B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology           Vol. 30, No. 4               April/May 2004

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ASIST President Samantha K. HastingsPresident's Page

Hopefully this spring finds you enjoying your version of the Texas bluebonnets and Indian paint wildflowers. On the Texas plains they transform the prairies into wild, impressionist paintings, turning the whole state into a world-class museum.

For this column, I want to catch you up with some of the initiatives we continue to work on. First, I report on your Board of Directors meeting at the Information Architecture Summit in Austin on February 27. Then I provide a synopsis of my report to the board and end with a list of my travel dates in hopes that if you want me to come talk with your students or chapter, you will ask soon.

The agenda items for the meeting of the board included:

  • Review of Financial Statements a routine look at our month-by-month financials. Treasurer Cecilia Preston reported that we are in good fiscal condition, but we need to continue to add to our reserve funds. Our annual audit will be out soon, and we'll let you know when it is completed.
  • Report on the Information Architecture Summit 2004 indicated that the summit model continues to be successful with over 350 attendees and 55 presentations and posters. The presentations were excellent, practice-oriented sessions with many new ideas for how to organize information using taxonomies, facets and other cool tools. The planning committee for the meeting was chaired by Margaret Hanley, BBC London, and included members from Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil and Chile, as well as the United States.
  • Update on Annual Meeting 2004 noted that program chair Linda Schamber and her dynamite committee have received 170 paper and panel submissions. The committee is in the process of reviewing the submissions. Notification of acceptance is expected in early April.
  • President-elect Nicholas Belkin reported that he is working on appointing his committee chairs and planning new charges for each committee. He also gave a briefing on the Computing Research Association and why it may be important for ASIS&T to be a member of that group.
  • SIG Report health and welfare of the SIGs varies from SIG to SIG. SIG Cabinet Director Vicki Gregory is working to revise SIG guidelines and streamline reporting requirements as well as encourage increased flexibility for the SIGs. She and her cabinet advisors are helping SIGs update and revise their websites.
  • Chapter Report health and welfare of the chapters varies but the model chapters are getting even better at what they do, and Chapter Assembly Director Karen Howell reported that the ASIS&T Chapter Advisory Committee has decided to earmark this year's Chapter Development Funds for chapters that define projects to jumpstart their membership or activities.
  • Committee Reports included an update from the Membership Committee describing their initiative to be the lead on the revision of our leadership documentation. They will help coordinate SIG and chapter leaders in the revisions of the handbooks and create Web-versions that will encourage rather than frighten potential leaders.
  • Task Force reports included updates on:
    • ASIS&T Digital Library and Thesaurus The thesaurus and the digital library are tied together here, as the ASIS&T Board expressed a desire that the ASIS&T digital library have a visible controlled vocabulary (thesaurus) for searching. While data conversion, tagging, re-indexing and more are happening, Marge Hlava and her team have been working on a parallel track to develop a new, updated thesaurus. Special thanks go to Marge Hlava, Joe Busch, Tom Hogan and Wiley for working above and beyond the call of duty to help us plan the best of all digital libraries. The Thesaurus Advisory Committee is now reviewing the 3rd edition of the ASIS&T Thesaurus of Information Science and Librarianship. Thanks to the great work from Jessica Milstead in the past, there were no dropped terms, just some additions and reorganization of top levels. We will announce when the new edition is ready for prime time.
    • Placement Services Abby Goodrum presented the first version of our new automated placement and job-board offerings, a Web-based service.
    • Publications Task Force Past President Trudi Hahn presented initial findings from the analysis of our publications and how they meet member needs as well as the larger research community. They recommend that ARIST be a part of the digital library with no lag time.
    • Institutional Membership and Membership Categories Beverly Colby reported on possible new categories of membership, services for international members and how to price institutional memberships.
    • International Liaisons Michel Menou and JulianWarner have been working on collaborative opportunities for ASIS&T to partner with European conferences.
    • The ASIST Website Redesign team report included a status update for our new website just get ready! Stacey Surla and her team are working to provide us with a content management model for the new ASIS&T pages as well as a whole new, functional site.

My report included a discussion of three topics near and dear to my heart:

    1. I want to see us build an ASIS&T foundation to support student members' travel for Annual Meetings. Last year Dr. Eugene Garfield graciously funded 20 awards for student presenters to travel to the conference. I don't feel we should keep relying on his generosity. If we can get people to match gifts, we should be able to build a fund that will support student travel with the interest on the account. I will keep you informed on my progress, and if you have any ideas or possible donor names please let me know.

    2. It occurred to me that we might be more efficient if we have a three-to-five-year Working Plan to guide the work of the Society and the board of directors. I have asked the current board to devote some of our time at the August meeting to think about what such a plan might include.

    3. As most of you know, recruitment of new members and keeping the members we have happy are primary priorities for me. I've been thinking about ways we can recruit information scientists into the profession (more information about this is available in my February President's Corner at www.asist.org). I think it is important for us to reach high school teachers. I understand that as a profession, teachers have less opportunity for continuing education than most. I would like to see us give a free one-day conference registration to a few local high school teachers at each of our Annual Meetings. I'll start by going in early to Providence and talking at a couple of high schools. If you know any high school teachers in Providence please have them email me at hastings@unt .edu to make arrangements. The board of directors approved my request to support the free day registration so we can see if there is a fit.

The Texas Library Association met in San Antonio March 17-21, and for the first time ASIS&T had a program sponsored by the TLA President's program committee. Andrew Dillon and I talked about the role of information architecture and information science in the delivery of library services. We also showed off our ASIS&T banner.

In closing, my travel schedule is filling up quickly but if you want me to come talk to your chapter or students, just send me an email. I still have some time open in the early fall and late summer. The dates taken in April and May so far are:

April 6: Student Chapter, Florida State University, Tallahassee
April 8: Florida Chapter, University of South Florida, Tampa
April 15-19: San Francisco
April 20-23: Imaging Science & Technology Conference, San Antonio, TX
May 1-5: Council for Scientific Society Presidents, Washington, DC
May 12: Central Ohio ASIS&T Chapter

With all best regards,


Samantha Hastings
2004 ASIS&T President
Associate Professor and Fellow
Texas Center for Digital Knowledge
University of North Texas
Box 311068, ISB 2051
Denton, Texas 76203-1068

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