SILS welcomes new grad students

August 22, 2017

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) hosted its annual orientation day for new Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS), Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS), and doctoral students on Monday, August 21.

SILS students talking in Manning Hall 209
New SILS students discuss which animal
best represents their group.

The morning information session included a welcome from SILS Dean Gary Marchionni and tips from Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Ron Bergquist, Student Services Coordinator Lara Bailey, International Programs Coordinator Kaitlyn Murphy, and Career Services Coordinator Lori Haight.

Associate Professor and MSLS Program Director Brian Sturm delivered a presentation about LIS professional values and shared some quick facts about the incoming class. While North Carolina was well represented, students also hailed from several other states, including California, Connecticut, and Kentucky, as well as locations outside the U.S., including China, Germany, and India. In their applications, students expressed a wide range of interests, from database systems and human computer interaction to academic library and public library services, but the most heavily cited area was archives and special collections.

Sturm also had the students participate in a quick collaborative exercise, asking them to pick an animal with characteristics that best represented them, and then to join small groups and negotiate a single animal to represent the whole. Answers included cat (low-key and multi-faceted), horse (steady and curious), platypus (adaptable and eclectic), and dolphin (chosen by two groups for being enthusiastic and independent, as well as intelligent and helpful).  

Students on the step of Manning Hall in eclipse glasses
Students, faculty, and staff take a break to check out
the solar eclipse.

Towards the end of the morning session, three returning master's students were recognized. SILS Alumni Association (SILSAA) President Doug Diesenhaus (MSLS '12) announced that Lia Walberg was the recipient of the 2017 Elfreda Chatman Research Award for best master’s paper proposal, and Lisa Gregory (MSLS ’09) presented Nkechinyere Nwoko and Melissa Ferens with scholarships from Beta Phi Mu Epsilon Chapter. Emily Jack (MSLS '07) introduced students to LAUNC-CH (the Librarians' Association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

Following lunch provided by SILS and SILSAA, students spent an afternoon learning more about the curriculum, touring the SILS Library at IT Labs, and hearing from panels of returning students about their experiences at SILS. Around 2:40 p.m., the orientation activities paused so students, faculty, and staff could go outside to experience the solar eclipse.

Orientation ended at 4:30 p.m., but the Information & Library Science Student Association (ILSSA) had Week of Welcome events planned for later in the day and every evening through Friday.

Check out more photos from the day on the UNC SILS Flickr page.