Newsletter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS)




 title of the newsletter: The Silverfish


March 2004

Vol VIII Issue III

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Information School
University of Washington
About the Silverfish
Editorial Board
Submission Guidelines
Current Issue


Letter from the Editor

When I first heard that the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference was going to be held in Seattle this year, I didn’t pay much attention. I’m not planning to be a public librarian, so I thought my time would be better spent studying or working on school projects. The cost of attending the conference was also prohibitive. I know the $70 student rate is supposed to be a bargain, but for a grad student living on top ramen and Vietnamese sandwiches, the registration fee was hard to justify (do you know how many packages of top ramen you can buy for $70?).

Ben Stein talking at  PLA
Ben Stein
At the last minute I decided to go to the conference anyhow. And, I have to say, that was one of the smartest decisions I have made since I decided to go to library school. Being surrounded by thousands of librarians is perhaps one of the most energizing—and surreal—experiences I’ve had so far in my almost-professional career. I wandered the exhibition floor and ran into Nancy Pearl one day and Ben Stein (from the TV show Win Ben Stein’s Money) the next. I meandered between sessions such as Detectives Without Pants: Alternatives to the Traditional Mystery and Preparing your Library to Collect Networked Statistics like a kid in a candy shop. On the last day of the conference I got sucked into helping SALA sell raffle tickets and somehow managed to sell over 120 tickets in three hours (those librarians are sure suckers for raffles!). All in all, it was a very worthwhile and memorable event—even for those of us who have no intentions of working in public libraries.

Nancy Pearl
For those of you that missed the conference, you’re in luck! In this issue of the Silverfish, we have a special feature on the PLA Conference. Five students from the iSchool have written articles reflecting on their experiences at the conference and the sessions that they attended. This issue also features an article on the new iSchool curriculum transformation initiative by John Glover, a report on the American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference by Phoebe Ayers and the latest installment of our advice column featuring Marion the Librarian and Information Professional.

In our next issue of the Silverfish, we will continue the spotlight on different programs offered in the Information School by focusing on the Law Librarianship program. Law Library students and graduates are encouraged to submit articles sharing their experiences in the program or to submit papers from their classes. To submit an article or to share story ideas, please send me an e-mail at:

Have a great spring break!

Katy Shaw
Silverfish Senior Editor

Susie Chin, Betha Gutsche and Katy Shaw at the conference.

Spotlight on the PLA Conference

The Curious, the Unexpected and the Dangerous: Diary of a conference attendee
by Jenine Lillian

Workin’ the PLA
by Amanda Hornby

A newshound’s report from PLA
by Linda Johns

PLA…for the Manager
by Peter Cole

The Hollywood Librarian
by Linda Johns

First Year Librarians Tell it Like it Is
by Jennie Westlund

Marion the Librarian

Comments on Group Projects and More...
edited by Cheri Streby

Information Professional Spotlight

An Interview with J.R. Jenkins
by Sarah Bosarge

For Book Lovers:’s New Feature: Search Inside the Book
by Dyan Smith Chandler

Judging A Book By Its Cover
by Jenine Lillian

Inside & Outside the iSchool

Adventures at the AAAS
by Phoebe Ayers

My First Caucus
by Karen Estlund

Curriculum Metamorphosis on the Horizon
by John Glover

iServe, uServe, We All Serve
by Blythe Summers


Stirring the pot: rancorous ruminations to provoke discussion
by Tom Dobrowolsky

Help keep the iSchool connected

Silverfish is an ALISS newsletter, but we welcome submissions from all members of the iSchool community. We want to hear from Informatics students, PhD students and MSIM students as well as MLIS students. Are you working on a research project that would be of interest to other folks in the iSchool? Do you want to share your reflections on life at the iSchool? Please send your story ideas or articles to

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