LISSA's Day of FiTS Provides Collaborative Learning Experience

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This past Saturday, members of the Library and Information Science Student Assembly (LISSA) at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) gathered to put on their annual “Day of FiTS” workshop series.

Held in Hinds Hall, the event attracted dozens of Library and Information Science program graduate students and community members, who came together to organize a day of exhibitions, presentations, and panels. The out-of-classroom learning experience offered students a chance to explore ideas and topics that were outside of the traditional library science curriculum, and that would be helpful to them as they prepared for their careers after graduate school.

Nurganym Agzamova at Day of FiTS
LIS student Nura Agzamova presents her Day of FiTS session on libraries in Kazakhstan.

“The FiTS event is meant to provide information that isn't in the curriculum, and often that is far outside of the curriculum,” said Jill Hurst-Wahl, director of the MS in Library and Information Science program at the iSchool.  “For example, American Sign Language (ASL) isn't in the LIS curriculum, yet we know that there are library users who communicate using it.  I really enjoyed filling in a space in my knowledge by attending the ASL session and learning about ASL signs that would be helpful in a library setting.  Everyone in that session walked away feeling a bit more confident about interacting with someone who uses ASL.”

Among the topics on the workshop schedule were sessions on coding, information literacy and fake news, a history of animal rights, and information about partnership opportunities with libraries in Kazakhstan.

Margaret Craft, a December 2016 graduate of the LIS program who currently works at the iSchool’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning found that attending the Day of FiTS events allowed her to get in touch with her passions and find new things that interested her.

“The workshops are an effort by the LIS students to connect with other students and groups, and provide a platform for people to express themselves and get a sense of what they want to do with their careers,” Craft remarked. “It’s also a great opportunity to share and learn from each other, and it’s very different from conference networking or professional networking – this is more informal and creates a much different space to learn in.

This was Craft’s third year attending a Day of FiTS event.

“For me it’s always a grab bag, you never know who will be there or what you might learn, but it’s a worthwhile experience,” Craft noted.

“I'm thankful for the students, alumni, and other members of our information community who came to the Day of FiTS,” said Hurst-Wahl. “It really shows that we each have knowledge that others are interested in, and that what we learn from each other has value and impact.”