Hi there! My name is Kelsey Jarrell, a second year graduate student at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland College Park studying library science. My time at the University of Maryland has helped me develop an understanding of the values, social responsibilities, ethics, and policy issues that influence the profession and users’ lives. I have also developed an interest in applying my library science background to a school or public library setting.

My coursework in library science has focused on the topics of user instruction, preservation, organizational leadership, bibliographic control, and information infrastructure. I have learned to incorporate preservation principles to library work, identify instructional and reference needs,  provide interactive instruction to student, and apply models, schema, representations and encodings for organizing information. I also possess a variety of technical skills including web design and troubleshooting.  In addition to library science, I have experience managing the office of a fast-paced accounting firm.

5 Things to Know About The Library of Congress

On Thursday, October 31, I went with a group of 14 other University of Maryland graduate students on a tour of the Library of Congress. It was my first visit and a few things surprised me.

Jefferson Building


1) There are 3 Library of Congress buildings on Capitol Hill: the Jefferson, Madison, and Adams. All three are connected by underground tunnels- so you don’t even need to go outside to go between each building. Even cooler fact: there’s a coffee bar in the tunnel between the Jefferson and Madison building.

2) The Jefferson Building (above) is extremely opulent. No corner of the building is a wasted opportunity for decorative art. You will find odes to intellectuals from all fields of knowledge. Even the bathrooms are marble!

3) Those who work at the LOC like to talk about the film National
Treasurer 2: Book of Secrets
. The librarian who gave us the tour made a point to show us the staircase (pictured right) Nicholas Cage runs down in one scene filmed at the LOC.

4) They still have a card catalog! Pictured below is one row of the card catalog room, where there are 22,000 drawers and 22,000,000 cards. Cards have not been added to the catalog since 1980.

5) The LOC houses the largest comic book collection in the world! My group found this tidbit out while visiting the The Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room in the Madison Building.

LOC Card Catalog





The LOC tries its best to make as much information as possible available on it’s website www.loc.gov, where you can find visitor information, the online catalog, and lots of resources for researchers.

#HLSDITL Day 5: Friday and the Final Day

Hack Library School is a blog “by, for, and about library school students”. Their Project, Library Student Day in the Life (HLSDITL) is intended to give a peek into the life of a library student for prospective students and to connect current students across the globe. Participants share what they are learning in class and their experiences at work.

Friday is the first day of my weekend, and it is my “Get All of the Thing Done” day. Except, I seldom accomplish that goal. Exhausted from my Thursday and privileged with the free time that comes along with funemployment, I gave myself some slack for not accomplishing much besides completing my (take home) mid term for LBSC671: Creating Information Infrastructures. My prof said “you have 3 hours to complete the exam, but it really should only take you 90 minutes”- NOPE. I had to use the entire 3 hours.

I am have zero regrets participating in HLSDITL. It was a wonderful project that helped me stop procrastinating with the creation of my social media endeavors. The project also introduced to me to people within the library school community that I now follow on Twitter . Their posts have caused my LIS knowledge to skyrocket this week. Social media has proven to be a terrific supplement to classes.

The only drawback is that my library life is kind of boring at the moment. Since this is my first semester and I am taking all core courses, the things I am learning are very basic and introductory, and as a result, not that fun to share. I also left my position as an office manager two weeks ago (to focus on library stuff) and have not been seriously looking for a part time student position. I will definitely be participating in the next round of HLSDITL. By then, my courses will be more interesting, there’s a good chance I will have a library job, and my social media skills (particularly on Twitter) will have ripened.

Huge thanks and best of luck to all of the other participants!

#HLSDITL Day 4: Thursday

Despite living in the DC area for about 24 years (aka, my whole life) , I had never visited the Library of Congress. Thanks to an opportunity through the University of Maryland, I went for the first time on Thursday!

Besides getting the history of the library and the background to the imagery of the interior of the building talk, my group got a  tour of several of several readings rooms, the card catalog room, and we were shown the various places where Nicholas Cage filmed National Treasurer 2.

My favorite part was the main reading room. So inspiring. So majestic.

oh and did I mention I got my reader card!

