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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. I think that I have taken about all I can from GSLIS, and am ready to start applying my newfound knowledge and skills to a full-time job. But enough about me, what about my last two classes?

Online - LIS 401; Foundations of Library and Information Science

This is a new core class, and all students are now required to take it in their first semester. So why am I taking it now, as one of my last classes? Well, it fits my schedule (my class is completely online, but there are also sections that meet exclusively in-person), and I thought it would be patently poetic to finish the program by taking a course that is now required to start the program. Not surprisingly, many of the lecture topics are familiar to me, but the online discussions and assignments have been quite interesting. We have already had to write three papers, two of which involved thinking about what we want to do with our degree. Most of my classmates are just starting the program, so they are thinking ahead to when they get their degree (in at least two years), but for me, the assignments have been helpful to get me thinking about what I want to be doing when I graduate (in about two months). I will be one of the few who take this at the end of the GSLIS program, so my experience with this class will likely be much different than yours; however, this course serves everyone as not only a survey of the foundations of library and information science, but also a strong foundation for your tenure as a GSLIS student.

One Wednesday per month, 6-9pm - LIS 453; Collection Development

This class meets one Wednesday per month, which amounts to only four times all semester...why wouldn't you want in on this? Well, the weeks that do not involve an in-person class have an online portion, so there's always something. Plus, this is my first night class, and I have found that I much prefer to be in my PJs than in class at 9pm. Anyway, collection development is an often unsung, yet crucially important, aspect of any library, archive, museum, or information center. It seems straightforward, right? All you have to do is buy books. Wrong. There are also audio/visual materials, databases, newspapers, donations, and myriad other things to consider. Oh, and you also need to think about the needs of your user population and stay under budget. Suddenly this doesn't seem quite so simple... Throughout the semester I am working with a group on six discrete parts of a collection development plan that will come together as a final project. I have no aspirations for a career in collection development or acquisitions, but what I learn in this course will likely help with any materials-related decisions that I may encounter in my career.

So that's it - I've nearly met my GSLIS credit quota. Any credits beyond these 36 will come from practical experience, and fall into the dreaded "what I didn't learn in library school" category. I can't write extensively about that yet, but I have a feeling that what I did learn in library school will amount to only a fraction of what I didn't.

**Please note that all students entering Fall 2013 and after will need to complete 39 credits to graduate due to the implementation of a new core curriculum**


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