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

Note from ALISS
Directed Fieldwork and Work Experiences
DISC Report
Cheap or Free Things To Do
Request for Submissions


A Note From ALISS

Statement of Goals:

For the coming year, the ALISS officers have five overarching objectives:

  1. Increase ALISS's visibility and activity, including increased readership and submissions to the Silverfish, ALISS's newsletter, as well as reliance upon the ALISS web pages. We'd like to know that people are reading both and that we can use the website to communicate information in a timely and reliable manner.
  2. Promote greater social and intellectual interaction among the bachelors, masters and Ph.D. students.
  3. Assist in the on-going development of the core curriculum.
  4. Carry on the stewardship of traditional ALISS events like the book sale and Spring Fling, as well as develop new opportunities and traditions.
  5. Explore contributing a portion of our funds and energy in a philanthropic manner.
    In addition to these objectives, we have several goals that we would like to see happen during the Spring Quarter. These include decorating the iSalon, hosting the Spring Fling, organizing an evening of presentations to allow students to share what they have been learning, and organizing a game night and/or talent show. (Holly mentioned she would tap dance!) We will be soliciting your help to create these events. Think "Portfolio Opportunity"....

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.

Woodside Elementary School Library Media Center

One of my favorite memories from my directed fieldwork experience in the library at Woodside Elementary in Mill Creek, and a memory that I will not forget anytime soon, was being asked almost weekly if I was married to the famous author, Gary Paulsen! A student would see the last name on my nametag - Paulson - and associate it with the author of many adventure books, and although Gary Paulsen and I are not related, it was a good way to strike up a conversation with the student about favorite books and such. Of course, my directed fieldwork experience also taught me much about school library media centers in general, and a few thoughts regarding this learning experience will be highlighted here.

The main objective for my directed fieldwork experience was that I would be involved in various components of the daily operation of a school library media center. This would include assisting with library instruction and the Big 6, the Accelerated Reading program, stack and inventory maintenance, overdues, book clubs, etc. Having now completed my directed fieldwork, I can definitely say that this objective was met. I not only got to observe Joan, my supervisor, in her role as teacher librarian, but she let me assist and independently try my hand at certain aspects of the job as well.

This experience on the whole was very positive! The placement went quickly and smoothly, and all those involved in the process were very helpful and supportive. In my case, directed fieldwork was not only useful for career guidance, but this practical experience complemented the theories I was learning in class. In my opinion, directed fieldwork is or at least should be a vital part of the SLIS curriculum. My only regret is that I did not pursue a second directed fieldwork; say in a special library, to get yet a different perspective on the world of libraries.

Becky Paulson
MLIS student

NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center Library

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center Library is a small, specialized library serving the scientists who work at the facility. We have associations with NOAA facilities all around the nation, so we get requests from many locations.

The library has one full time librarian and two part time student workers. My main responsibility is fulfilling requests for articles for our users, which typically come via e-mail. Users generally know exactly what they are looking for, so there aren't a lot of reference questions that I have to answer. Usually they have seen an article cited somewhere and want me to track it down. Occasionally the articles are difficult to find, but through interlibrary loan I can usually find the requested items. I also fulfill interlibrary loan requests that we get through OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).

Our library also works to keep our users informed of what is currently being published, so every month I compile a packet of all the tables of contents from the month's journals. I send this out both internally and to associates throughout the country. This service helps our users become aware of what is available in the library and alerts them to current issues in research.

I also help with maintaining the library, through shelving books and maintaining the circulation records. The library recently migrated from one online catalog to another, so there is a great deal of work to get the new system complete. I enter a lot of information into MARC records that were somehow lost in the transition. I also keep the physical card catalog up to date. We maintain this because many of our users prefer the traditional card catalog. My job is comprised of a lot of small tasks, and there is always something new to work on.

Nicole Henry
MLIS student

UW Engineering Library

As a graduate reference assistant at UW's Engineering Library, I help library patrons find information they need using the library's traditional collections (e.g., serials, books, microfiche) and online resources such as Inspec, Compendex and the United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) Web site. Learning about query negotiation in LIS510 and LIS520 has been quite useful! Since I am still learning what and where everything is in the library's collection (and all the acronyms of engineering organizations that come with it), it can be a
challenge to remember to conduct a thorough reference interview and to quickly think of appropriate information sources to meet the user's need.

I still have much to learn--for example, how to conduct patent and trademark searches using the USPTO Web site. Did you know that UW's Engineering Library is the patent and trademark depository library for Washington State? Both UW affiliates and independent inventors from off-campus use the library to conduct patent and trademark searches. Ever wonder what interesting inventions are being patented? Visit this URL on the library's site and select "wacky and bizarre patent sites": http://www.lib.washington.edu/engineering/ptdl/

For the past few weeks the library's upper floors have been closed due to earthquake damage to the stacks. As a result, I am fielding many inquiries about what materials are available, which are not, and how to request inaccessible items through document delivery or interlibrary borrowing.

