Winter Issue 2001
     The Newsleter of the Association of Library & Information Science Students (ALISS)

The Silverfish is published quarterly by the students of the Information School at the University of Washington.

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The Silverfish

Vice President



ALISS Elections

This special issue of the Silverfish brings you coverage of the 2002 ALISS elections. Below you will find a list of the candidates for each position and a statement that they have provided.

Elections will start on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. All students MLIS students currently enrolled are eligible to vote. Please go to the student services office, located on the 4th floor of MGH to vote. A ballot box will be on the front desk. Voting will close at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 1st. The new officers will be announced next week.


The duties of the President are to: (1) Call official meetings of the organization and to preside at such meetings; (2) be responsible for the administration of any business of the organization; (3) organize and delegate responsibility for Convocation and Orientation committees; (4) represent the MLIS student body in meetings of the faculty; and (5) hold transition meeting(s) with past and present officers and committee members.

Amanda Hirst

Biography: Amanda is 28 years old and lives in Redmond with her husband Brent and their 2 cats. She is employed by the King County Library System. Prior to moving to Washington, Amanda received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati. After graduation, she worked for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Two of her most memorable experiences are camping for three weeks in the American Southwest and backpacking for six weeks through Europe. Over the Christmas break, she read The Corrections (partly because of the Oprah scandal and also because it's a great book) and the last movie she saw was 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. In her CD player is Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'. "I just never get tired of that CD," she says. This weekend, Amanda and her husband are planning a cross-country skiing trip to Mt. Hood, Oregon.

My name is Amanda Hirst, and I've accepted the nomination to run for President of ALISS. Throughout my undergraduate education and professional life, I have participated at various levels in student government and professional associations. I was a Student Intern with the Undergraduate Student Government at The Ohio State University. I have also been an active member of the Wexner Center for the Arts Student Association, the Undergraduate Anthropology Association at the University of Cincinnati, and the Staff Association of the Public Library of Cincinnati.

As President of ALISS, I hope to follow in the footsteps of the current administration in promoting the exchange of ideas and concerns between the student body and faculty. However, I feel that there are several things that could be done to improve this process and at the same time create a more engaged iSchool community. I realize that juggling school, family, work, and other obligations come before any extra-curricular activities for most students. My goal is to make it nearly effortless for students to participate. In order to do this, we need to create convenient pathways for exchanging information, and directed discussions on issues that are important to you. While ALISS has regular meetings, I propose creating forums such as online discussions or 'coffee talks' whenever topics of special interest arise. Second, we need to greatly expand the scope and readership of Silverfish. This could include soliciting more student submissions and publishing more diverse and interesting content, such as an opinion page or humor. Silverfish is an extremely convenient medium for information exchange and it needs to be utilized to its fullest. I know that we all have different thoughts and perspectives on what we're learning at the iSchool, so let's share. Finally, as President I want to continue the tradition of fun activities in order to get to know each other better.

Thank you, and good luck to all the candidates!

Justin Otto

Hi! I'm Justin Otto and I'm running for ALISS President. I've met and become friends with a lot of my fellow 'iSchoolers' because I practically lived in the TE Lab last quarter. And for those of you I haven't met, I hope that being President of ALISS will give me the opportunity to meet you too. In fact, that's the main reason why I'd like to have the opportunity to serve as ALISS President - because I've made a lot of friends here and I'd like to do something for my friends.

I became involved with ALISS at the beginning of this year because I like the fact that it's there for all MLIS students. If I'm selected to be President, one thing I'd like to do is explore ways to make ALISS and it's functions more accessible to evening students. I'd be willing to hold extra ALISS open meetings at times that would be convenient for evening students, because I think it's the President's job to be accessible to everybody.

An important function of the President is to act as a liaison between the faculty and students, and to represent student concerns to the administration. I gained experience in performing these duties as an undergraduate, when I served as the Chairman of the Advisory board for Student Health Services at Washington State U. Another function of the President is to organize functions and oversee the execution of various activities. I gained experience in this while serving as the President of the WSU chapter of the Toastmasters public speaking club. I got my baptism by fire there because I was the President of a new chapter of Toastmasters and had a big part in helping to get the club off the ground.

