Oct. 8, 2009

Swan song for print directory, facelift for online version

by Diana Pounds

How to find your man ... or woman

Bad speller? Forgetful about names? Just plain in a hurry? These online directory tips will help you quickly find the one you seek.

A 108-year tradition of printing a student, faculty and staff directory comes to a close this fall. The last print version of the Iowa State University Directory arrived on campus this week and is available in the residence halls and University Book Store.

Also released on campus this week is a new and improved version of the online directory, available at www.info.iastate.edu. The new directory is fast, offers keystroke-saving features and provides nice search options for those who don't know how to spell a name or aren't sure of a name. And the dreaded "too many entries to print" is gone. If you want to see every "Smith" on campus, you can.

ISU Phone Directory

Going green

University-wide efforts to conserve and declining use of the publication were key factors in the decision to make this year's printed directory the last, said associate chief information officer John Kingland.

The popularity of the print directory has dropped in recent years, as many in the campus community have turned to the contact lists within their own cell phones and ISU's online directory, Kingland added.

Fewer students pick up the directories, which are distributed free in residence halls, and bookstore sales of the $1 books have been declining. In fall 2006, ISU officials ordered 17,000 printed directories. This fall's order is 9,000.

ISU's beefed up sustainability efforts sparked interest in dropping the directory to reduce paper use on campus, although the ISU directory is no stranger to sustainability. Conservation-minded individuals and groups on campus have been organizing phone book collection drives for 16 years, and last year, collected 16 tons for recycling.

"Many people like the printed directory," Kingland said. "But when you add all the factors together, it seems like it's time to stop."