group of library science students the best thing might be the incredible number of libraries, archives, and events relating to the field. To help students get a better sense of career opportunities and to make some professional connections, we organized tours of two libraries and gathered a group of students to attend a local discussion on reference librarianship.

Descending through the stacks of the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman building, Michelle Misner led us to the library’s labyrinthine underground areas located below Bryant Park during a tour in February. She shared a lot of information people probably don’t get during the public tours, like how they employ multiple classification systems, including Dewey, LC, fixed order, and the Billings system.

We learned about an interesting classification system at another beautiful Manhattan library when we visited the Grolier Club in April. Meghan Constantinou, a Pratt alum and the librarian of the 135-year-old bibliophile club, provided a tour, pulled some of her favorite items from the collection for us to see, and shared some of the Club’s history — which includes the creation of a unique classification system.

Finally, during the Reference Librarianship & Justice: Critical Interventions event at METRO in March, students heard from an impressive group of librarians who spoke on panels and gave presentations discussing issues around the critical dimensions of reference services. Everyone was incredibly inspirational, and it left us wondering: How can we better connect LIS students to underserved NYC library communities? What needs can we fill, and what sustainable projects can we create or help empower?

We hope you’ll help us come up with ideas to help answer those questions and more during the 2019-2020 school year. As always, feel free to email us at silssa.pratt@gmail.com, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for announcements about events throughout the year.

Thanks to everyone who joined us at these events, as well as at our meetings, student group happy hours, and school-wide events. Thanks to the generous support of the Pratt Graduate Student Engagement Fund. And finally, extra-big-time thanks to all the people who provided time and valuable insights to help us make these events happen!

–Mary Bakija, PALA President

Round-Up: March 27 – April 3

March is behind us, and we’re barreling into April! The last week of March was a good one for Pratt SILS, and we’re here with the Round-Up to let you know about it.

Gender, Race and Sexuality in LIS Panel

We held our panel last Friday, March 27th, and had excellent turnout: 20+ attendees, including students from Queens College and Rutgers. The speakers Sian Evans, Jen LaBarbera and Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz covered a wide range of theoretical and practical topics regarding libraries, archives and cultural heritage as it relates to gender, critical race theory, feminism and sexuality. Thank you to everyone who attended, and for the great discussion after the panel!

If you couldn’t make it, or just want to relive the experience, check out the Storify of tweets about the panel, and keep and eye out here for audio recordings and slides!

Summer and Fall Registration

As you’ve hopefully noticed before now, registration for the Summer and Fall semesters begins next week! You should have received an email with instructions for how to find your registration time (It’s on your MyPratt page, under Academics). But be aware that registration for summer classes begins on Monday, April 6th, with Fall registration beginning on the 8th. Don’t forget to have your choice of classes approved before you try and register!

Upcoming Events!

This next Friday, April 10, all of the SILS Student Groups will be co-hosting the month Library Libations at Beauty Bar, on East 14th St. Library Libations is an event for all NYC-area librarians and library students, and we’ve all teamed up to have hopefully the biggest Pratt SILS presence yet! Happy Hour starts at 6pm, and SILS people will be rolling in throughout the evening. We hope to see you there.

The next day, Saturday April 11, is the Zine-Making Workshop, from 1pm – 5pm. There will be an opportunity to view zine collections, learn about the history of zines, and make a few of your own. You’re welcome to come for part of the workshop, or drop  in and out as you need to.

Finally, keep an eye out for emails about nominations for SILSSA officer positions for the 2015-16 school year, as well as for the end-of-year InfoShow. We will be giving you more info about both those things this coming week. There will be emails, and there will be tweets!

 

 

Round-Up: March 20 – 27

TGIF!

And especially so, because tonight, Friday March 27th is our Gender, Race and Sexuality in LIS panel! Starting promptly at 5pm, in Room 609, we will have some fantastic speakers to discuss intersectional issues in the LIS field. And also snacks!

 

Copy of Posters
*Please note that this panel will be recorded (audio only). If you have any concerns, please feel free to email us, or speak to a SILSSA officer in person.

Everyone is welcome. If you’re not a current Pratt student, it’s especially important that you RSVP, so that there’s no problems letting you into the building (144 W14th St).

And, following the panel, we will be hosting a Student Happy Hour! (Location TBD, keep an eye on Twitter for more info) You do not need to have attended the panel to join us for a drink!

That’s just what’s happening tonight, but we’ve got a lot of other cool stuff coming up, too!

  • Zine-Making Workshop: Saturday, April 11, from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Led by Emma Eriksson, this crafty afternoon will be divided into a “History of Zines” portion, and a “Let’s Make Some Zines” portion. You are welcome to come to either or all parts!
  • Perspectives in Public Librarianship: Tuesday, April 14, from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Librarians from several public library systems will speak on a panel about their unique and rewarding positions within the public library. This panel does span between classes; we understand and it’s cool if you need to leave early or drop in late.
  • Librarians @ Pratt, Part 2: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Saturday, April 18, from 1:00pm – 6:00pm (drop in), Room 609. Come learn how to edit Wikipedia, and put your skills to use expanding and creating pages about the rich history of Pratt Libraries and Librarianship. All are welcome! You do not need to have attended Part 1, or edited Wikipedia before!

Phew, with all that out of the way, there’s a few more things we should mention:

  • SILSSA Officer Elections! We will have positions open for 3 new officers for the 2015-16 school year. Nominations will be opened on April 6th, and we will send out an email with the requirements and details then. Voting will be the first week of May. If you’re considering running, take a look at the Officer Roles, and feel free to talk to any of the current officers about their position.
  • Our March General Meeting was on Wednesday, and the minutes are available to view now, in case you couldn’t make it! Thank you to everyone who attended, and our next meeting will be Monday, April 20th, at 6pm.
  • InfoShow is coming! This is the event formerly known as Showcase, and a great opportunity for you to share your best work with the Pratt SILS community, as well as the larger NYC LIS crowd. More information about nominations and other ways to contribute will be coming soon, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it!