I mentioned that I've already been active in ALISS this year. I was one of the organizers of the Snack Potluck that happened in early October. A couple of us first year students thought it would be fun to do a little something so everybody could get a chance to know each other and connect. We got financial support from ALISS for some drinks and snacks (which basically made it an ALISS event), and a lot of people had a good time. I'd like to do more stuff like that. One thing I'd do as president is see if there's enough support to do a low-key welcome back social every quarter, because it can be fun to have a chance to reconnect with your fellow iSchoolers, meet new friends, or just take a study break and have a snack.

Anyway, I'm excited about the possibility of serving you as the President of ALISS. I'd appreciate your support and your vote this week. Thanks!

Vice President

The duties of the Vice President are to (1) assume the duties of the President in the event of that officer's absence; (2) appoint and oversee an Editor to produce the Silverfish; (3) appoint and oversee a Webperson to maintain the ALISS website and listserv; (4) organize or delegate responsibility for social events, such as the End-of-the-Quarter Party.

Aaron Louie

Biography: I graduated with a BS in Biology and Psychology from the University of Oregon in 1997. At one time, I wanted to be a doctor, so I completed the pre-med track and was trained as a nursing assistant, which subsequently caused me to drop medicine as a career choice. During the past few years, I've been a web developer and an educational technology researcher. I enjoy blowing on my French horn, drawing, painting, writing, playing computer games, and, of course, reading. My favorite authors are Gabriel García Marquéz, A.S. Byatt, and Ursula Le Guin.

When I was a kid, I'd wait for the bus on a corner at the edge of my neighborhood -- the frontier of my known world -- breath hanging in the frosting air, kicking at the crystalline grass and muttering enchantments against the cold. Once on our way through the streets, I'd look out the window and find myself in some strange neighborhood. I would glimpse into those foreign yet familiar lands, those parallel lives, and tell myself that, someday, I would go there and learn their stories.

As students of library and information science, we have a unique perspective from our windows. We see the huge and seemingly unmanageable world of knowledge as though we were just passing through, catching glances of untold complexity and experience. In our classes, we study these worlds with an academic distance. And we tell ourselves that we must remember to visit those worlds when we finally escape to the real world. However, we can be begin that exploration now -- we have the unique opportunity to learn from each other.

For this reason, I'm running for ALISS Vice President. I want to know more about the people that make up the iSchool -- the students as well as the professors. What are our theoretical leanings, both as a school and as individuals? How can we best share information within our own department and community of practice? Everything I would do as ALISS VP would be motivated by this desire to collaborate and to share both in learning and in living. We need more opportunities, more information grounds to build these relationships, so I suggest using the tools available to us through Catalyst to take polls and conduct online threaded discussions to find out how we're all doing. How about writing articles for ALISS featuring spotlights on particular members of the faculty and staff to get to know more about them and their research? Perhaps we could have more informal mixers for people to get together and relax. All of these are ways we can share our knowledge to make us more effective information professionals -- and happier people.

Greta Rieber

Biography: In 1997, I received a BA in Urban Studies (with an emphasis in land use and politics) from Stanford University. The highlights of my time as an undergraduate include studying in Washington D.C. and Oxford, England. After graduating, I worked for several years as a land use and real estate consultant for a Seattle-based firm. I applied for the MLIS program because I was looking for a new direction to take my career and the field seemed like a good fit for my skills. I'm still interested in land use and politics, but I'm also excited by the range opportunities in the library and information science field (most of which I'm just beginning to understand). I grew up in Tacoma and now live in lower Queen Anne with my cat, Daisy.

As MLIS students, ALISS is our organization. I'm motivated to run for ALISS Vice-President because I believe in the importance of communicating our feedback on the iSchool and the MLIS program to the Faculty and Administration. If elected, I would support providing a range of opportunities for you to give ALISS feedback such as small, informal discussion groups, optional surveys, topical committees, and student panels.

One of the Vice-President's primary responsibilities is organizing social activities. I've chosen to run for Vice-President out of an interest in planning fun, stress-relieving activities that give us a chance to get to know each other outside of class. Earlier this year, I helped organize the "Snack Potluck" for MLIS students. If elected, I would make it a priority to plan a series of social opportunities early in the year to welcome new MLIS students and give new and returning students an opportunity to get to know each other.

