10 Tips For New Library Students at UWO's Library School

Now that I'm a cagey veteran library student with a whole semester
under my belt (well, two days from now), I thought I would pass along
some of the wisdom (as opposed to data, information or knowledge) that
I've picked up in the last fourteen weeks.

Ten Tips For New Library Students in UWO's FIMS Department
1. Even if you're not a drinker, you will learn more in a couple
hours sitting at the Grad Club talking to classmates and colleagues
than you'll learn in two months of classes – good and bad profs, the
scoop on co-op jobs, what classes to take, who's bonking who – all the
important stuff. 

2. This is pretty obvious but a good professor can make a bad-sounding
class great and a bad professor can make what looks like a good class
into something resembling a visit to the dentist.  Multiple visits to the dentist actually. 

3. Even after a semester, you will be unable to pass an attendance
sheet around the strangely designed classrooms so that everybody gets
to sign it during its first pass. 

4. They give you an eight character password for your computer account
that has lower case, upper case, numbers, AND symbols.  This will
seem like overkill but after a couple weeks, you'll memorize it and
it'll be as automatic as typing your dog's name into the password field of your Hotmail
account.

5. The machines in the main computer lab have jump drive slots but
don't allow you to plug in headphones to listen to Internet radio
without hearing a high-pitched screech (well, you can fiddle with the
settings and maybe get it to a dull throb.  I won't tell you which
machine I've fixed as it's mine!!!)  The computers in the Grad
Resource Centre (the special library for library students) don't even
have USB ports.  Yep, you heard that right.  Do your work and
then e-mail it to yourself – how very 2002 of them. 
[2006/05/07 – Edit: This one is
contenious – see comments.  But even after this
comment saying
there are USB drives in the GRC, I haven't found them.]
[2006/05/09 – Edit: I asked
yesterday.  The USB ports are in the back  so if you want to
plug-in your jumpdrive, you have to get on your knees and reach around
to the back of the CPU's.]

6. Even though you are a library student, you aren't allowed to a) take
out any books from the GRC or b) access it after hours.  GRC
Unofficial Motto: “Let your future employers trust you – we
don't.”  (I know the limited number of books in the GRC are a
reason for the no-loans policy but even letting students take overnight
loans would be useful – from close at 8pm with the understanding that
the book would be returned by opening the following day under threat of
heavy fines and beatings.)

7.  Two words for a guaranteed successful group presentation:
puppet show! (Credit to David Jackson for the tip – which I haven't
been able to use but the Jeopardy game I ran in 503 came close in terms
of childlike wonder.)

8. The Spoke has way cheaper beer than the Grad Club.  It's
actually criminal in how much cheaper it is.  Of course, you're
also paying for the privilege of not dealing with drunken undergrads at the
Grad Club which is worth the extra buck per beer.. 

9. Timmy Heroin's is the main food vendor in the building.  You
may weep (as my classmates did last night) upon realising it is closed
for the summer. 

10.  Get involved right off the bat – join committees, attend
social functions, hang out at the Grad Club (again, even if you don't
drink).  If you have a good idea for something that should be done
– do it!  Live by the motto that it's easier to ask forgiveness
than permission. 

Bonus:
11. Even though you're in library school, you will have no time for
pleasure reading (unless reading photocopied articles about RFID chips is
pleasurable for you.)

[2006/05/07 – here's another one I thought of having just gotten my finalized first semester marks the other day:
12. Marks in this program basically range from 70-85 with very few exceptions.]

Anybody out there reading this, feel free to post your own advice (singles or top 10 lists or whatever) in the comments section.

Classmate of the Day:
Fiacre  O'Duinn.  My parents are in town so on the one night
when we don't have a 502 class to get up for the next day and after
handing in a major assignment for our Tuesday night class, I elect to
come home instead of going out to the bar with the majority of my
classmates (kind of the reverse of what happened through the whole
semester.)  Apparently it was quite a blow-out and Fiacre was
looking pretty rough today.  And why is it that anyone with an
Irish accent telling drinking stories makes them automatically sound
way better?

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jason,
    As for tip no. 5, look down … look way down and you will find a jack for your headphones and a slot for your usb. I used my usb in the GRC lab yesterday.

    Posted 12 Apr 2006 at 8:10 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    i'm a moron…move along, nothing to see here. (No seriously, I didn't see the USB port one day early in semester and asked somebody working there and they said there wasn't one! Of course, that's not the first time GRC staff have had trouble finding stuff I've asked for so I shouldn't be too surprised.

    Posted 13 Apr 2006 at 2:45 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    An update for #9:
    This summer, they tried keeping the Tim Horton's in the NCB open during the weekdays from about 8am-1pm. They considered this a trial run to see if they would continue this in future summer terms. From my observation, I think they likely did enough business to justify keeping it open next summer, too.

    Posted 26 Jul 2008 at 3:47 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for the update – I was never a huge Timmy's guy but I know there were those who mainlined their coffee and other offerings.

    Posted 27 Jul 2008 at 6:30 am

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