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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iSchool Student Snapshots: Amanda Hirst
By Heidi Andress
March 8, 2002

Amanda Hirst is a first year student in the MLIS program and is the President of ALISS.

Silverfish: Amanda, you laugh a lot and you're always smiling. I was wondering if you're just delusional. Or is it that you just have a really healthy attitude about everything?

Amanda: Well, I try. I was actually just walking down the hallway and someone asked me what I was smiling about and I said, "I don't know. I've gone mad." It could be a combination of both.

Silverfish: Why don't you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before you got your acceptance to the University.

Amanda: I was working with the King County Library System. I was a page and then a library assistant sub.

Silverfish: Were you doing that before you thought of applying to the program?

Amanda: No, I moved out here with my husband for his job and my main criteria of locating to any new area was that there was a library program there so I could attend school. I didn't do much research as far as different programs. I just wanted to get that degree and become a librarian.

Silverfish: You know that's going to be printed, don't you? (smiles)

Amanda: Well, I didn't do a lot of research but the areas we were looking at all had good library programs and I knew that the University of Washington was in the top twenty. So I do feel good about moving out here. We moved out here in March of 2000 and I was biding my time until the next application process rolled around so I could apply.

Silverfish: And you got in!

Amanda: Well if I didn't, I wouldn't be smiling as much.

Silverfish: You could still have been a library assistant sub.

Amanda: I probably would have become very discouraged if I hadn't gotten in. I wasn't very happy with my career at that time and I thought that if I didn't get in, I would move on to something else. But it all turned out for the best!

Silverfish: What did you have for dinner last night?

Amanda: Indian food. I was fortunate and we ordered out. We have our standard order. I'm more into Indian food than my husband so he lets me take care of ordering because I like a variety of food and not just one dish. We had an order of vegetable samosas, nan, aloo mattar paneer, and vegetable biryani

Silverfish: In the personal essay you wrote for your application, what did you focus on in terms of your future career goals?

Amanda: My main interests were being a public librarian and adult reference. Well, in a public library it's hard to specialize so you do a little bit of everything which is one of those things that drew me to the job to begin with.

Silverfish: Now that you've been here for two quarters, have your career goals changed at all?

Amanda: No, I still want to be a public librarian.

Silverfish: And what are you taking next quarter?

Amanda: I'm taking 550 with Levy, 570 with Saxton and Public Library Advocacy (586) with Jacobs. That's just going to be awesome. I was saying to my husband the other day, I would love Deborah Jacobs' title of City Librarian. Isn't that a great title?

Silverfish: You are the recently elected ALISS president so is there anything coming up that you're super-excited about?

Amanda: Our main focus right now for spring is the end of the quarter party, aka the Spring Fling. I'm really looking forward to that and to planning it. I just really want to have a great party. I really do.

Silverfish: Here's a picture of my puppy. Is he not the most adorable puppy in the universe?

Amanda: He is!

Silverfish: Thanks, Amanda!

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