One down, two to go: A review of the first term

I am just about to finish my gloriously long Christmas break, and head back to Sheffield. Having just submitted a large assignment, and thus completing my first semester, I thought a review of how it’s gone would be appropriate.

Initial reaction: Gosh! They said it was hard work, but it really is hard work, isn’t it?!

Secondary reaction: Hmm, how useful will essays actually be to my career?

I’ll address my initial reaction first. I was feeling pretty cocky at the start of the course, having already done a social science degree. I will admit it has been useful, especially when one has to be critical of writings, or familiarity with the format of assignments. But the work load has been pretty intense. Pretty much all of the work was due in the final week of term. I pride myself in being well organised, so thankfully I got everything in on time fine, but the step up from undergraduate (with a year’s break working) has been harder than I thought. Challenging though, and luckily I enjoy that!

But secondary reaction – how useful will it be in the long-term? – is an interesting feeling that has only cropped up now I’ve slowed down a bit in the Christmas break. I know the degree itself is important for my career progression, and I am learning interesting, new things, but sometimes I do feel it is a little too academic, and not quite vocational enough. I think the opportunity for placements would be helpful in this, and next term might change my opinion, as we get to specialise more.

And now a quick summary of the modules I’ve completed:

Libraries, Information and Society

An introduction to the themes of the course, such as the Information Society, Digital Divides, Communities. It also introduced us to various types of libraries, such as public, academic, special, and children’s library services. I really enjoyed the visits on this module, particularly to public libraries and Sheffield Hallam University.

Management for Library and Information Services

This one’s fairly dry, but it is probably the module that is most applicable for most people. I haven’t actually completed this one, as it runs across two semesters so I’ll be continuing with it next term. I find it boring, but at the same time I can see how it will be useful. I do wonder, though, how much of the content we would learn on the job anyway.

Information Resources and Information Literacy

Reasonably interesting, though the focus is much more on Information Literacy than Resources. We had a really useful session with our subject librarian in this module, teaching us how to use Google efficiently.

Information Retrieval: Search Engines and Digital Libraries

The most ‘techy’ module, which terrified me at first, but this actually turned out to be my favourite module of the lot. I learnt so much, and the teaching from Dr Paul Clough and Dr Robert Villa was excellent. I really hope I got a good mark in this module that reflects my enjoyment!


The next semester starts in February, and I’ll be sure to give the low down on my next set of modules. And because this post doesn’t have any pictures, here’s a lovely one from my recent Christmas trip to Paris.

The Christmas lights, and the inevitable traffic, on the Champs-Élysées very cleverly create the French Flag


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