I would bring to the position experience as an event planner and elected representative and, more importantly, a desire to be more involved in shaping our iSchool experience.


The duties of the Secretary are to: 1) Maintain ALISS records and correspondence; 2) Maintain the calendar and bulletin board for ALISS; 3) Organize and delegate responsibility for the Booksale; and 4) Will serve concurrently as the chair for the Booksale committee and will serve in this capacity until its completion.

Sandy Macke

Hello everyone, I am running for secretary for ALISS. First, let me give a brief history about myself. I received my BA in French and Anthropology at the University of Oregon. I spent three years using my French for a company with customers in Quebec and France. During that time I realized that it was not the career path for me. I had always enjoyed my time in libraries and felt I was ready to return to school. On a personal note, I love to travel and have recently started practicing yoga.

The main reason I would like to be involved in ALISS is that it is for all students in the MLIS program. Regardless of your future plans (if you are lucky enough to have figured those out yet), ALISS is there for you. I also enjoy the interaction of a team environment. You get to hear great ideas that you would not have thought of, and you get see projects grow and succeed with your help. I have worked with several student groups in my undergraduate days, including as the office manger for the LGBTA student group. I am highly organized and detailed orientated. I am looking forward to working with you all next year.

Scott Rawlings





The duties of the Treasurer are to (1) maintain ALISS financial records; (2) provide financial reports to the Executive Board; (3) coordinate the supply of snacks; (4) and maintenance of the Student Lounge and ALISS Oval Closet space.

Lupine Miller

Biography: I moved to Seattle from Idaho in 1992 and after 3 years too many of working retail, enrolled in UW to finish my degree. In March of 1999, I received a BA in Teaching ESL with a minor in Spanish. After graduation, I continued to work at the UW in the Romance Languages departments and lived in Spain for a semester as the Assistant Director to the NW Cadiz Program. Upon my return,I attended an information session for the iSchool and discovered my calling (at long last!) and applied to the evening degree program. Last summer, after completing my first quarter at the iSchool, I was hired to the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, where I coordinate student activities, scholarships and events for the 80+ students in the program. Some things I like: traveling, reading, black boots, Spanish history and baking.

My name is Lupine and I started the evening degree program this summer. I work on campus (conveniently located next door to Mary Gates) so I'll be readily available for meetings, events and the like. I have had a lot of experience handling financial records - my day job involves coordinating scholarships for over 80 students. I also have experience budgeting and coordinating events. I am excited by the prospect of being the ALISS treasurer and am looking forward to contributing to this organization. Thanks!

Susan St. John

Biography: B.S. Molecular & Cellular Biology UW 1980, M.S. Computer Science UW 1983. Worked in software engineering off and on from 1983 to 1999 at Mathematical Sciences Northwest, Aldus (before PageMaker became an Adobe product), the Nature Conservancy's Washington Field Office, Object Publishing Software et al. 1990: got fed up with software, bought a used VW camper van and traveled around the US and Canada for five months. Taught ice axe arrest and backcountry navigation for the Seattle Mountaineers (volunteer instructor). 1999: got fed up with software again, quit, and temped at the UW: secretary for a psychiatrist, editorial assistant for the Journal of Neurophysiology. Fall 2001 started MLIS day program at the iSchool. Other interests: hiking, backpacking, skiing, gardening, native plants, dance.

Since starting as an MLIS student in the fall, I have been impressed with the quality of the interaction between the students and the faulty, staff and administration here at the UW iSchool. This seems to be a more student-centered department than many, which I very much appreciate. One of ALISS's purposes is "to provide official channels for communication between students, faculty, and administration of the Information School." I look forward to helping to keep that channel open and the flow of information going in both directions.

As to the talents and experience I can bring to the specific duties of the ALISS Treasurer, I'll just say that my checkbook balances every month, I've written plenty of reports in my time, and my house is pretty clean. And I'll start an immediate ethnomethodological study of the information behavior - oops, no, make that the snacking behavior - of iSchool students who attend ALISS meetings. Got any ideas as to where I should submit my results for publication?

The Silverfish is edited by Ariel Johnson and John W.N. Buell

Silverfish Web Design by John W.N. Buell