Student Snippets


ASIS&T Trivia Night

There are so many student groups to get involved with at SLIS. If you have an interest or professional aspiration, chances are good you can find a group connected to it. (A list of student groups and their descriptions can be found here.) All SLIS students pay an activities fee each term. Part of the fee is given to LISSA (Library and Information Science Student Association), of which all students are automatically members. LISSA then disburses this money across all student organizations according to the budget each group has been allotted. This arrangement has many benefits. For one, you don't have to pay dues to any of the SLIS student groups, and since your activity fee goes towards all of them, you are eligible to join any and as many as you'd like. Another fun part of this is that you can attend any event or meeting a student organization is having without having to be part of the group. For example, I'm going on a free guided tour of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) next Saturday through the Special Library Association (SLA), but I'm not a member of SLA. And last night I went to the Association for Information Science and Technology's (ASIS&T's) trivia night in the Collaboratory (a high-tech work space for groups with a flexible floor plan on the third floor of our building).


First ASIS&T trivia round board on large flat screen monitor display in the Collaboratory.

It can be tough to keep track of all the events student groups hold, so LISSA sends out a helpful weekly e-mail with a calendar of them. If you read my first post, you know that technology can be a little intimidating for me, so the idea of joining a club like ASIS&T, which specializes in that, wasn't high on my list of things to do. I actually ended up joining SCIRRT (Student Chapter of the International Relations Round Table of the American Library Association) at the beginning of this month, and I'm now in the upcoming student leader elections running for the chapter's open communications officer position. SCIRRT will become more active once the students elect more leaders for it, but until then, most of clubs that are currently busy already have many of their officer positions filled. ASIS&T is one of those clubs. It was actually just voted student chapter of the year by its national parent organization, due in large part to the fun and informative events it holds at least weekly.

I didn't want to fall so in love with ASIS&T's activities, but I did. Over the summer I went to a "Cards Against Librarianship" game in the student lounge that the club hosted, which was an amusing take on the game Cards Against Humanity, which is essentially a more explicit and lewd version of the card game Apples to Apples. And this semester there are more entertaining ASIS&T programs planned--from game nights to a screening of The Social Network to tasty lunches about the latest software people in our profession are using.

So last night three of my friends and I went to Collaboratory at 5:30 p.m. and were prepared to be competitive in a fierce game of LIS Trivia, Jeopardy style, that ASIS&T had promoted through LISSA and numerous flyers. Shortly after we arrived, we chowed down on the group's nice spread of pizza, wings, and soda--brain food. Then everyone broke into three teams of six, divided according to which of the three tables you happened to be sitting at.

Team 1 had Assistant Dean of Student Services Em Claire Knowles, one student who works full time at a public library circulation desk, four new students, the most members on the General track, and one person on the Student Library Teacher Program track. Team 2 had ASIS&T faculty advisor and SLIS Technology Manager, Adjunct Professor Linnea Johnson, two ASIS&T officers, the most people on the Tech track, and two thirds of the team had been enrolled or working at SLIS for more than a year. Team 3 (my team!) had all archives concentrators except one person, one person who had worked in a middle school library, one person who had worked in acquisitions in an academic library, and two thirds of its members were in their second term.

At first our team was doing really well. At one point we were even ahead by $1000 ... until we reached the Dewey numbers category, and it all went downhill. Fast. Even though most of us had taken LIS 415 (The Organization of Information) and had done some cataloging for the class, no one on our team had ever worked in a library on a regular basis that used Dewey, unlike on the other teams. The school library where teammate Lizzie used to work used another classification system called BISAC, and teammate Sara didn't see many Dewey numbers in acquisitions. The rest of us only had archives experience. Also, none of us had experience with children's literature either. So all those questions about Newbery Medal winners lost us our turns quickly. Really, we should have known to get on different teams when ours was the only one without a faculty member and/or ASIS&T officers. I'm just glad the game wasn't exactly like real Jeopardy, in that we mercifully didn't lose money for incorrect answers and complete guesses.

If you were a fly on the wall in the room that night, you might have overheard priceless lines like:

  • Annie (ASSI&T officer and our Alex Trebek): Team 3, what do have for me?

Team 3 Spokesperson: A whole lotta nothing, Annie.

  • Annie: Okay. The category is Random Library Trivia for 300. Team 3, the names please of the two lion statues flanking the steps of the New York Public Library ...

Team 3 Spokesperson: Uh... Who are Groucho and Marx? No... wait. Doc and Bashful?

  • Annie: Acronyms for 400. The clue is OCLC. Your answer please?

Team 3 Spokesperson: What is the Ohio College Library Catalog?

Annie: Are you sure?

Team 3 Spokesperson: No! It's Ohio College Library Consortium. NO! I mean ... Oops! Sorry. Yeah ... we'll just go with that.

But we fought valiantly and never gave up (partly because we wanted to keep eating pizza). After the second round of trivia, we were in last place and were down by around $1200. Final Jeopardy-style, the last question asked each team to identify the faculty member whose Master's paper uncovered an early social network surrounding Sherlock Holmes's The Hound of the Baskervilles. (Answer: Kathy Wisser.) We bet almost all of our $3,400, and predictably by that point, our team finished with a lousy $200. Later that night at Sara's apartment, most of our team gathered, and we raised our glasses of pumpkin ale in a toast to "fighting the good fight and dying with honor." We may not have won, but I've never had so fun much losing.