Dear First Years: Take These Courses

So you went to the electives information session last Monday, and now your head is spinning with all of those choices and you’re not sure which ones will suit your needs best. Or, you couldn’t make it to the session and you have no clue where to start with your course selections for the winter. Well, lucky for you, we have suggestions!

We asked the second-year SIS students for their recommendations, and here are their opinions on the essentials and hidden gems this program has to offer:

 

GLIS 608 Classification & Cataloguing:

Multiple students recommended for this course, and having taken it myself, I will add my name to that list. It’s an extremely practical course for anyone interested in the librarianship side of our program. Even if you don’t want to be a cataloguing librarian, it’s always good to know the basics of how it’s done. Be aware that this course is usually offered every other year.

“I’ve already gotten two jobs because I know RDA and MARC and at least an inkling of BIBFRAME, knowledge I would not have had without that course!” – Quincy

GLIS 611 Research Principles & Analysis:

“This course was a good overview of constructing and conducting a survey and how to write a qualitative/quantitative research paper. It was especially helpful in teaching critical reading and writing skills.” – Heather

GLIS 615 Reference & Information Services:

“For students who want to be academic librarians, learning how to conduct a reference interview is essential. This class focused on how to understand the information needs of the student/patron through a combination of open and closed questions as well as the demeanor necessary for making the student/patron feel welcome in the library. The lectures were split in two parts: In the first half, subject librarians from McGill and Concordia came to talk about reference interviews and the resources they use for their specific subject. The second half was centered on evidence-based best practices for reference librarians.” – Heather

GLIS 616 Information Retrieval:

“I like solving problems and have stuff working. Popular web/marketing topics were interesting too” – Jingwei

GLIS 634 Web Systems Design & Management:

This was another course that received multiple recommendations from students who have taken it.

“I liked the way it was taught; everything was tied into context from a practical point of view, and you’re constantly thinking about websites’ aesthetics and function. Being able to take away a project you can talk about to an potential employer is also quite nice.” – Jingwei

“I enjoyed doing the work and puzzling out why things weren’t working” – Rachel

GLIS 657 Database Design & Development:

This is a tough course for those of us who aren’t used to working with computers, but if you put the effort in the rewards are definitely worth it. I may never take a job that requires me to build a database, but I have a much better understanding of how they work and best practices for using them after taking this course.

“It was a ton of work, so be prepared. That said it is also pretty useful and I can imagine using what we learned later on in my career.” – Elise

GLIS 661 Knowledge Management:

“KM was my favourite – great for non-KM people as well, as it goes over some good management and people-skills type concepts that are great in any professional situation.” – Mark

GLIS 663 Knowledge Taxonomies:

“I enjoyed how the course connected between digital tools and knowledge management, also how it explored both; [the professor] also gave us a lot of freedom and activities…like she would ask us what we want to learn/hear more about every class.” – Jingwei

GLIS 691 Special Topics 1 – Information Search & Evaluation

“So useful… it gave a brief look into searching databases in different fields. Which is good to have as a base, given it’s impossible to take all the special librarian courses.” – Sarah

 

More information on SIS courses can be found here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this post. Do you have another course you think should be added to the list? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

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