Sarah Barton

I am in my third semester at GSLIS. I had no formal library experience before starting at Simmons, but last semester I interned at a law library and am currently interning at a corporate research center and working part-time at a small branch of my local public library. I wasn't sure where I wanted to end up when I started this program, but right now I am leaning toward corporate libraries.

Outside of classes and work, I enjoy running, reading, writing, and watching sports.


Entries by Sarah Barton

  • Two Years in the Life
    On February 1, 2012, I applied to become a contributor to this GSLIS Admissions Blog by writing a post about my first two weeks at GSLIS and cutely calling it "Two Weeks in the Life." I just realized the post...
  • The Desired End
    The long Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful reprieve from classes, although Sunday was a quick snap back to reality when I had to finish a ten page research paper, create a PowerPoint overview of said paper, do an audio voiceover...
  • It's Not You, GSLIS, It's Me
    I just checked the syllabus for each of my classes to confirm what I have been suspecting but had not bothered to verify. For nearly two years I've known this day would come, and now that it is almost upon...
  • Get Me Outta Here!
    The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and frankly it cannot get here soon enough. September and October seemed to fly by, but November has been dragging along. I think the combination of starting a job, looking forward to...
  • INALJ
    A GSLIS graduate and former GSLIS Admissions blogger, James Fox, emailed me last week asking if I had used INALJ.com in my job search. Looking at the URL, at first I thought the site would display in another language, then...
  • Confessions of a New Employee
    I started my new job last week, and have already encountered a handful of situations where I thought "I learned about this in one of my classes." It has been encouraging to have that baseline knowledge, yet strange to be...
  • Not a Group Work Groupie
    Given my mostly virtual schedule this semester, I figured that group projects would be out of the question. How could I possibly work with a group when nearly all of my classes meet online? I didn't choose online classes to...
  • Mastering the Master Plan
    It happened. I got a job. My master plan - starting my job search in September, taking one class online and one blended night class for maximum schedule flexibility, and continually using this forum to express my job-related anxieties in...
  • Entry-level Expectancies
    I spent some time with my brother on Sunday afternoon, and we were talking about school, jobs, life, and all that fun stuff. My brother just turned 22 and will graduate college in May. He must be living the life,...
  • 31-36 of 36
    Well, here it is, folks: The last installment of my "What classes is Sarah taking this semester?" posts. I suppose it is bittersweet (for lack of a better cliché), although at this point it definitely feels more sweet than bitter....
  • The (Updated) Tale of a (More) Reformed Networker
    I had my first networking revelation a little over a year ago, and my second one happened last Friday at the Special Libraries Association New England Fall conference (which conveniently took place at Simmons). I spent the day listening to...
  • Chillin' with my Professors
    Friday afternoon I spent thirty minutes with a professor, then went to the office next door and met with another professor. This was the second of my five planned trips to campus this semester, and was a nice change from...
  • You Could Technically Be A Better Librarian Than Me
    The GSLIS curriculum offers four specialized programs: Archives, Dual Degree Archives/History, Dual Degree LIS/Children's Literature, and School Library Teacher. If none of those "tracks" suit your fancy, then you are considered a generalist and essentially create your own track. Given...
  • Career Over Curriculum
    At the beginning of each semester I expect to briefly plunge into a state of anxiety because classes are starting. This semester, however, feels different to me for three reasons: 1) It is my last semester, 2) My current work...
  • Winter is Coming
    I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones on June 22 as an escape from the afternoon heat in Washington, DC. Fast-forward 24 hours, and I had watched five more. The only thing stopping me from completing the entire...
  • Petition to Proceed into the Library World
    Most people know what it's like to have an email inbox that is constantly full of crap. Listservs, gimmicks, promotions, mass emails that may or may not pertain to you but you should probably read anyway just in case...you know....
  • The Royal Job Watch
    A few weeks ago, my friend sent me this link and suggested that I apply. Royal Librarian - the job title gives me goose bumps. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, meet Sarah Barton, librarian of Cambridge. This is definitely my...
