Nike Tour Report

SCALA recently took a field trip to the Nike fabric library. Just as in the libraries we’re all accustomed to, the Nike library houses rows of shelves with multicolored contents; in this library, though, the cases contain fabric swatches on hangers. Other sections hold notions – drawers filled with zipper pulls, grommets and rings.

The library collects fabric samples (tens of thousands of them) from Nike’s vendors, and makes them available to the apparel designers. Swatches are labeled with identifying characteristics, tagged according to price, and sorted by vendor location (to facilitate sourcing in the same area as production). As with books, the color of a swatch doesn’t matter at all in its classification — the library likes to have one dark and one light sample of a fabric, but color isn’t a defining characteristic for the library’s purposes. Ann Desimone, the library manager, weeds the collection from time to time, but she maintains a historical card file of every type of fabric that has passed through the library.

Ms. Desimone also makes two “collection development” trips to Paris each year for fabric shows, and puts together exhibits for Nike designers on coming trends. It’s an impressive system for collecting and organizing the fabric in the Nike world!

Trivia Night was a Success!

Above is a picture of the beaming trivia night winners from our first ever library themed trivia night and another of the contestants deep in thought with our wonderful host Greg! The event was organized as a fundraiser for SCALA to benefit the Librarian Prom, coming up in May. Approximately 30 library enthusiast were in attendance to battle for an old card catalog drawer filled with miscellaneous items, candy, and chocolate. It seems that everyone had a good time and many were excited at the prospects of continuing the event in the future. Thank you all for participating and making the event a success!

OK, I Went to Library School: Now What?

SCALA would like to thank Allie Flanary for braving the farmer’s market and making it out to PSU on Saturday to give an informal talk. Those that attended were treated to some great down-to-earth insights into the process of establishing a fledgling library career.

Because we convened outside, Allie was unable to make use of the slides she created. So for those who were unable attend, or if you want a refresher, here’s her presentation:

Audio of Pam Osbourne

For those of you who weren’t able to attend today’s wonderful talk by Pam Osbourne, here is the audio:

Pam, the former digital librarian at Mercy Corps (now the Manager of Intranet Services) spoke about the process of designing and setting up the digital library and other digital information sharing systems at Mercy Corps. She has been a librarian in school libraries, public libraries and academic libraries talked about how her past experience as a more traditional librarian applies in the digital realm.

Audio download and more streaming options here.

Audio – Rachel Bridgewater 1/26/08

Thanks ever so much to Rachel Bridgewater for talking to us last weekend. I have uploaded a recording of the talk for those of you who weren’t able to attend.

More download and streaming options here.

Trip to Seattle Public Library

Here’s an after-report from Pinn Crawford (SLIM-OR Public Relations Officer Extraordinaire)

Also Check out the Flickr feed in the sidebar for some pictures.


Last weekend a handful of SCALA members, brave enough to face the pouring rain and I-5 traffic, met up at Seattle’s new iconic Central Library. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaus, the library is an unconventional, high-tech twist of glass and recycled wood and plastic with great open spaces and bells and whistles to spare.Of special note were the beautiful Children’s Center, the busy (but quiet) computer area and the Living Room, an area with coffee shop, recycled rubber easy chairs and low, spacious shelving.

The level of environmental efficiency was much greater than most buildings and was both inspirational and very impressive to look at. The Library’s LEED certification is well warranted.

After a one hour tour of the ten floors of the vast space with the regular tour, the group was treated to a behind the scenes chat and tour with Librarian, Craig Kyte. As well as providing a forum to ask more library-specific questions, Kyte took us to look at the automated book return system. The friendly attendant showed how the material drops from several slots around the building and then feeds it via futuristic conveyor belts to the central sorting room where a computer sorts the material into hefty bins divided by subject.

“Originally they sorted all the material and put it on the carts, but that didn’t work so well,” admitted the attendant. “It’s a lot faster the way we do it now.”

Though not nearly as impressive as the sweeping cathedral dwarfing vaulted glass ceilings, the guide, Alan Mendelsson explained that the ten floors of shelves have some space on their own, intentionally include for future expansion. “Libraries are always torn down because there isn’t enough room for more material,” said the guide. “Here we are thinking of the future.” The current structure is the third on site library. Thanks to all who organized this fun outing!