Directed Fieldwork and Work Experiences
Cheap or Free Things To Do
Request for Submissions
& 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.
Washington Library Association 2001 Annual Conference
- April 4-7 Spokane, WA
One of the more exciting and worthwhile events that
I took part in this quarter was the Washington Library Association
2001 Conference, Convergence, which was held in Spokane in early April.
Four other students (Darcy Brixey, Sara Holohan, Tamara Pesik, Brenna
Shanks) and I went together to perform books for the CAYAS (Children's
and Young Adult Services) Division. For our participation we got Friday's
registration fee waived.
Though we spent some of our time rehearsing for
our session, I was able to include time for such sessions as: "Collection
Development for a Patchwork of Cultures", offered by Susan Veltfort
and a Storytelling session by Cathy Spagnoli. There were many other
sessions of interest too in such topics as marketing, acquisitions
and information literacy. On Friday's last session, it was our turn
to speak in the annual "Booktalking the Best". Each of us
chose 5-8 current children's or YA titles to share. The audience was
very supportive. I encourage any students interested in youth services
to participate next year. It's a great way to meet your future coworkers.
Of course, while we were there we met librarians
from across the state and got a chance to see ISchool faculty and
alumni. If any of you get a chance to go next year, it's a great experience!
or Free Things to do Around Seattle Outside of the U-District
Henry James once called "summer afternoon"
the two most beautiful words in the English language. Here are some
suggestions for this glorious time of the year in Seattle.
Downtown Walking Tour
There are many free-of-charge things to see downtown
on foot. A few blocks east of Pike Place Market is Westlake Park,
a great spot to watch people and pigeons. Across Pine Street at Fourth
Avenue is Westlake Center, a multilevel shopping mall with specialty
stores and food vendors. Nearby Westlake Center holds Nordstrom, Eddie
Bauer, and The Bon Marche. While you're in the vicinity, be sure to
check out Pacific Place on Pine between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
Stores range from Tiffany's, Coach, and Ann Taylor to Barnes and Noble,
Restoration Hardware, and J. Crew. Even if you don't buy a thing,
it's always fun to look! Then, meander over to City Centre, bounded
by Pike and Union Streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues to see a fine
display of world-renowned Pilchuck glass. Finish your tour with a
leisurely stroll to Freeway Park, on the east side of Sixth Avenue
between University and Spring streets. Although this pocket park overlooks
the Interstate 5 freeway, its flowers and trees will convince you
that summer has finally arrived.
True to its name, this outdoor shopping mall is
on the edge of the UW campus at 2673 NE University Village - (206)
523-0622. Although some of the upscale shops can be pricey, it's possible
to spend time here without ruining your budget. For instance, spend
the day at Barnes and Noble reading magazines and books or browsing
for CDs, and while you're at it, buy a cup of Joe for a few dollars
in the Starbuck's café upstairs. It's a great place to sit
and relax. Walk outside in the flower-filled outdoor courtyards, people
watch, and listen to the occasional informal free concerts and other
performances. Contact the University Village office for a schedule.
Browse the array of shops - Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, The Gap,
Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Molbak's, Ann Taylor, and Sephora
are some of the big names, but check out the smaller shops too. University
Village also offers restaurants, cafes, and little eateries in several
levels of formality. Sit down and be served at Atlas Foods, Piatti,
or Zao or sit down and wait for your order to be called at World Wrapps
or Pallino Pastaria. Alternately, get takeout at Pasta & Co. or
go to the new Burrito Loco joint for a sit-down meal or takeout. Cafes
such as the Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble or the bigger Starbucks
with outdoor seating area are great for coffee and snacks. Or munch
on a sandwich or pastry from the popular À La Francais Bakery
or cool down with a confection from Ben & Jerry's. Parking at
University Village is free and looks plentiful, but it fills up quickly
during peak hours. At this time of year, you can't beat the garden-like
ambience at University Village.
Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder
About 15 minutes northwest of downtown Seattle at
Northwest 54th Street and 32nd Avenue Northwest, the Hiram
M. Chittenden Locks, otherwise known as the Ballard Locks, link
salty Puget Sound with the higher, connected fresh waters of Salmon
Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay and Lake Washington. Go there to see
the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts as they
wait their turn to go through, or through the underwater viewing gallery
watch salmon and steelhead go up the fish ladder on their way to their
spawning grounds. The fish ladder, locks, and grounds, including Carl
S. English Jr. Gardens, are open free to the public every day from
7am-9pm. Call (206) 783-7059 for more information.
Washington Park Arboretum
This 230-acre treasure trove of plants and trees,
a 10-minute drive east of downtown, is not far from the UW campus.
Native Pacific Northwest plants grow along with many exotic species.
Take a drive on the road that runs through the park or walk the trails
that crisscross the arboretum. It will take you 15 minutes to walk
a marshy waterfront trail to secluded Foster Island on the arboretum's
north side. Explore on your own using the free arboretum maps available
in the Graham Visitors Center's gift shop (open daily from 10am-4pm)
at the north end of the arboretum. Alternatively, take the free guided
walk through the arboretum. It departs from the visitor's center at
1pm on weekends. For a reasonable admission fee of $1.50 for college
students (compared to the regular $2.50) view the enchanting Japanese
Garden and its traditional teahouse on the arboretum's western side.
