Beinecke, Zines, Alumni & More: Fall 2019 in Review

Pratt students outside Beinecke library
Pratt SI students at the Beinecke library

Before we head into 2020 and begin planning a new lineup of events for the spring semester, we’d like to reflect on what a spectacular fall semester it was — all thanks to an engaged group of returning students, and an incoming group of equally enthusiastic ones. Here’s a look at some of the events we shared with our Pratt community.

Yale’s Beinecke Library Trip

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In October, we hopped on a train to Connecticut to enjoy autumnal colors and go behind the scenes at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. Visiting in person is the best way to experience this weirdly magnificent building, with translucent marble that allows just a little light to shine through. The exhibition hall is open to the public — so you, too, can see their copies of Audubon’s Birds of America and the Gutenberg Bible (whose pages, contrary to popular legend, are not turned often for an undergraduate to read the whole thing during their time at Yale) — and the reading room is accessible to registered researchers.

But we were fortunate to meet with several librarians and archivists who showed us around beyond the public areas. The Beinecke is known for a number of collecting areas, but is particularly strong in American literature, and we saw examples of books (multiple copies of Peter Pan) and heard fascinating stories about the challenges of collecting materials from living authors (one of whom’s includes correspondence in which they wrote something along the lines of, “I would tell you, except this letter is going to end up at Yale”). These librarians and archivists (including a Pratt alum) were incredibly generous with their time and insights, about the Beinecke and about their work and about librarianship in general, and we are so thankful to them all.

And yes, we also had some delicious New Haven pizza.

Alumni Talks

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This semester, we launched a monthly series to highlight the work of Pratt School of Information graduates, while providing current students a chance to hear about professional paths and make connections with librarians in the area. We heard about opportunities to provide volunteer reference services to the incarcerated via NYPL, learned about the surprising instructional aspects of librarianship in a corporate library and archives, and found out what it takes to build engaging comics programming. Again, we can’t thank Emily, Deimosa, and Leigh enough for sharing their time and expertise with us.

Tours: Explorers Club & AMNH

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Being in New York City provides us with access to an incredible range of libraries, archives, and museums, and we were able to visit two fascinating ones this semester.

First, we explored the 114-year-old Explorers Club and its library and archives, which include books, maps, and films about travel and exploration. Retired club flags that club members brought on expeditions line one room, including flags that have been to space and on deep-sea missions. We also heard a great example of the unexpected skills you pick up outside of school: the Archivist and Curator of Research Collections has three taxidermists’ numbers on file in case of a conservation emergency.

Paintings hanging on a wall in the stairwell at the Explorers Club were sketches for the backdrops of the magnificent dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, where we enjoyed another tour. Show a group of library science students some cool visualizations made using metadata, a 1558 encyclopedia about sea creatures, and a page from Darwin’s notebook, and you’ll really be playing to your audience.

Zine Workshop

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Finally, we hosted a hands-on session led by alum Emma Karin Eriksson, who shared some of the best practices she’s learned for leading zine workshops for kids, teens, and undergrads. Scheduled during the end of the semester, we enjoyed a fair amount of therapeutic cutting and pasting, which was a welcome break from final projects.

We’ve got some equally engaging events in the works for the spring 2020 semester, but we always welcome your ideas. 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. And the greatest thanks go out to all the professional librarians, archivists, curators, and more 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.