Spring 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

Directed Fieldwork
Conference Report
Half a Dozen Bakeries
Alumni Profile
Request for Submissions


Directed Fieldwork & Work Study Experiences

We want to hear from you!

Are you currently engaged in a directed fieldwork experience or have recently completed one? If so, we would like to hear from you! Because so much of our program is theoretical in nature, we would like to hear about your experiences in the real world; how much your skills form the ISchool are being utilized, what lessons are to be learned. If you are interested in contributing, please contact the editors, Ariel Johnson or John Buell.

Conference Report

American Library Association Annual Conference: the Student-to-Staff Experience - June 14-21 San Francisco, CA

This past spring, I had the good fortune to be randomly selected by our Student Chapter of the American Library Association (SALA) to work at the ALA Conference held in San Francisco, CA as a Student-to-Staffer. I was placed with the Office of Literacy and Outreach Services and "work" included stuffing envelopes, manning tables, packing and unpacking materials, or taking notes for about four hours each day of the conference. In exchange for my help, my registration and lodging were paid.

Besides the experience of participating in a professional conference, I was able to meet other MLIS students from around the US and to learn more about the diversity of the field of library and information science. It isn't just librarians getting together to talk about cataloging books, but all types of information professionals coming together to find ways to share information and improve education.

This was a very rewarding experience for me in that this was my first professional conference and it gave me some guidance and direction for my future career. I thoroughly recommend that all MLIS students attend an ALA conference at some point in their time here, and perhaps even volunteer as a Student-to-Staffer. Look for information during Spring Quarter about volunteering for next year's conference in Atlanta, GA. And please feel free to contact me at crism@u.washington.edu with any questions you might have.

Cris Fowler Mesling
MLIS Student

Half a Dozen Bakeries in the Area

As the air turns crisp and we head into fall, we all need to find a warm place close to the heart. Imagine yourself sitting by the fire in a white terrycloth robe holding a cup of cocoa as music plays softly. Alternately, just go to a bakery. Here are six in or near the U-District:

A La Francaise
2609 NE University Villiage Mall
(206) 524-9300)

Located in the heart of University Village, A La Francaise has several inside tables and an outside eating area with people watching and bird watching and dog-watching opportunities.

Sample Menu Items: fancy cakes, breads, focaccia pizza, scones, madeleines, macaroons, cookies, muffins, Monets, Van Goghs, cinnamon rolls, Danish, brioche, pain au chocolat. Torrefazione coffee, sandwiches, and seasonal goodies are also featured. Special orders are accepted.

Forms of Payment: cash, checks, Visa or MasterCard.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm, Sunday 8am-7pm

2200 N 45th Street
(206) 634-2211)

This bakery in Wallingford offers authentic freshly baked French delicacies. Savor your purchase inside or linger on one of the outside benches.

Sample Menu Items: specialty baked breads, pastries (including baguettes, French miche, pithvier, batard, brioche, tarts, croissants, window cookies, and truffles), sandwiches, cheese, juice, and Batdori Bronson coffees (Olympia Blend, Dancing Goats Blend, Kenya Decaf, and the House Special).

Forms of Payment: checks or cash.

Hours: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 7am-7:30pm, Friday-Saturday 7am-8pm

Essential Baking Company
1604 N. 34th Street
(206) 545-0444

Features friendly service and an attractive light-filled eating area with brick walls and hardwood floors. Outside seating is also available.

Sample Menu Items: many varieties of hearty bread, sandwiches, pizza, pastries (brioche, cookies, Danish, tarts, palmier, pithvier, pear puffs, croissants, muffins, coffee cakes, crackers, opera cake, cream puff, mousse, brownies, scones, various sweet breads - zucchini, pumpkin, lemon).

Forms of Payment: cash, checks, debit, or most major credit cards.

Hours: Monday-Friday 6am-6pm, Saturday 8am-6pm, Sunday 8am-3pm

Leah's Bakery and Café (2114 NE 65th Street - (206) 985-2647) in Ravenna attracts customers from all parts of the city. Take out your order or enjoy it in a comfortable booth.

Sample Menu Items: gourmet kosher foods including bakery items (challah, honey cakes), desserts (apple crown cake, tea breads, bundt cakes, pies, sugar-free apple crisp, cakes, brownies, French apple tart, rugelach, mandlebroit, babka), deli items (kugel, savory tarts, hummus, baba ganoush, borekas), and special request items (deli salads, knishes, blintzes, etc.)

Forms of Payment: cash, checks, or credit cards.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday 7am-5pm, Saturday closed, Jewish holidays closed

Russian Bakery and Café
4311 University Way NE
(206) 633-1322

The Russian Bakery and Cafe is conveniently located across from University Book Store. It has tables inside and outside.

Sample Menu Items: main dishes (piroshhi, Bavarian hot dogs, piroghi, stuffed cabbage, poppy seed rolls and coffee.

