The Future of the Venerable Yearbook

Embracing New Technology, New Ways of Doing Business

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University

While the college yearbook may no longer be published on many campuses, other schools are still publishing yearbooks as they embrace new technology and ways of doing business.

In the last 18 years, the number of college yearbooks printed in the United States dropped from about 2,400 in 1995 to about 1,000 today, according to a 2010 National Public Radio story.

“No definitive list exists of all of the books out there now, much less how that compares to any point in the past (or how they’re funded),” said Lori Brooks, convention chair for the College Media Association who has chaired CMA yearbook committees. “It’s information I hope we can start tracking at some point soon.” Continue reading “The Future of the Venerable Yearbook”

South Dakota State University Students Resurrect Yearbook

Jackrabbit finds new life on campus

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University

In 2002, the students’ association at South Dakota State University eliminated its Jackrabbit Yearbook. Interest in the book had declined. Fewer people were working on the staff, and boxes of the free publication were left unclaimed by the student body.

Vanessa Dykhouse (left), Editor Paul Dybedahl

In 2012, that same group sought out an editor to bring it back. Vanessa Dykhouse, a senator from the university’s arts and sciences college, answered the call and began planning to bring the book back to life. Dykhouse found an adviser, negotiated a print contract with the school’s print lab and began recruiting staff. A small but dedicated group of students spent two nights a week in the lower level of the SDSU student union putting out the book – with no funding and little journalism experience. But it had the support of the university community. The Collegian, SDSU’s independent, student-run newspaper, allowed the yearbook to use its office and computers to produce the book. The newspaper and radio adviser, Susan Smith, became the yearbook’s adviser. The Union’s Information Exchange front desk and the University Bookstore helped the group sell books. Continue reading “South Dakota State University Students Resurrect Yearbook”