The Newsletter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students

The Silverfish Logo

[Formerly the Sojourner]
December 1996

Introduction to The Silverfish
Kathleen Bennett, editor

Welcome to the first issue of the GSLIS student newsletter for 96/97. You have probably noticed that it is no longer called The Sojourner. In keeping with the newsletter's new look, and its move to being a primarily web-based publication, Ken and I decided that it was time for a new name. A contest was announced, and students suggested several names including "Keywords", "Tracings", "The Pathfinder", and "The Dawg-Ear", as well as keeping the old name, but the clear winner was a late entry, suggested almost offhandedly by Ed Mignon. "The Silverfish" was the name of this publication before it was changed to "Sojourner" nearly twenty years ago. Since the word refers to a small silvery insect that lives in and eats books, it might seem an odd choice for a modern electronic publication, but I'd like to think that it resonated with so many of the current ALISS officers because, even as we stand on the cutting edge of the electronic era, we persist in and honor our love of the books that surround us and give us sustenance.

If you don't like the name, drop us a line at or put an anonymous note in our mailbox and let us know what you think.

The most important aspect of this newsletter is your participation. I'd be really interested in publishing substantive articles and think pieces in this newsletter, in addition to the usual "news around school" items and announcements. Maybe some of you wrote a paper for a library school class that you'd like to put up on the web - this is the place to do it! I'd like to hear about conferences you've been to or done presentations at; I'd like to hear about your jobs and fieldwork. Anything that you think is worth sharing with your fellow students. We'd also like to see humorous tidbits, top ten lists, rants and raves lists, cartoons, jokes, book reviews, film and music reviews - to show the lighter side of library school and of life in general. There will still be a few paper copies available in the lounge, the office, and on the ALISS bulletin board, for those who can't always access the web or would like to take a copy home to read in the tub.

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Executive Privilege:
A Few Words from the ALISS President

Ken Thompson
Fellow Students:

We seem to have arrived in the LIS program at a crucial moment -- many changes will be occurring in the program over the next year or so (and beyond, no doubt). I have been spending the past month or so trying to sort out all these things, and I will now attempt to pass on what I know to you. These are my impressions, and are as factually accurate as possible given my incomplete knowledge of some matters.

The Futures Committee

First of all, for the past year or so, a committee set up by the Graduate School Dean (known as The Futures Committee), has been reviewing the place and function of the GSLIS program in the overall structure of the UW. At the moment that I write this, the preliminary report of the Futures Committee is to be imminently released. The report will contain recommendations for how the GSLIS should be structured in the future. (Conceivably, the report could recommend the elimination of the program, but I am told that this is a long shot.) There will no doubt be some changes that will directly affect our education. Apparently, there will be a response period after the preliminary report before a final report is released, and there will be opportunity for student input. ALISS will make sure that copies of this document are available, and we welcome all students to give their opinion.

Hiring A New Director

It seems that the task of hiring a new director for the school is being put off until the Futures Report is out. However, this is an activity that is going to have to commence almost immediately if there is to be any hope of getting a new Director in by the next academic year.

Hiring New Faculty

Apparently there are at least 3 faculty positions to hire for next academic year. That's a lot of interviewing! Unfortunately, this process might be delayed by the idea that the new director should be found first. This item is of grave concern to students--it directly affects the quality of education we are getting. Current full-time faculty are already overburdened with evening degree classes, advising, and their faculty committee assignments. We need a full complement of faculty to get the most out of our education. I have been informed that students usually play a part in the hiring process, and if any of you are interested in participating, please contact me. I will be making this issue one on my agenda.

Curriculum Review

At the most recent Curriculum Committee meeting, the idea of a full curriculum review was raised, and there seemed to be tacit agreement that it needed to happen (apparently, it has been quite some years since this was done). Once again, though, there was the idea that a new director (and new faculty) should be on board for this process. Although it is doubtful that any curriculum changes would occur before our two years are up, we are in an important position to affect how future LIS students are educated.


The GSLIS is up for reaccreditation by the ALA next year. We have submitted a request for a one year delay, based largely on the issues outlined above. There is also some concern that ALA has recently changed their rules of accreditation, and it is not clearly known how the GSLIS currently fits into those rules.


Lastly, as most of you are probably aware, the portion of Suzzallo that we are in now is due to be renovated beginning next summer. The GSLIS will be relocated (apparently to Bagley Hall -- down by the fountain) for two years or so starting this summer (if renovations start on time). Unfortunately, this will mean the loss of the 'community' feel that the program now has: classes will be spread all across campus, there will be no hanging out in the classroom anymore. Hopefully, there will be a lounge of some kind for LIS students, but how central or convenient this will be for people is uncertain. The post-renovation facilities will be quite fabulous, but unfortunately, unless you're here on the 4 year plan, you won't see that payoff.