Forms of Payment: cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express cards.

Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30am-7:30pm, Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 12 Noon-5pm

Wallingford Bakery
4405 Wallingford Ave N.
(206) 547-3203

The Wallingford Bakery is connected to Julia's Restaurant. With tables inside and outside, it is the place to be on weekends.

Sample Menu Items: éclairs, vegan carrot walnut bars, carrot walnut bars, vegan fruit oat bars, rice, broccoli cheddar quiche, cookies, macaroons, lemon bars, coffee cake, scones, Café Vitta Coffee.

Forms of Payment: cash or checks. No credit/ debit cards.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 8am-3pm
Sunday 9am-2pm

Ariel Johnson
MLIS student

Alumni Profile

Being a librarian often involves a variety of skills outside of those that traditionally used to be associated with the profession. Librarians are often called upon to be managers, development officers, marketers, consultants, creators, and organizers, in many cases all within the same position. Those in the profession know that this has been the case for some time, and as the current profile demonstrates, library and information science professionals are creative and innovative individuals with a diverse range skills and challenges. In this issue it is our pleasure to introduce Suzanne Reymer, who graduated in 1999 and is currently a Statewide Technology Librarian for the Montana State Library. -JB

After graduating, what were your job hunting experiences?

I knew I wanted to work as a trainer or consultant. About a year before I graduated, I noticed a position at the Montana State Library. I also considered applying for trainer positions at places like the Gates Foundation. When I happened upon another opening at the Montana State Library several months before graduation, I decided to apply and got the job, so my current position is actually the only one I applied for and it fits perfectly. I finished the program on Thursday, the moving van arrived on Friday and I hit the road on the following Monday. My position at the Montana State Library covers a wide range of areas and the travel requirements are not nearly as rigorous as those of the Gates Foundation trainers.

What jobs have you held since graduating?

I'm an Information System Support Specialist according to the State of Montana or a Statewide Technology Librarian according to the Montana State Library. My primary responsibilities are to assist public librarians in south central and southeastern Montana with their technology questions or problems and to act as an E-Rate consultant and coordinator for public libraries across the state. Of course, I'm also consulted on a wide variety of other issues from materials challenges to promoting and marketing the library. In addition, I'm a Libraries Build Sustainable Communities trainer for ALA. This sent me to library association conferences in North and South Dakota this fall. Last but not least, I work with my colleagues at MSL to plan and implement statewide training opportunities and licensing agreements.

What are the things you enjoy about your job and what are the challenges?

What I enjoy most about the job is also the greatest challenge, the incredible variety of questions which arise in a given day. Today, for example, I had questions on library laws, where to post real estate listings on the web, E-Rate, OCLC CatExpress, InfoTrac, etc. I get to work with public, school, academic and special librarians.

Does your current position require your MLIS?

Yes and no. My position required a Masters of Library and Information Science or equivalent experience. But the Montana State Library sometimes has a difficult time finding an MLIS candidate with the required experience and has been known to hire candidates with less experience and train them.

Did you find that your MLIS prepared you for these positions, or did they depend on skills you had before your MLIS or acquired after your MLIS?

I'd say it's probably about 50/50 MLIS and previous experience. The MLIS program was valuable for providing the basics, the building blocks of library work. My previous experience, particularly as a Peace Corps Volunteer taught me that it was okay not to know everything. It also helped me to understand that I was not going to change the world overnight and to be respectful of others' ways of doing things.

If you had to do it all over again, would you do it all the same?

Definitely, yes, in regard to the career choice and moving out of Seattle.

Any advice for students just starting their MLIS in the ISchool?

I think that I would advise new students to take a wide variety of courses. I knew I wanted to focus on technology and took most of my electives from that track, which is fine, because that's the main focus of my job, but I wish I had taken some courses in public library areas like Children's literature, etc. Technological skills will need to be updated before you even step outside the door but the fundamentals of library service and philosophy stay with you.

Any advice for graduating students?

I would suggest strongly that graduating students look for jobs outside the Seattle area, especially those that are ambitious and are looking for opportunities to enhance their skills/experience/resumes. You can move into leadership positions in the statewide library community much quicker in a state like Montana than you can in Washington. For example, I've only been in Montana for 2 years and I'm already the ALA Chapter Councilor for the Montana Library Association.

I'd also say that it's very important to understand what type of person you are and what is your optimal work environment. Anyone who craves structure, organization and predictability in their work would hate a position like mine. But it's perfect for someone like me who doesn't like a great deal of supervision and enjoys variation and challenges. Go where your strengths lie.

Suzanne Reymer
Class of 1999

Submissions Requested

Are you interested in sharing your knowledge with the rest of the student body? Have you attended any conferences or taken an interesting or worthwhile class outside of the department? Would you care to review nearby bars for us? Send your Silverfish submissions to Ariel Johnson or John Buell.

Edited by Ariel Johnson and John W.N. Buell

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