SPOTLIGHT ON SLA MEMBERS: An Interview with Kaycee Hale, Executive Director, Resource & Research Center, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Article excerpt

The Resource & Research Center of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is committed to serving the apparel, interiors, textiles, and Entertainment information needs of its divers e student, faculty, alumni, industry-related, and general public communities.

Kaycee Hale is the founder and executive director of the world's largest net work of educationally affiliated fashion research centers which are located at the fashion Institute of Research and Design. She is responsible for all program planning development, strategy implementation, divisional organization and services coordination throughout the state of California. Hale has been an active member of SLA since 1978.


What is the mission and role of your library?

The Resource & Research Center of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is committed to serving the apparel, interiors, textiles, and entertainment information needs of its diverse student, faculty, alumni, industry-related, and general public communities. This commitment is executed by the following: providing quality customer satisfaction; acquiring, organizing, and accessing historic, current, and predictive resource materials; furnishing print and non-print tactile learning tools; creating an environment that transcends the information era and embraces the learning age; and utilizing advanced technology to fuel the creative attributes of our users.

Our vision is to create a preferred future reflective of our potential to exceed the expectations of our clients. It is to establish a living image that changes as FIDM and our respective industries move into the next millennium. Our mission is to respond to the "any-time, anyplace, and no-matter what" demands of our customers.

Who are your clients?

Our users include members of many groups. Primarily we serve on-site FIDM students, faculty, and staff in four California locations--Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Orange County. We respond to in-person, telephone, fax, letter, and e-mail requests from FIDM's 20,000+ alumni. We, also, service the information needs of the apparel, interior design, textiles, and entertainment industries. Additionally, we receive numerous inquiries from the general public regarding our industry-related disciplines.

Give an example of a typical request.

A typical request that we receive on a daily basis concerns fashion trend forecasting. The request would be something like..."what are going to be the hottest colors for womenswear for the first season of the new century? what's the best selling pant silhouette for teenagers for Fall '99? what will be the most successful fad for this coming summer"...

What is the most interesting request you ever received?

We receive both fascinating and entertaining requests daily. Some examples are as follows:

* What do silk manufacturers do with the silkworms after it makes the silk?

* Do you have a book on drawing necks and feet?

* What textile companies make fabric that is scented?

* Where can I buy plastic see-thru jeans?

* What company makes disposable clothes?

* Why do men's and women's clothing button on different sides?

* Who's the European designer who makes skirts for men?

* What was the most expensive dress ever made?

* What are Barbie's dimensions?

* If the label in my blouse says "handwash only", can I wash it in a washing machine?

* How do you clean lipstick off a man's shirt?

* How do you get candlewax off the carpet?

* What size did Queen Latifah wear in the movie "Living Out Loud"?

* How much is a palr of Ferragamo shoes like the ones Cinderella wore in that last movie?

* How did Tommy Hilfiger make it so big?

* How old was the youngest fashion designer who ever made over 100 million dollars? …