Welcome to What’s Your Lib School Like? Part Two! In this series, we’ll be asking our contributing writers questions about their library school.
Question 2: How does your lib school welcome new students?
I am a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since I’m part of the LEEP (online) program, we were required to attend a seven day boot camp on campus. Boot camp was awesome because: 1. We got to meet and socialize with the other students in our cohort. 2. We were able to establish a sense of connection to the physical university, which is often lost for online students. 3. We were introduced to the expectations of library school. There was a lot of required reading and we spent a lot of time on group assignments and projects. We also got copious amounts of free food, which is always a bonus!
The University of Michigan really does a lot to get students prepared for their first year. On the virtual side, there’s an incoming student Facebook group, a Q&A forum in our learning management system, and several summer chat sessions to start planning classes and activities. SI also hosts Visited Days, in the spring (after early decision admissions), which allows admitted students to drop in on classes, to attend career, financial aid, and academic advising sessions, and to socialize with current students in formal and informal gatherings. It’s a full schedule, but definitely worth your time. And I believe they offer full travel and lodging accommodations. Then, in the week prior to fall courses, students can attend orientation, with a mix of advising, networking, and intro (w/ food) sessions. I attending orientation last years, and I loved our cohort-wide Intro to Design Thinking activity.
With Brenna, I’m at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well but on campus. For the on campus folks we do not have the bootcamp, but for the incoming GAs there is a week long orientation session for learning the library and policies etc. I think something like this would have been helpful for all of the incoming LIS students. We do get to meet some of the online students who are there for their bootcamp.