Remember yearbook day? Seniors already through with their studies and the verdict in, although class standings might not be fully known? Making the rounds, getting others to sign your book, and signing theirs?


Get all the teachers, of course. “Best wishes to a good student” would be great, but “Best wishes for success” is okay too, or even the signature.


Fellow students would write “Remember the fun in study hall!” “Good luck with [name of current steady]” “Don’t forget the Roman banquets!”


The Tiger Lily took a lot of doing. There were a yearbook staff and a yearbook advisor, and there were fierce deadlines to be met.


Of course we did not take the photographs for the yearbook. On a few occasions each year a professional photographer showed up and we had our individual sittings and also were herded into the aud or outdoors or wherever for a shot of some club or team. Sometimes it was Barton’s, from Smethport. Sometimes Jack Roland came over from Friendship, N.Y. They brought a lot of bulky gear.


Seems to me in more recent years Mr. Mensch used to take a lot of the photos. I remember seeing him wearing a serious camera at this event or that, apparently bent on capturing the moment for the Tiger Lily.


There used to be many yearbook publishers. They produced high school and college annuals, and commemorative books for industries, and so on. Mergers and buy-outs winnowed them down.


One biggie is Jostens, a company which also sells schools and student bodies and clubs other stuff. They have been the Tiger Lily contractor. They have maintained quite a presence in Pennsylvania, with a production center in Centre County.


But for some time now, photography could be done by the client. For instance, an advisor or a student yearbook staffer would show up for the school board shot, and I would enjoy taking a backup. These days, no need to get some high powered studio to come here for the shot. The gear and the digital darkroom are not so hard to come by.


Working on a sad assignment, I needed a photo of Rick Berrettini, and was told that the yearbook advisors would have such photos as there might be available, of a camera-shy staff member. But they told me, “We had some, but we sent them to Jostens.”


That puzzled me. Sure, you would send them to Jostens. But we are talking digital files, here. JPG, TIF, EPS, whatever. So you still have them, too, right? They are on a hard drive, or on optical media or flash media, or all of the above, right? In the digital world, sending a photo to someone else, or to a publisher, doesn’t mean the photographer doesn’t still have the photo. I do that all the time. We don’t send the film these days.


Just weeks ago Jostens announced that it would move production to a newly built and equipped and staffed facility in Clarksville, Tennessee.


That meant layoffs for 230 people in Ferguson Township. Some have been given their walking papers already; some will work until the end of June.


Management thanked the employees for their “exceptional service to our customers.” I wonder if those suddenly superfluous workers had a chance to get each other’s and the supervisors’ autographs.


Yearbook production would be moved south, but a public relations person said Jostens representatives will still be in the area. There would be no change in yearbook production. The company has produced Penn State’s “La Vie” for years.


Hmm. Used to be, making a yearbook was closer to rocket science than it is now. At least, once it became de rigueur to put out a yearbook with padded covers, embossed, or made of burlap, those books couldn’t be made just anywhere.


But now, they can. Think I’m kidding? Well, a yearbook can be a stitched signatures (sections) and then glue-bound book, or just glue-bound (perfect-bound), that then gets enclosed in a hard cover (case-bound). All of the production could be done in-house. If a fancy hardcover is desired, it can be produced elsewhere, in whatever quantity, and then applied to the “insides” locally. I have a machine that will do the binding and even the application of the fancy outer cover. You know I would not have this gear if it cost a whole lot!


So here’s a thought. Let the year book team, or maybe an expanded publishing and communications team, produce the yearbook! What a learning experience. Students (and advisors) do a website. A number are familiar with producing CDs and DVDs or putting files on flash media. Students already handle sales. They could bring it in for less than the class or team has been paying, and they could put the difference in class and club treasuries.


Designing the book would not be a biggie. There’s software for that. If you need some “commercial” printing done, doesn’t IU9 have printing capabilities?


Something to think about.


E Skype lilimartini.