  • Library Lesson Learned IV
    As much as I am looking forward to having the perfect library job, I am not quite so naïve to think that such a thing will fall into my lap, especially on my first attempt. In fact, I would argue...
  • Drawn to Being Withdrawn
    I have recently done an unusual amount of reading about solitude while also living a more solitary life than usual - I do not have classes, work less than thirty hours per week, and my significant other is interning in...
  • Privy to Privacy
    I haven't heard much, if any, nitty-gritty library lingo since classes ended in April. In my GSLIS experience, it seems that most of the jargon-y, theoretical stuff happens in the classroom while the more practical, practice-oriented application occurs in outside...
  • Summer Slowdown
    In my last post (which seems like ages ago), I posited that it would take a week or two for me to adjust to the semester being over. In retrospect, I think my estimate was off by, well, about a...
  • Library Laryngitis
    Last week I had a case of acute laryngitis and could not speak any louder than a whisper, if at all. It wasn't a huge deal (aside from being annoying), and actually led to some unintentionally comical and unfortunately stereotypical...
  • Boston Strong
    I am neither eloquent nor competent enough to put into words the thoughts, fears, feelings, and emotions that I experienced last week during and in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt. It is unfortunate that sometimes...
  • Marathon Monday
    Forgive me for writing about sports for a second consecutive week, but the Boston Marathon is kind of a big deal. The Boston Athletic Association claims that in terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon ranks behind only the Super...
  • Being Frank About Fenway
    Today is opening day at Fenway Park. Granted, the Red Sox have already played six games on the road to start the season, but baseball doesn't really seem official until the boys of summer suit up within the confines of...
  • 25-30 of 36
    I think I'm a bit overdue for telling you about my courses this semester, so here goes. I am only taking two classes right now, as last May's weeklong class and last semester's independent study got me a bit ahead...
  • Midterm Madness
    Last week I had my first ever GSLIS midterm. It was open note, so beforehand I spent a few hours going through my notes and the slides from class to create a four-page cheat sheet of sorts. Compiling everything into...
  • A Special Track for a Special Librarian
    Sensing a trend in my peers’ recent blog posts about different types of libraries and librarians, I will brief you on where I aspire to end up after receiving my degree in December. As Maggie’s, Julie’s, and Emily’s posts each...
  • Ode to Spring Break
    As a graduate student, I feel a little awkward telling people that this week is Spring Break. I mean, Spring Break is soooo college, right? Last year I felt better about discussing my Spring Break plans, as I spent a...
  • The Hardship of Librarianship
    An eight-year-old girl who comes to the library multiple times per week with her older sister, and sometimes their mother, posed the following to me and a colleague on Thursday night: “Do you work really hard every day? I think...
  • My Library School Library
    I’ve written about a handful of different libraries in this blog, but I daresay I have neglected one that has been integral to my time at GSLIS: the Beatley Library at Simmons. During my first semester I was neither working...
  • Library Lesson Learned III
    Just before the library closed on Tuesday, a boy came to the desk to ask if we had any books about dogs. He wanted non-fiction, so I brought him over to the 636.7-ish area of the children’s section and we...
  • Weather You Like It Or Not
    Unless you spent the past 72 hours under a colossal snowdrift (which is quite possible), you probably noticed that snow bombarded Boston on Friday and Saturday. The weather gods vacillate between being a faithful friend and formidable foe to New...
  • Lobbying for Library Cards
    On Saturday I spent three hours lobbying for library cards. During the month of February, the Somerville Public Library is competing against the Arlington, Belmont, and Lexington Public Libraries to see which can sign up the most new library cardholders....
  • Putting Evaluation Into Action
    Last week at my internship, my boss overheard me telling a co-worker that I am taking my final core class, Evaluation of Information Services. My boss was intrigued, and suggested that we schedule a meeting sometime next month to look...
  • We are Not on the Same e-Page
    My mother reads more books than anyone I know. She is always reading something, and more often than not she has multiple books going. She legally possesses three library cards from three different libraries, and she actively uses each of...
