Bulletin, April/May 2007

Editor's Desktop

Irene L. Travis, Editor

Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology


This issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology is the last that you will receive in hardcopy. Beginning with June/July 2007, we become an electronic-only publication. We will maintain our bi-monthly publication schedule and similar publication values, but going electronic will allow us to be more flexible in a number of other ways such as size and use of images. 

As is customary for electronic magazines, the Society will send an email to members and subscribers as each issue becomes available. The message will include an extended table of contents. We look forward to the new opportunities afforded by the change ahead.

Academic libraries and academia are a major thread in this issue, although not the only subject. “Managing in the Digital Environment: Guidelines for Corporations, Government and Academia” is the title of our special section. Guest editor Bill Edgar has put together three articles about management, particularly project management, in our current environment. As one would expect, they heavily emphasize the problems of change. Maureen Mackenzie reviews change management in corporations generally; Brian Detlor and his colleagues discuss implementing a community information portal; and Bill Edgar, initiating the academic library theme, concludes with a look at the issues surrounding the management of the multifaceted teams that must be created to exploit the digital information environment within that context.

Our Information Architecture column also focuses on academic libraries and digital environments – in this case multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), as Lori Bell, Kitty Hope and Tom Peters describe the Alliance Second Life Library project.

We move from academic libraries to academia more generally in our International Column. In a piece closely related to our recent issue on LIS education in Europe, Kendra Albright and Robert Petrulis from Sheffield University provide a guide to the differences between the American and the British higher educational systems. 

For our final article, on quite a different note, we memorialize Lee Strickland by re-printing one of his many contributions to the Bulletin. This one, entitled “Breaking Developments in Domestic Intelligence,” originally appeared in February/March 2003 but retains its topicality. Lee, who contributed to 11 issues of the Bulletin between 2002 and 2005, died in January 2007 after a brief illness. He was an attorney who served for 30 years with the United States government as an intelligence officer and member of the Senior Intelligence Service before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2000 as director of Center for Public Policy and as a faculty member in the College of Information Studies. We greatly miss his insight and irrepressible interest in a broad range of issues regarding information, intelligence, counter-intelligence and civil liberties. 

Finally, we return to academic libraries, but in a much lighter vein. For those wishing to sample the fare at ASIS&T’s infamous annual SIG CON session, we present an offering from the 2006 edition by Steve Hardin, a frequent contributor to those revels (and to the Bulletin). With the assistance of Edgar Allan Poe, Hardin’s “The Patron” explores an under-appreciated peril of reference service.