That’s all we’ve got for you this week! If you’ve got any questions or comments, feel free to email or tweet at us, and we hope to see you at one of these events soon!

Round-Up: February 28 – March 6

It was pretty quiet at Pratt SILS this week, but we consider that the calm before the storm. The storm of awesome upcoming events, that is!

ALA Scholarships:

ala san fran2SILSSA is delighted to offer five scholarships of $500 per student to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Dates for the 2015 conference are June 25-30 and SILS students interested in a career in Public, Academic or School libraries are encouraged to attend. This is a great opportunity to learn about current issues in the profession, attend presentations and poster sessions, get actively involved with an ALA Chapter, meet your peers and your future co-workers, and meet a favorite author (or two)!  Only current SILS students may apply for the scholarship. For more information about the conference, visit: http://alaac15.ala.org/

To apply, fill out an application at: http://bit.ly/ALAScholarship

The deadline to submit is March 15, and recipients will be notified by March 20th.

Events:

  • SILSSA will be hosting a panel about Gender, Race and Sexuality in Library & Information Science on Friday, March 27th, co-sponsored by Pratt’s Diversity Committee. Panelists will discuss how the categories of gender, race and sexuality affect or inform library and reference practices, archival theory and practice, and knowledge creation and Wikipedia. The panel will take place from 5:00-6:00pm in Room 609, with discussion and refreshments to follow. Please let us know if you’re planning to attend, so we can have an idea how many people to expect.
  • Zines are super cool, and have a unique history  and role in library collections. So, join us Saturday, April 11 for a Zine-Making Workshop! The event will be from 1:00-5:00pm, on a drop-in basis. You’ll be able to see some zine collections, and there will be a lecture on the history of zines at 1:30, with time to make your own afterwards. Look for more information from us about this event as the date gets a little bit closer!

And if you can’t wait until April, The Feminist Zinefest is Saturday, March 7th from Noon- 6:00pm at Barnard!

  • In addition to these events, SILSSA is also planning to host a panel on Public Librarianship, and a Pratt SILS-themed Wikipedia edit-a-thon in April. Oh, and of course, Student Happy Hours!

Our next General Meeting, where we will discuss all this–and more!– will be Wednesday, March 25, at 6:00pm in Room 610. We hope to see you there!

And, as always, keep up with all the hottest SILSSA trends on Twitter, Instagram, and via the Pratt SILS Google Group.

Round-Up: February 6-13

Howdy, Pratt SILS! It’s the weekly round-up, and we’ve got some good stuff to go over:

News:

  • Our Happy Hour last Friday, co-hosted with SAA@Pratt, was tons of fun! We had a great time discussing libraries, archives and Gingerdead Man, starring Gary Busey, which was being ‘screened’ on the wall, to the delight and horror of many!
    Happy Hour at The Library
    Gosh, look at all these cool and fun Pratt SILS students!

    We hope you’ll join us for the next happy hour; keep an eye out for posts and emails once we finalize the date and location. (And if you have a suggestion for a neighborhood or bar we should get happy in, let us know!)

  • Pratt SILS student Allison Piazza is organizing a weekend study group for SILS students. She writes,

    “I’m looking for people to meet at Pratt on Saturday or Sunday from roughly 12-4pm every weekend to read and/or work on projects (including the e-Portfolio). We’d sit together in a classroom or the conference room but otherwise work quietly and independently.”

    The group will be meeting this Saturday, February 14 at 1pm in the PMC Library conference room.  If you’re interested in future study groups, you can sign up here.

  • Our blog, Keyword is up and running. You’re reading it right now, in fact! Right now, we’re posting twice a week, including the round-up, but we’d love to do more. If you’ve been to a conference, are working on an interesting project, or just feel like you have something to say, please reach out to us at silssa.pratt@gmail.com, and you, too, can become a LIS blogger!

Events

We have come great events coming up at the end of this month:

  • Many of us are drawn to library science by a desire to help others.  So let’s flex those service muscles by joining NYPL’s Correctional Services Program on Thursday, February 26th at their midtown office! All are welcome to drop in anytime between 1-6pm, for as long as you are able.  Staff will direct us in the tasks that will be most helpful to the inmate population they serve. This could include answering reference letters, packaging boxes, and a number of other service-oriented tasks! Please RSVP if you plan on attending, so NYPL knows how many people to expect: http://bit.ly/NYPLService

And if you haven’t already, check out this article in Newsweek featuring SILS, Professors Rabina and Drabinski, and all of you who have answered inmate reference letters!  Thanks for all you have done, and continue to do!

  • We will be taking a field trip to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale on Friday, February 27th. It will be an all-day event, and space will be limited. We will send out an email with more detailed information and how to sign-up within the next few days, so keep an eye out!
  • The next SILSSA general meeting will take place Tuesday, February 24th, at 6pm in room 610 of PMC.  We’ll discuss our upcoming events, and vote on a change to the SILSSA constitution (review the proposed changes here). Our aim is to make this meeting quick and easy, so join us, and don’t worry about being late to your 6:30 class!

That’s all from us this week! As always, you can follow us on Twitter for more events and news, and on Instagram for cool pics of those events!

If you have something you’d like for us to feature in our weekly round-up, or if you’re interested in writing for Keyword, please email us at silssa.pratt@gmail.com!