  • Occupational Preoccupation
    I went to work at the library on Saturday dressed as a librarian. Hair pulled back, cardigan, sensible shoes, blah blah blah. (Fortunately, my vision is still ok, so I didn’t top it off with a pair of glasses perched...
  • Time to Face the Music
    The holidays are over, which means there’s only one thing left: New Year’s resolutions. It seems like a lot of people are resolute about not making resolutions, while some think of January 1st as a yearly opportunity to set new...
  • Library Lesson Learned II
    On my way home from the train a few days ago, I ran into a woman who frequents the library where I work. The library stays open until 9 pm two nights per week, and she is almost always there at least...
  • Breaking Down My Winter Break
    My classes ended today, so I am officially 66% of a librarian. I need only twelve more credits (four more courses) to hit 100%. Yowzer. Next semester will entail two classes, a new internship, and continuing with my part-time public...
  • 22-24 of 36
    Surprise! I bet you weren’t expecting to hear more about my GSLIS course credits this semester, but this is it, I promise. In addition to my three classes this semester, I had an Independent Study doing an internship at a...
  • Let’s Take This Outside (the Classroom)
    Two of my three courses this semester have required that I interview a library professional. Those interviews, plus my internship (more on that next week) have provided me with practical knowledge that simply cannot come from a classroom setting. The...
  • Working for the Weekend
    In high school and occasionally during college summers, I worked on Saturdays. It wasn’t ideal, and I’m sure my bustling social life suffered irreparable damage, but somehow I survived. Since then, most of my Saturdays have been unadulterated Sarah time....
  • A Case of the Mondays
    Today is Veterans’ Day observed, and GSLIS does not have classes. How will I be spending my morning, you ask? In class. Barring Thanksgiving next week (yay!), the only holidays this semester fall on Mondays. That means there ends up...
  • Don’t Judge a Donated Book by Its Cover
    I work at a small branch library, and I was surprised to learn that we are not supposed to take book donations. One or two books here and there is ok, but an “I’m moving tomorrow and here is my...
  • Fathoming the Frankenstorm
    I tend to not get too hyped up about storm forecasts. I recognize that people need to be alerted about the potential severity of a storm so they can prepare accordingly, but I personally don’t get caught up in the...
  • “Library” Cataloging Experience
    I thought that cataloging would be my jam. My calling. My future. This assumption, for better or worse, was based on one thing: my iTunes library. Ever since I can remember, I have been militant when it comes to organizing...
  • 1-12 of 36
    As promised, whether you like it or not, here is a retrospective account of my courses from last semester: Mondays, 9am-noon – LIS 415; Reference and Information Services A core class, one that everyone must take. The idea behind the...
  • 13-21 of 36
    I’ve been spending so much time lately writing about the work I’ve been doing for my classes and the random things that have nothing to do with my classes that I have neglected to talk about, well, my classes. And...
  • Preaching to the Comforter
    Is there anything more ridiculous than giving a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation to your empty bedroom? Having spent 55 minutes doing just that last night, I think I was more uncomfortable talking to an empty room than I will be when...
  • Extreme Makeover: Walmart Edition
    I would say that inside of nearly everyone’s mind lives an image of what a library looks like. You may picture your local library, a library that you have visited, or a completely imagined state-of-the-art facility that you designed in...
  • Library Lesson Learned
    The other day at work I was shelving books when a woman asked if I work there. Eager to be helpful and put my developing library wisdom to use, I said yes. She said that her daughter, who was there...
  • Don't Fear the Syllabus
    One of my biggest issues at the beginning of the semester is that I get myself into a tizzy when the professor goes over the syllabus. I get all worked up about the assignments, even the ones that are due...
  • The Tale of a Reformed Networker
    As I mentioned in my last post, this semester brings me the joys of a part-time job and an internship. After months of what amounted to futile job searching, I eventually managed to land not one, but two library-related opportunities....
  • Shooting for Par, Pigeons, and Career Preparation
    Last week I tried two things that I had never done before: golfing and shooting a gun. In both activities, my shots were pretty poor. Frankly, some of them were downright awful. Having never done a sport that focuses exclusively...
