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Directed Fieldwork in Suzzallo

Chris Lee


I did my summer DFW in the Government Documents section of Suzzallo Library, since after taking the Government Publications class during the winter, I was interested in working more in these types of libraries. My main project there fell into the broad category of "collection development"; SPL was donating its federal documents to other libraries, and so my supervisor (the fantastic Cass Hartnett) and I needed to go through those documents and decide which ones we wanted to claim.

It may sound fairly simple on paper, but the reality was much more complicated. First, envision a giant, dark warehouse filled with two floors' worth of federal documents. And then imagine that those documents are more often than not privately-bound with non-standard serial names printed on the spines. Finally, picture us going back to campus with a notebook filled with names and numbers to check against our holdings, only to discover that we either a) can't figure out what those non-standard titles refer to (at least not without a lot of research) or b) can't find them in our online catalog because of the backlog of uncataloged government documents. Let's just say that we made a lot of trips back to that warehouse.

I also did a bit of website and reference work, though the majority of my time was spent on the collection development project. It was a great experience overall, and I really appreciated the opportunity to work with actual documents and get a glimpse at the inner workings of an academic library.

September 20 2008
Vol. XIII Issue 1

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Summer Reading Lists
What was the iSchool reading this summer?

Nancy Pearl:
Searching for Caleb, Cryptonomicon
Trent Hill: The Donut: A Canadian History, Tunesmith
Stuart Sutton: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Mike Crandall: Annals of the Former World, I See a Voice
Joe Janes: The Man Who Made Lists
See more....

Spring Fling 2008 photos
Emergency Librarians at Spring fling

All photos by Jill Hardy

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