ASSOCIATES (2006, July, v. 13, no. 1) -

From the Editor

In my fishing expedition for finding a new Editor, I had a few good nibbles but couldn't reel in the big one. After more than five years as Editor of Associates, the time has come for me to step down and pass on the editorship to someone else. The most important qualification for the editor position is a commitment to promoting the professionalism of library assistants. Yes, some technical expertise and support is needed to maintain the webpage and listservs, and yes, some time obligation is required. Associates has been a continuous publication for 12 years, beginning with the first issue in July 1994. Associates is the only international publication dedicated to library support staff issues and concerns that remains independent, but supportive, of organizational affiliations. Think about you being Editor. The next issue of Associates will be published in November 2006, which allows several months to work with me so you can see first-hand how the entire process works and to judge for yourself if you can commit to taking over as Editor. Write to me at

What is a library "professional"? Is the term "professional" only acceptable when used with the job title "librarian"? Is the term apt and appropriate with the job title "library assistant" as well? The United Kingdom is the leader in recognizing professionalism of library assistants. Margaret Watson, President of CILIP during 2003-2004, has summarized the certification process for United Kingdom library assistants. The certification process recognizes the contributions made by library assistants and support workers and also gives them an opportunity, through work-based learning, to follow a pathway to Chartership and beyond. CILIP is the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. (The Associates Contributing Editor, Jim Jackson, has reached this benchmark; many of his past articles in Associates explain his road to certification.) Bessie Mayes, SPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific, offers her analysis of professionalism in her article "Merits of the Profession of the Library Assistant." She stresses that no matter if the job title is librarian or library assistant, the recognition for efforts that each role brings to the library is essential.

One question library assistants need to answer during their career is: "Should I get my Master's in Library Science?" Tinker Massey, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has recently completed her MLS and is now a librarian after a career as a library assistant. She shares her views in "Coming of Age?" Carol Borzyskowski, Winona Public Library, devoted her "My View from the Back Room" column to why she has chosen the library assistant profession. Cheryl Kneale, Pierce College Library, has made the choice to remain a library assistant. See her comments in "Choosing Not to Get the MLS."

Environmental concerns are addressed in this issue, although in completely different contexts. In the article "Poor Leadership and the Toxic Environment," Anthony Holderied, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, advises that by surveying the work environment, taking notice in staff interactions, and implementing solutions based on keen observations, any morale problems that have been created as a result of poor leadership can be rectified. Jim Jackson, University of Exeter, shares the interesting final results of a survey conducted in Associates (2005, November, v. 12, no. 2) in "Poor Design Equals Poor Health? Questionnaire - The Final Results." He analyzes and comments on the responses for physical work area and environment. Frank Exner, Little Bear, North Carolina Central University, addresses the environment in his column "Bear Thoughts #3," writing that a rarely considered major source of information is the physical world itself. Katie Buller Kintner, Associates' expert on the paranormal, discusses the metaphysical environment--ghosts.

Michael D. Brooks, Saint Joseph’s University, gives background and additional reading websites in his Website Review column titled "The Port Chicago Disaster." The worst American wartime home front disaster during WWII occurred on July 17, 1944--but the date is little known and often overlooked. Jim Jackson, University of Exeter, has contributed fiction in a library setting called "The Big Bang!" This story continues his library assistant character named Kelly Bourne. Heidi Hutchinson, University of California, Riverside, interviewed Caitlin St. John, a library assistant who is the Head of the Music Library at the University of California, Riverside. Her personal interest in music has led to a career path of managing the Music Library.

This July 2006 issue of Associates has features and articles that will interest and entertain you. Thank you for subscribing to Associates: the Electronic Library Support Staff Journal.

Happy Reading!

Wendee Eyler
Editor, Associates
University of California, Riverside

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