From May 27 to early September, it is open daily from 10am-8pm. Call
(206) 684-4725 for details. Additional information on the Washington
Park Arboretum is available at (206) 543-8800 or at www.depts.washington.edu/wpa/.
Escape the city scene for a while in this 520-acre
retreat located in the Magnolia neighborhood. Discovery
Park's woodlands, beaches, and abundant wildlife offer the perfect
backdrop for a leisurely stroll. On weekends, there are free nature
walks. Located on the grounds is the Daybreak
Star Arts and Cultural Center, headquarters of United Indians
of All Tribes - open from 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday and noon-5pm
Sundays. The center's gallery sells Indian arts and crafts. The annual
powwow, Seafair Indian days, will be at Daybreak Star on July 20-22.
Call (206) 285-4425 for more information.
Seattle's most popular neighborhood for outdoor
recreation is about 15 minutes north of downtown Seattle, west of
Interstate 5 at about Northeast 65th Street. Use the three-mile-long
inner and outer paths lining Green Lake to jog, bicycle, roller skate,
or walk. Or have an impromptu picnic. Food is available at restaurants
or stores across the street from the northeastern shore of the lake.
If you want to get in or on the water, the guarded beaches designated
for swimming are at the northeast and southwest corners. Rental boats
are available at the northeast corner.
Try these routes for spectacular unobstructed views
of Seattle's lakes and nearby mountain ranges:
- Start at the south end of the Montlake Bridge
and follow Lake Washington Boulevard through the Arboretum and along
Lake Washington to Seward Park
- Drive Harbor Avenue Southwest, just off the West
Seattle bridge, past Alki Beach and the spot where the first white
pioneers landed at Alki Point.
- Drive up Queen Anne Hill along steep Queen Anne
Avenue North to Highland Drive, turn left and follow it to Kerry
Park, at Highland and Second Avenue West, for a postcard-like view
of the city and Mount Rainier on a clear day. Proceed west on Highland
to Parsons Gardens, a mini park with a spectacular view of Puget
Sound and the Olympics to the west.
Sunrises and Sunsets
Catch the perfect sunrise at Hamilton View Park
in West Seattle and the Mount Baker neighborhood along Lake Washington's
For the perfect sunset, go to Volunteer Park on Capitol
Hill, Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront north of Pier 70 and in
front of the P-I building, Golden Gardens Park north of the Shilshole
Bay Marina, Carkeek Park also north of Shilshole, and Discovery Park
on Magnolia Bluff.
For sunrises and sunsets, try Alki Beach in West
Seattle and Gas Works Park between the Fremont neighborhood and the
Lake and water fans will enjoy the restaurant-packed
south end of Lake Union. Look for the Center
for Wooden Boats, a hands-on museum that has exhibits on the water
as well as inside. It is open daily except Tuesday from noon-7pm through
Labor Day. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Call (206)
382-2628 or visit the website at www.cwb.org.
To view the many floating homes on the northwest side of Lake Union,
rent a rowboat at the Center for Wooden Boats. Perhaps you'll spot
the home made famous in "Sleepless in Seattle."
Nearby, the Puget Sound Maritime Museum (Chandler's
Cove, 901 Fairview Ave. N. - (206) 624-3028) displays ship models,
paintings, artifacts, and photos. It is open Monday through Saturday
from 11am-7pm and Sunday from noon-5pm. Admission is free.
Also, see the area's salmon and halibut fleets just south of the Ballard
Bridge (off 15th Avenue West). Fishermen's Terminal at Salmon Bay
is home to hundreds of fishing boats.
Art Gallery (on the UW campus at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast
41st Street) is free for all students with ID. This newly renovated
and expanded museum is a mecca for contemporary art in Seattle. Look
for "Volume: Bed of Sound," a sound art exhibit open from
July 14-September 30. And of course, the museum has a permanent collection
of more than 20,500 objects, including late-19th- and 20th-century
paintings, the Monsen Collection of Photography, and a textile and
costume collection, along with cutting-edge works in new media. Hours
are from 11am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday, and from 11am-8pm Thursday. For
more information, call (206) 543-2280 or visit www.henryart.org.
Art Museum (1704 Terry Ave., Seattle) has free admission and free
parking. The museum exhibits past and present artists with an emphasis
on 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings, and the
work of artists from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Besides the
permanent collections, current and upcoming exhibits include "Scenes
of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum"
(June 16-September 9) and "Hollywood Celebrity: Edward Steichen's
Vanity Fair Portraits" (July 27-September 16), among other exhibits.
