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Bulletin, April/May 2009

Inside ASIS&T

2009 ASIS&T Annual Meeting
Thriving on Diversity – Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World
November 6-11, 2009, Vancouver, BC, Canada

We live in a culture where countries, organizations and individuals have never been so closely linked politically, economically and socially, linkages that are founded on rapid and efficient information transfer and access. Yet we also co-exist in a world that displays its rich cultural diversity and relies upon information sharing to reinforce its plurality. The 2009 ASIS&T Annual Meeting will offer participants the opportunity to explore how information research and practice can promote global communication while maintaining diversity.

To further support the point of our global dependence, the 2009 meeting will take place in Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 6-9. 

The following are among the many topics expected to be addressed in papers, posters and panel sessions:

  • Multilingual information systems 
  • Cross-language information retrieval 
  • Accessibility and cultural factors in system design 
  • Processing logographic, syllabic and alphabetic scripts in a digital environment 
  • Cross-border data flows 
  • Open access and cultural diversity 
  • Information literacy and challenges of harmony versus hegemony 
  • The role of international organizations in building on diversity 
  • Digital inclusion 
  • Social networking in a linguistically and culturally rich environment 
  • Information behavior in diverse contexts 
  • Knowledge management in diverse contexts 
  • Information policy 

Conference Committee
Conference chair Andrew Large, McGill University, has assembled a diverse committee to help plan the 2009 Annual Meeting. Among the committee members are France Bouthillier, McGill University, and Corinne Jorgensen, Florida State University, contributed papers co-chairs; KT Vaughan, University of North Carolina, and Pascal Calarco, University of Notre Dame, panels and technical session co-chairs; Heidi Julien, University of Alberta, and Valerie Nesset, State University of New York at Buffalo, posters co-chairs; Karen Fisher, University of Washington; Grant Campbell, University of Western Ontario; June Abbas, University of Oklahoma; Luanne Freund, University of British Columbia; Sandra Hirsh, Microsoft Corporation; and Tao Jin, Louisiana State University.

Conference Venue
The 2009 ASIS&T Annual Meeting will be headquartered at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

ASIS&T Presents Annual Audit
The report of the ASIS&T auditors on the 2008 financial statements is presented here

Robert S. Taylor 1918-2008

Robert S. Taylor, dean emeritus of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool), passed away Thursday, January 1, 2009, at the Francis House in Syracuse after a lengthy illness. He was 90.

Robert Taylor served as president of ASIS&T in 1968 and was the recipient of the 1992 Award of Merit and the 1972 ASIS&T Best Information Science Book Award for The Making of a Library.

He served as dean of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies from 1972 to 1981. One of his most memorable accomplishments at the school was changing its name from library science to the more comprehensive information studies. "The change in name is not a cosmetic cover, but a recognition that the activities and courses we presently have can no longer be called library science," he said at the time. "Simply put, 'information studies' better represents what we are doing and the direction we are going."

Reflecting on the decision to change the school's name, Taylor said in July 2007 that he accepted the deanship at Syracuse with the hopes of creating a new kind of school focused specifically on information. "I came here to Syracuse because this was the one library science school in the country that had a potential – a real potential – for change," he said. "I wanted the word information in there so eventually we arrived at information studies – ambiguous enough to cover almost anything, as it has."

Taylor also credited the late Raymond F. von Dran (dean from 1996-2007) with carrying out the vision he had for the field back in 1974. "Ray has truly given body to my dreams and I thank him," he said during a memorial celebration for von Dran in July 2007.

Taylor founded the nation's first master's degree in information resource management (which is now called information management) in 1980.

In an October 30, 2008, interview, he said he was thrilled to see the development of the iSchool movement and the emergence of more "information schools" or "iSchools." "iSchool – I couldn't have thought of a better word," he said. During this conversation, he also shared his recipe for the school's continued success: "Imagination and work," he said.

Two of his seminal works, "Question-Negotiation and Information-Seeking in Libraries" (1967) and Value Added Processes in Information Systems (1986), continue to be quoted and relevant to shaping scholarly discussions today. His works have been donated to the Syracuse University Library Special Collections, and his life is being chronicled in a biography by local writer, Russ Tarby. 

In November 2008, the Syracuse University School of Information Studies Board of Advisors formally acknowledged his contributions with a resolution in his honor. 

An Ithaca, N.Y., native, Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University and worked for a short stint as a sports reporter before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. He became a member of the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps until returning to the United States in 1947. 

He enrolled in Columbia University's library science program on the GI Bill, earning an M.S. in Library Science in 1950. He was named a Fulbright Lecturer in 1956. He went on to work as a librarian, professor and director of information science at Lehigh University and then a professor and director of the Library Center at Hampshire College. 

Taylor was predeceased by his first wife, Leni Reichenberger Taylor, to whom he was married for nearly 50 years. He is survived by his second wife of 10 years, Fay Inman Taylor; his stepsons, Anton Reichenberger of Long Island, David Golden and wife Karen of Savannah, Ga., Dan Golden of Hacienda Heights, Calif.; and grandsons William and Max Golden; as well as nieces and nephews most of whom live in the Dallas, Texas area.

Friends and colleagues are invited to leave a remembrance to Taylor at the Syracuse University website. Please visit and click on the “Leave a Remembrance” link. Donations are also welcomed for the Fay and Robert Taylor Scholarship fund which can be accessed through the above link. The fund provides partial scholarship and financial assistance to deserving graduate students in the in the Library and Information Science program in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Academic merit and relevant experience are the criterion used to determine selection.