Renee Remlinger
MLIS student

Seattle Public Library

I was lucky enough to do my fieldwork in the North East branch of the Seattle Public library. During the first week of my fieldwork there, Gayle Richardson, my supervisor had me job-shadow her. By the next week, I was at the desk alone, filling in for two sick librarians - "trial by fire", as Gayle would say.
My duties at the branch varied a great deal, though there was a similar structure every day. They included: answering phone and in-person questions at the reference desk, initiating a weeding project in the Children's Easy Fiction section, reviewing two children's books for a Children's Librarian book review, attending the Global Reading Challenge at View Ridge Elementary (acting as timekeeper and scorekeeper), leading a preschool storytime and to start up a children's book group for the branch (which was one of my most enjoyable tasks!).
My fieldwork was an extremely positive experience. It has been even more helpful than simply working in a library. I only wish that I had chosen to do 150 or 200 hours of fieldwork, rather than only 100.

Kristin Dermody
MLIS Student

Spring Quarter Brings New DISC Liaisons

Greetings to all! DISC (Disabled, International and Students of Color) has two new representatives- Jeong Kim and Monica Jackson. We are excited to be involved and hope you will join us in providing a supportive forum for iSchool students.

We'd like to invite anyone interested to join us in our kick-off meeting, tentatively scheduled for April 6th at 1:30 pm. We will be sending out an email with more information about this soon. Also in the works are plans for the long-standing DISC tradition - the potluck! - To be held at Raya Fidel's pad (faculty advisor to DISC) sometime in late April.

Other stuff: Check out the new link on the iSchool Web page under Services where you can post your resume. This is a great opportunity to get your name and talents out there to prospective employers. And don't forget to sign up for the new listserv, idiversity, at http://www.ischool.washington.edu/technology/listservs.htm to watch for more news from DISC!

Please don't hesitate to contact Monica (mjb00@u.washington.edu) or Jeong (jk321@u.washington.edu) with comments or questions. Here's to a great Spring Quarter!

Cheap or Free Things to do Around Seattle Outside of the U-District

Free book readings: For dates, times, and places of free book readings by local, national, and international authors, check: http://datebook.seattletimes.nwsource.com/datebook/ae_lit_home.
Alternately, go to seattletimes.com. The click the following links in order: Arts and Entertainment, NW Source.com, City Guide, and finally Literary Events.

Green Lake (between E Green Lake Dr. N and W Green Lake Dr. N - (206) 684-4075): Called the "center of Seattle's exercise culture," the 2.8-mile paved path around Green Lake offers opportunities to jog, walk, and skate. However, this inner circuit can be crowded. For less competition, try the 3.2-mile unpaved outer loop. Or have a picnic, study, or people watch. Usually, you will be able to find one or two grassy patches for this. Parking is limited. Try the northeast lot (on Latona Ave. N and E Green Lake Way N, the most crowded), the northwest lot (7312 W Green Lake Way N), or the south lots (5900 W Green Lake Way N).

The Museum of Flight (9404 E Marginal Way S - (206) 764-5720) is free on the first Thursday of each month from 5pm-9pm. This museum, located 10 miles south of Seattle, offers a spectacular display of 20 full-size airplanes, including a 40,000-pound B-17 suspended from the ceiling of a stunning six-story glass and steel gallery. Other artifacts and exhibits complete the story of the history of aviation.

The first Thursday of each month at the Seattle Art Museum (100 University Street/ Seattle, WA 98101-2902 - (206) 654-3100) and the Seattle Asian Art Museum (1400 E. Prospect Street, Volunteer Park/ Seattle, WA 98112-3303 - (206) 654-3100) is free for everyone. At the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the first Saturday of each month is also free. On free days, there may be a reduced surcharge to select special exhibitions. Standard museum hours are: Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm and Thursdays from 10am-9pm. Spring Holiday museum hours are: open on Monday, Memorial Day, May 28, from 10am-5pm, and closed on all the other major holidays.

Matinees at the Guild Forty-Fifth St. Theatre in Wallingford (2115 N 45th St./ Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 633-3353), the Harvard Exit in Capital Hill (807 E. Roy St./ Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 323-8986), and the General Cinema Pacific Place 11 Theatre downtown (600 Pine St. #406/ Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 652-2404): See movies such as Chocolat and Pollock at the Guild Forty-Fifth St. Theatre for only $4.50 when you arrive for the first show of the day. Other "artsy" films are only $4.50 at the Harvard Exit when you catch the first show of the day before 6pm. Or see more mainstream movies at the General Cinema Pacific Place 11 Theatre at a discount price of $5 for all shows before 6pm Monday-Sunday. During rush hour from 4pm-6pm Monday-Friday the price is only $4.50. The Student Discount with valid ID is $6.75.

Ariel Johnson
MLIS student

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

Silverfish Web Design by John W.N. Buell