That's about it, and that's enough. What's fortunate for us is that there's plenty of room for input into most of these matters: the School is quite gracious that way. If you want to be more involved in any of these processes, please talk to me.

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Message from Ed Bassett, Acting GSLIS Director

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science has reached a critical juncture in its history; those of us with deep interests in libraries and information science can be guides to what will be of use to the next generation of students and those citizens with similar interests.

A futures committee is about to issue its report on where the School might head in the years to come. The faculty and student body will consider the recommendations as well as those in the central administration, including the Graduate School, charged with acting upon such reviews.

One charge clearly is to have the School's faculty and administration reach out to other units on campus to bring together individuals who will share their expertise with our students. We anticipate working more closely with the Libraries and Computing and Communications on campus.

I accepted an invitation to be acting director in large measure because of the opportunities I believe exist for the School. My recent history as director of Communications at the UW has helped prepare me for some of the problems we need to solve within GSLIS.

We will hire additional faculty and redesign the curriculum, reach out to more of the community beyond campus while making sure we build strong alliances right here.

I'm dedicated to the proposition students are important and will benefit from a program that challenges them and helps them grow. I hope to get to know each graduate student better and assure them of my interest in their welfare.

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New Faculty Member at GSLIS

Dr. Allyson Carlyle is joining the GSLIS faculty in Winter Quarter 1997. Her primary research areas are in use of online catalogs and conceptual foundations of descriptive cataloging. She teaches in all areas of cataloging and maintains an interest in bibliographic instruction. Assistant Professor Carlyle has an M.L.S. (1986) and a Ph.D. (1994) from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Report on the 1996 Book Sale
Sylvia Breau

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science held its annual book sale last month. The sale was a huge success. We collected, sorted, and moved close to 4000 books and sold close to 3000. This would not have been possible without the time, effort and back muscles of the many volunteers who chipped in to pull off this project. Special thanks go to Marjan Petty of the Friends of the Library, Carolyn Aamot of Gifts Processing in Suzzallo, and Gloria Ausejo, manager of By George, for their cooperation and support.

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Greetings From ASIS
Zoe Holbrooks, Chair, Joanne West, Secretary-Treasurer, and Dan Dow, Program and Event Chair, ASIS

Happy Holidays Everybody!

Now that we've survived Autumn Quarter -- congratulations, newbies! You've joined the club. (It's been said that hazing would be easier and possibly less painful, but hey, this is Grad School, and we don't do that kinda stuff!)

Winter Quarter is happily a "long" way off -- weeks even! -- but ASIS is already busily engaged in planning activities for the dreariest months of the year. :)

In January, we'll be working with the SLA on Resume Night. This is an excellent opportunity to create a resume or to polish one you already have. Definitely don't miss it if you plan to be job hunting in '97! Also January 24, Online Northwest 97 will be happening in Portland, Oregon. We're waiting to hear if the conference organizers are going to offer us free or reduced registration (as impoverished students) in exchange for dogsbodying (packet stuffing, making out lists, etc). If you're interested in hearing how this turns out and traveling down to the conference with fellow GSLISers, send me email!

In February, GSLIS alum Kathryn Hill (last year's lab manager) and her cohorts at TRIPL will provide an intensive weekend-long experience in the hardware/software aspects of building a network. This is a hands-on experience, and space is definitely limited (10 participants per workshop) so keep an eye on the newsgroup for more information as we get closer to a date.

In March, we'll be presenting an informatics panel. What's informatics, you ask -- and why should you care. Well, come to the panel discussion and find out what folks in law, business and medicine think informatics is! Come find out how informatics might affect your future as an information professional whether you're heading for a public school library, a biotechnical company's in-house library, or an historical society's special collection.

Of course, there's be "TGIFs" around the Ave. And brown bags. And more!

Wishing everyone a great new year!

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How to get the GSLIS newsgroup
Sean McCain

I've been asked to give y'all a quick harangue about why you should read the uwash.gslis newsgroup, and to tell ya' how to get it.

The why is easy enough: because you need it. There's a lot of information and notices that get put on the newsgroup that don't get posted anywhere else. Info on meetings, conferences, jobs, class info, necessary departmental stuff, resources (especially online resources), social gatherings, info on issues affecting the GSLIS and the university, info on colloquia -- through the GSLIS as well as other departments: all this and more can be yours if (and only if) you'd read the newsgroup. To put it simply, you really do need it to know what's goin' on in the department.

