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

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

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The Silverfish

Fall Issue 2002: Contents

Welcome Back
The Ave & The HUB in a Nutshell

Navigating the iSchool Website
Librarians in Fiction
Exploit your learning community
Foreign Mysteries offer a new Flavor
What's in a portfolio? How about this?
Directed Fieldwork on PrimeAnswers Project

Welcome Back!

Hello new and returning iSchool students! On behalf of the Silverfish staff, I would like to welcome everyone to the 2002-03 school year. We hope this fall finds you rested, energetic, and eager to take on whatever adventure and excitement the coming year has to offer you.

One of my new adventures involves being the senior editor of the Silverfish. I did not pursue this position. Let me give you a brief history of how this came to be, and at the same time give you all fair warning about our ALISS officers. They're evil. Every one of them. Especially the ALISS president. OK sure, she's a good friend of mine. And yes, she and the other officers first approached me about this job at the end of spring quarter 2002. But let me tell you, they were ruthless, each taking turns to sell me on the idea, compliment me about my editorial talents past and present, and check with me every few days to ask if I'd thought about it. They were all sweet as pie, but I could see the evil lurking underneath their clever facades, like those aliens masquerading as humans in They Live.

I spent most of the summer thinking about it, deciding to take this on at the last minute. So here we are putting out the Silverfish's first ever "welcome back" issue. Most of the content was generated the week before the beginning of the school year. For those of you already familiar with the Silverfish, you'll also notice that this year the Silverfish becomes a monthly newsletter rather than a quarterly. We are also in the process of restructuring the editorial process.

This is my second attempt as editor of a student publication. I was editor of the student newspaper at Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) back in 1988-89, when I thought I wanted to be a newspaper reporter for a living. I can only hope that this endeavor turns out to be as wildly successful as the first. One year ago, I didn't even know how to build a website, and now I'm assuming a top position at an online newsletter. Am I crazy or what? (Thankfully, I don't have to deal with the online aspect of the Silverfish, just the content.) I have to admit that like that first editorial experience, I am going into this one without a clear directive. As professional as we make ourselves appear, most of the time we're learning as we go along. That's why we're here.

This is where you all come in. I want to make the Silverfish fun and participatory. This is not our publication; the Silverfish is your publication. We are taking an informal approach to soliciting submissions. We want to read about all your experiences, accomplishments, thoughts, dreams, pursuits, concerns, issues, advice, tips, book or media reviews, suggestions, rants, etc. as an iSchool student. Pretty much anything related to our field, school, or student experience is fair game for publication. We are counting on you to help us make the Silverfish successful and interesting. Not only will you receive prestige and the personal satisfaction of being published, but you'll receive some nice bribes - errr… incentives! - as well. (We all know as iSchool students that bribes/incentives, especially chocolate, are vital to successful publications, presentations, participation, and other activities.) We'll even worry about the editing and formatting ourselves. Please email all submissions to:

Please email your submission as Word document attachments. Any photos should be attached separately rather than inserted into the Word document. Please be sure to put your name on the document itself, and not just in the email. And feel free to include suggested photo captions and headlines. These considerations will be helpful to us and much appreciated.

Once again, welcome back, and best of luck in your academic pursuits this year! Oh, and if you happen to see the ALISS president in the halls, do me a favor and give her a bad time all the time, won't you? ;)

Michael Harkovitch
Silverfish Senior Editor

The AVE & The HUB in a Nutshell
By Amanda Hirst

Proper nourishment is essential for peak brain function. If you notice that your synapses are firing a little slower than usual, you may want to head to the Ave (University Way) or the HUB (Husky Union Building) for sustenance. No matter which dietary school of thought you prescribe to -- fatty fast foods to health foods, herbal to caffeinated or even bubble tea (which has its own food group), or anything in between -- there is something to please your palate, calm your cravings and psyche-up your synapses in the HUB or on the Ave... FULL STORY

Navigating the iSchool's website
By Michael Harkovitch

What is the iSchool website, and why should you bookmark it? Good question! When I started grad school last year, I scrambled to bookmark everything I would need to get organized and be successful in the program. Not until my third quarter at the iSchool did I realize that almost everything I needed was already bookmarked for me. As a grad student, I am always looking for ways to make my life easier. I could have kicked myself for not figuring this out earlier... FULL STORY

Librarians in fiction
By Beverly Stuart

It occurred to me, as I was reading the second book within a month that featured a librarian as one of the main characters, that you don't often see fiction that features a librarian as one of the main characters... FULL STORY

Exploit your learning community
By Danielle Miller

The iSchool offers something that the majority of students on the campus don't have: A learning community! Exploit it! Here are some tips to help you get the most out of graduate school... FULL STORY

Foreign Mysteries offer a new flavor
By Sue Roberts

Define the task. Brainstorm all possible sources. I was asked by a friend of a friend to recommend novels for a sociology class, "Gender, Crime, and Deviance." The course has an international component to it and the professor wanted mysteries/detective stories set in other countries. Surely there are more authors who fit the bill than Agatha Christie. So I passed the request on to my colleagues on the iChat listserv and found out what great resources library students are... FULL STORY

What's in a portfolio? How about this?
By Michael Harkovitch

Shortly before I started library school, I had a conversation with one of my mentors at Seattle Public Library. Because of a string of unfortunate circumstances, SPL had not participated in the Seattle Gay Pride festivities for two years, missing -- based on my previous involvement -- a satisfying and valuable outreach experience. I mentioned to my mentor, Bonita Corliss, that in the absence of our previous organizer, somebody in the system should pick up the torch. Bonita looked at me and said, "Why don't you do it, Michael? It's never too early to begin your first outreach project as a librarian."... FULL STORY

Directed Fieldwork on the PrimeAnswers Project
By Drexie Malone

The Summer of 2002 was the first time I was gainfully employed as an information science student. I was able to use my nursing background on a wonderful project at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library (HSL) called PrimeAnswers (PA). The Deputy Director of the HSL, Deborah Ketchell, and her website team had created an electronic portal to evidence-based medical information for University of Washington Primary Care Physicians... FULL STORY

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

Edited by Michael Harkovitch

Silverfish Web Design by John W.N. Buell