  • For Me, a Library Job is Better than the Mall
    The other day I set foot in a good old-fashioned mall for the first time in several years. It was almost lunchtime on yet another 90-degree day, and the mall was relatively empty save for a handful of folks meandering...
  • A Conversation Starter…or Stopper?
    Last week I was discussing my library school escapades in two different situations with two very different results. The first interaction was with a seventy-year-old uncle who said “I don’t understand library school, can you explain it to me in...
  • Summer of Sarah
    It is nearly July, and a few people have asked me if I have been busy so far this summer. The answer is yes, provided that vacationing qualifies as being busy. May was busy with volunteering and taking the Corporate...
  • Corporate Librarianship: Selling Out or Buying In?
    Goodness gracious was that one-week “Corporate Libraries” course a blur. In five days I had to do two short papers and two group presentations, so there was no time for “I’ll do this later.” Maybe that was a sneaky introduction...
  • The Post-Semester Life of an Unemployed Aspiring Librarian
    The calendar tells me that the semester ended three weeks ago. Instead of harping on how that does not seem temporally possible, I will briefly detail the post-semester life of an unemployed aspiring librarian in all of its glory. The...
  • Suggestions for a Disgruntled Patron
    My hometown newspaper published a letter to the editor from a woman who thinks that the public library budget could use substantial cuts. She writes that high school students should replace the six gossiping and squawking librarians with master's degrees...
  • Debunking the Conspiracy
    This morning I saw a bumper sticker with these lovely words of wisdom: “It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.” While I cannot attest to exactly what that Volkswagen-driving amateur conspiracy theorist has...
  • The New Grad School Try
    I could have tried harder in college. In fact, I should have tried harder in college. For some reason it just didn’t seem “cool” to do so at the time. When I embarked on my thesis at the beginning of...
  • How Running a Marathon is (sort of) Like Attending Simmons GSLIS
    I want to make the Boston Marathon relevant to GSLIS. I really do. “Library school is like a marathon.” “The last two weeks of the semester are the final sprint to complete a marathon.” “The Boston Marathon is awesome, and...
  • Librarians in Disguise
    On Wednesday I went to an Alternative Career Panel sponsored by the Simmons Special Libraries Association (SLA). The panel consisted of three women, all of whom graduated from Simmons GSLIS in the past ten years and none of whom are...
  • Dungeons and Dragons or: Libraries and Librarians
    On Friday, to conclude the Best March Ever, I went to “The Future of Reference” hosted by Simmons GSLIS. The keynote speaker, Joe Janes, Chair of the MLIS Program at the University of Washington’s Information School, ended the evening with...
  • Library Promotional Considerations
    New technologies are changing how people use libraries, and libraries must evolve their services and outreach accordingly. Last Wednesday I went to the volunteer kick-off event for the Friends of the Somerville Public Library. The Friends, like many similar organizations...
  • Best. March. Ever.
    During mid- to late-March you can find me parked in front of a television watching college basketball. I can unabashedly say that I have spent at least 24 of the past 96 hours either actively or passively watching college basketball,...
  • The Grand Canyon of Libraries
    Last week was Spring Break, and instead of crashing crazy parties in Cancun I traveled through northern Arizona and southern Utah. Having never been anywhere in the Southwest, I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by...
  • My Vow to Browse
    When I visit a library with the sole intent of choosing my next book, I tend to become borderline robotic. In fact, last week I embarked on Mission: Obtain this month’s Book Club selection. I looked up the call number...
  • Slaying the Lack(-of-relevant-experience) Ness Monster
    Soon after graduating college, I was fortunately offered a job at a small publishing company. Less than four months later, I was unfortunately laid off, thus prompting a five-month bout with unemployment during which I glumly spent my weeks applying...

  • Last summer I visited the Library of Congress, and the “Jefferson’s Library” exhibit blew me away. A pane of glass separated me from Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection – the collection that spurred the advent of the Library of Congress. My...
  • Why I Am Here
    Since this is my very first post (yay!), let me tell you why I am at Simmons GSLIS. I love libraries. I love what they are, what they stand for, and what they provide for their communities. I have never...