The museum's hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-9pm Thursday,
and noon-5pm Sunday. For more information, call (206) 622-9250 or
Our New Series
With this issue of the Silverfish we are introducing
a new series devoted, in the words of a famous local industry figure,
to the road ahead. As we get closer to finishing our Masters in Library
and Information Science, we begin to wonder what kinds of jobs are
out there and what experiences await us. This series will explore
these issues by profiling one of our greatest resources, the graduates
of our own program. Each issue we will profile a new graduate, focusing
on those questions dearest to our hearts; how our graduates got where
they are, what parts of the ISchool experience they felt were the
most valuable, and whether they have any tips for those of us waiting
in the wings. Each issue will bring a new profile and will include
graduates working in public libraries, special libraries, and in some
cases graduates not working in a library setting at all.
In this issue it is our pleasure to introduce the
series with recent MLIS graduate
Traci Timmons, who is currently an Information Architect and Site
Content Manager employed by ClaimsDesk.com.
After graduating, what were your job hunting experiences?
About four months before I graduated in June of 1999,
I went to the UW
Career Center and started working with a career counselor. She
helped me think about what kinds of work I was interested in and which
companies might provide those kinds of opportunities. I was really
interested in working in the private sector with technology companies.
Using the Puget Sound Business Journal's "Book of Lists"
and other resources, we identified ten companies to pursue.
Before beginning this process, my counselor helped
me prepare my resume and set up information interviews with other
non-list companies. This was an excellent opportunity to find out
more about other companies and network. It was also a great opportunity
to get my feet wet in the interviewing process.
I also participated in several job fairs - Northwest
High Tech Job Fair and two others on the UW campus. My counselor helped
me prepare for them and I had a careful plan when I got there. Interestingly,
someone I met at one of the UW job fairs ended up being the connection
to the job I later got.
What jobs have you held since graduating?
After graduation, I worked for Visio,
a software company, as an Intranet Development Intern. During my internship
I conducted in-depth user studies and assessed information needs company-wide;
developed a taxonomy, classification scheme, thesauri and information
architecture for corporate intranet.
Next, I worked for another software company, eProject.com,
as an Enterprise Knowledge Manager. I created and maintained the corporate
intranet. I, interviewed internal customers to assess internal company
needs, worked with departmental representatives to create the initial
information architecture and gather pertinent corporate and original
content. I also managed company-wide knowledge through various tools
including an electronic and print library and weekly information trade
shows. Part of my job also involved continually interviewing internal
customers to assess and satisfy a variety of additional information
Finally, I landed my current position at ClaimsDesk.com,
also in software. I am an Information Architect/Site Content Manager.
I work with the Product Management and Engineering groups in my company
to develop information structures for insurance-related software products.
I also develop navigation and search systems and usability standards
that ensure a "positive user experience." I am responsible
for content/site management for all of the company's products including
selecting, describing and cataloging original content and other resources,
ensuring consistency and accessibility across the entire product,
creating and responding to user needs and organizing complex sets
of information around users' information-seeking behaviors.
What are the things you enjoy about your job and
what are the challenges?
I really love organizing information and making it
accessible to the target audience. I also love solving very complex
information problems and working as part of a team to get them solved.
I have faced a lot of challenges in the name of users.
It is often very difficult to convince engineers and executives that
we need to invest time and money in user studies and develop our products
to user needs (you'd be surprised).
Did any of these positions require your MLIS?
It wasn't listed on any of the job descriptions,
but I couldn't imagine doing any of these jobs without it.
The job I got right after school had requested a
BS in Computer Science, but the job described the skills learned in
the MLIS degree perfectly - they just didn't know!
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?
Yes, absolutely! I do find that the MLIS prepared
me for the skill parts of my jobs. In fact, in a number of cases,
I was the one educating my co-workers on things like usability, user
studies and classification.
Out of all of the courses you took for your MLIS,
which ones did you find most valuable for your current position?
All of the cataloging courses (Allyson Carlyle),
Introduction to Information Science (Raya Fidel) and Business Reference
If you had to do it all over again, would you do
it all the same?
I would definitely get the MLIS degree again. Additionally,
I would probably take more courses in Information Science - abstracting
and indexing, information retrieval, etc. I would also make sure and
take courses in Technical Communications (usability) and the Business
School (general business courses).
Any advice for students just starting their MLIS
in the ISchool?
It's hard, but start thinking now about what you
really want to do. Go out and look at those types of environments
as soon as you can: internships, fieldwork, part-time jobs, volunteering,
Project Network - get involved as early as time will allow.
Any advice for graduating students?
Don't be dissuaded by requirements for degrees other
than the MLIS in job descriptions. Many companies are still in the
dark about the MLIS. However, once you start talking to them about
what you know and what you can do, you find they say things like "Oh,
I didn't realize that's what you learned in that program."
Once you start talking to people about what you've
learned in the MLIS program, they'll really perk up and start to listen.
You're coming out of a well-respected program which is quickly gaining
a great reputation in this area (and nationwide). Feel proud of what
you've learned and share that pride in your interviews.
Remember... don't get hung up on job titles or requirements.
If you read the job description and know you can do the job - apply
for it! You'll be surprised.
Class of 1999
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
Edited by Ariel
Johnson and John W.N.
Silverfish Web Design by John