Getting the newsgroup is also quite simple. It goes like this (wrote a song about it; wanna' hear it? here it goes...):

When yer in email (Pine is my reference), use the "ListFldrs". This will put you into the "FOLDER LIST" screen, which will have a section for "local" and a section for "remote" folders. You want the "remote" list. You can tab or use the arrow keys to get the remote list highlighted. In the commands at the bottom of the screen should now be choices for "Subscribe" and "UnSbscrbe" (what's an "unsbuskerbee"? Inquiring minds want to know...). If you ain't got these, ya' ain't where ya' wanna be. Guess which one ya' want to hit to get onto the newsgroup. You'll then be asked which groups you want to join. The GSLIS group is "uwash.gslis"; another good one to sign up for is "" -- this is the listing of miscellaneous library and information professional jobs around the country that Dolores updates each day. See all the jobs in places you don't want to live.

Now, if you want to waste a serious amount of time, after hitting "Subscribe," use the "^T" command to get the list of ALL the newsgroups that you can subscribe to. Subscribe to them all. Wallow in the human condition. Use your friends' accounts. Subscribe your friends to them all. Make your friends wallow in the human condition. Get new friends.

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S.A.L.A. Raises Money for ALA-Conference Trip Giveaway
Christine Perkins

GSLIS mugs and t-shirts will go on sale right before exams week, just in time for holiday shopping. S.A.L.A., the Student Chapter of the American Library Association, will be selling the jumbo ceramic coffee mugs and 100% cotton t-shirts to raise money for their annual scholarship to the ALA conference, to be held this year in San Francisco.

One lucky SALA member (there's still time to join!) will be selected this spring to attend the conference, free of charge. Round-trip airfare, hotel accomodations, food and entrance fees are provided by UW-SALA and the ALA. The winner is selected by a random drawing.

This year's mug will be cobalt blue with a drawing of Suzzallo Library and GSLIS in silver. The t-shirt will feature "Top 10 Reasons to Go to Library School" as chosen by SALA members. Large, XL and a few XXL sizes will be available. Show your school spirit and support SALA! Buy a mug! Buy a t-shirt!

Mugs and t-shirts will be sold in the GSLIS lounge as soon as they come in (by finals week). E-mail for more information.

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Email Discussion Lists: Why You Should Subscribe
Kathleen Bennett

Email discussion lists, also known as LISTSERVs, provide a great forum for networking with others in the library profession, finding out about job opportunities, and keeping abreast of trends in your preferred specialty. A detailed directory of a large number of lists, searchable and grouped by category, has been provided by a group at the University of Houston. It lives at Check it out!

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Professional Development Grants from the Special Libraries Association, Pacific Northwest Chapter

The SLA/PNW Professional Development Fund is intended to assist current SLA/PNW members with fees for attending programs and workshops, both local and regional, which will provide continuing education in the profession. It is also designed to encourage students in the graduate school of library and information science to participate in the profession through chapter events.

In 1997, several grants will be distributed for attendance at programs and workshops such as (but not limited to) SLA-PNW meetings, SLA 1997 national conference in Seattle in June, extension classes, and regional conferences and workshops sponsored by related professional organizations. At least one student membership in SLA will also be awarded.

The number and amounts of awards will vary each year depending on funds available.

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must be a current SLA-PNW member; applicants for student membership in SLA must be currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
  • No financial assistance to attend the event is available from an employer;
  • Financial hardship may prevent attendance at the event;
  • Applicant sees significant potential opportunity to expand professionally from attendance at the event;
  • Applicant is willing to write a brief summary for publication in the SLA-PNW INTERFACE following attendance at the event.


First-time applicants will be given priority over previous grant recipients, all other factors being equal. Applicants failing to submit a completed application form by the deadline will not be considered. Total amounts of awards will be determined by an annual allotment to the committee by the Exective Board of SLA-PNW, and may not cover attendance in full at any event. If a recipient cannot attend the event due to expenses uncovered by the grant (such as transportation) or due to unforeseen circumstances, then the full amount of the grant must be returned to SLA-PNW.

DEADLINES FOR APPLICATION for events in 1997 ARE DECEMBER 30, 1996 AND JUNE 30, 1997.

TO APPLY, COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM and return before December 30, 1996 to:

SLA-PNW Grants and Awards Committee
c/o Laura Lipton, Chair
Miller Horticulture Library
Univ. of Wash., Box 354115
Seattle, WA 98195

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Edited by Kathleen E. Bennett (last updated 12/09/96)
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