This semester I am taking all of my classes online which will be somewhat of a new experience for me (last semester I had a whopping one class on-campus). However, now that I will be working two part-time jobs on top of maintaining this website, online classes will give me the availability to juggle my workload a lot more easily — it won't be easy, but at least it will be easier.
Here's a look at the classes I will be taking this semester at the 15th top-rank Library and Information Science school in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The majority of them are the rest of the required courses I need to graduate, but I am particularly looking forward to the only non-required course I am taking this semester!
Organization of Information (INFOST 511 – online): This required course introduces basic concepts, historical background, and theoretical, practical, and technological aspects of information organization. According to the syllabus, upon completing this course I will "be able to explain the fundamental concepts behind rules and systems that provide bibliographic and intellectual access to documents; have an elementary understanding of the major traditions in information organization, including cataloging, classification, indexing and abstracting, and bibliography; be able to critically analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each type of bibliographic system; be able to design a simple tool for organizing a small collection; and be aware of current issues in information organization.
Information Access and Retrieval (INFOST 571 – online): According to the syllabus, this required course examines three major categories of issues related to information access and retrieval. One is concerned with the range of current information retrieval systems and techniques or processes involved in their construction and application, including database structures, indexing principles, vocabulary control and interfaces. Secondly, the course establishes how to describe and analyze the dynamics of user’s information needs and their searching behaviors. Lastly, students are equipped with critical and analytical skills related to selecting appropriate information retrieval systems, databases, resources for assistance, query formulation and other information retrieval techniques. Special attention is also given to the evaluation of information retrieval systems.
Introduction to Research Methods in Library and Information Science (INFOST 591 – online): This required course introduces students to basic research concepts, methods, and evaluation in library and information science, and applications of research in the information professions. Upon completion of the course I will be able to identify the range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods used in library and information science; evaluate the merits of published research in library and information science; identify a research problem and associated research questions, and design a research project to address the identified research problem and more. I took a communications research methods class during my time as an undergrad at Marquette University, and I'm predicting this will be my hardest course this semester.
Multicultural Children's Literature (INFOST 741 – online): This course is an exploration of the literary and cultural heritage of parallel culture in the United States including African Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/as and Native Americans. The course focuses on major issues in multicultural children’s literature such as representation, cultural authenticity, and evaluative criteria using critical race theory as our guiding premise. After finishing this course I will be well acquainted with major discourses in multicultural children's literary criticism, familiar with literature from each ethnic group under discussion, recognize ways in which a piece of literature reflects the ethnic group and more. As no surprise to anyone who regularly reads my blog, I am obviously most excited about this course!
There is some ongoing conversation about whether or not the MLIS program will continue requiring a capstone project to graduate. If they do away with the capstone requirement, it's looking like I'll graduate in the spring. However, if I am required to do the capstone, I will probably wait until the summer term to complete it, making my graduation date sometime this summer. Either way, I can't believe how quickly my time as a graduate student is flying by!