Before I went to the LOC, I made sure to register for my Spring 2014 classes:

-User Instruction
-Bibliographic Control

People kept asking me what I would be doing for Halloween. There’s something cool, in my opinion, about telling people you aren’t doing anything for Halloween because you will be in class :)

#HLSDITL Day 3: Wednesday


Did some readings for my Thursday class, LBSC602: Serving Information Needs.
Topic:  the reference interview
Highlight of the readings: learning about funny reference desk requests. My favorite, which I believe is a classic, is the student who asked for a book titled “Oranges and Peaches” but what he really needed was “Origin of Species”


the librarian who heard “soccer tees” instead of “Socrates”

I did not accomplish as much as I usually do on a typical Wednesday. I had an unusual week because of a field trip in DC on Thursday morning. I decided to leave for DC on Wednesday night to visit my boyfriend and my sister. I will be doing further catch-up over the weekend

Job update: I learned about another open position. This one is at an affiliate university’s library. I will be sending my cover letter on Friday!

Stay tuned for a post about my field trip to DC!

#HLSDITL Day 2: Tuesday

Course planning for next semester: the majority of my day was spent deciding on courses. I think I made some pretty good choices, I will announce my decisions once I officially register on Thursday

Hornbake Library Position: still have not heard back. They should hurry up because I have learned about some other pretty cool positions opening up within the next month!

Reading Assignments: had to skip the LBSC602 “Serving Information Needs” readings about reference interviews because LBSC631 “Achieving Organizational Excellence” had some surprise readings for tonight. The readings were announced and posted last night…

My Ridiculous Reason for Being 4 Minutes Late to LBSC631 Tonight: I had to get a ladder from the garage to kill a spider on my ceiling.

The important thing is that I took care of that spider problem all on my own


#HLSDITL Day 1: Monday

Wednesdays and Fridays are my off days for classes, so when my Thursday professor cancelled class last week, I had a surprise 5 day weekend. I used my time wisely and I completed a lot of work I would’ve been doing this week. So this might make it seem like grad school is easy as pie. My life was much different two weeks ago.

Before class: 8am-4pm

That 5 day weekend caused me to have a really hard time getting started with my week. Just because all of my homework is done doesn’t mean I am off the hook with library school related tasks!

I read about systems of classification as I ate my fall inspired breakfast (pumpkin butter on bread next to a hot cup of apple cider). I found the history of classification schemas interesting (particularly studies about color across different cultures).

One way I like to  get my week jumpstarted is to exercise. It’s also a great way to manage stress. I used to take my ipad with me so I could read for school while doing cardio, but I found this counteracts with the whole stress relief thing, so I only do it when I am really busy. Thanks to my long weekend, I didn’t have to do that today.

With the gym out of the way and feeling super energized, I spent a few hours completing my (take home) midterm for LBSC631: Achieving Organizational Excellence (my leadership course). Its really funny how it was not until grad school that I was ever given a “take home exam”. However, the questions are far more complex so it ends up consuming a lot more time than any undergraduate in-class exam.

Class: 5:30pm-8:15pm

“Technical Services” was this week’s topic for LBSC671: Creating Information Infrastructures. We were given a tour of the technical services department at UMD’s McKeldin Library (the main library on campus, but there are 6 more libraries on campus). As we walked through the department’s office on the second floor, I couldn’t believe I never noticed there was such a huge office occupying that floor. It’s a massive space, which I learned was absolutely necessary in the 1970s before the availability of digital journals and books- this library is the home to over 2 million volumes! With 80% of the library’s budget now devoted to digital products, much of that space is empty, bookshelves have been removed, and it will likely be re-purposed for student space.

We also got to peak around the preservation department (in the basement of McKeldin). Like the technical services office, the preservation space isn’t used as much as it once was but you can tell that a lot of important work is still being performed. I got to see what a humidity detector looks like and regret not taking a photo.

Hopes & Dreams for Tuesday

On Tuesday I will continue to routinely check my e-mail to see if I get a response for the student position I applied to to last week at UMD’s Hornbake Library (the special collections library). It is also important that I e-mail my professors to inquire about classes they are teaching next semester since registration is quickly approaching. Lastly, I will be learning how to master the reference conversation through some reading assignments for LBSC602: Serving Information Needs. I hope to get all of this done before LBSC631 at 5:30.