End of Semester Party

The semester is finished! At least for GSLIS, I still have a 25 page history paper to do but that didn’t stop me from celebrating with my fellow library students on Friday night. GSLIS put on a very cool end of the year party. It was great to be with all my friends outside of the context of a class. But we are librarians so we couldn’t pass up the chance to be educational and learn new information.

Members of the faculty offered 5 minute presentations on any topic they wished. We learned about an amazing accordion book that unfolds to show the Amazon River, about using Social Media to connect with colleagues, some of the great photos in Harvard’s collections and other great topics.

One that really made me think was Prof. Joel Blanco-Rivera’s talk on Archivists Without Borders. Archivists without Borders was started in Spain and is currently in the process of setting up a US Chapter. Archivists without Borders is dedicated to “cooperation in the sphere of archives work in countries whose documentary heritage is in danger of disappearing or of suffering irreversible damage, with particular emphasis on the protection of human rights.” They do this by helping preserve records in danger or by teaching other how to do it.

As I was listening I was thinking of my holiday trip back to South Texas where my parents live. One of the member states is Mexico, and my family lives right on the border. If there is an underrepresented class in that area it is illegal immigrants. But how would one go about documenting the lives of people who are by necessity off the record? I don’t have answers but it was a very interesting problem to mull over.

It was also one that I forgot to bring up with my friends. Because even though it’s the end of the semester, and we had free drinks (thanks Simmons!) we still were discussing “academic” topics or at least deep psychological ones. Go figure. But I’m so glad to be with “nerds” who will do such things with me!

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