B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 30, No. 6      August/September  2004

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ASIST President Samantha K. HastingsPresident's Page

It's hard for me to believe that it is summer already! This year has been filled with challenges and opportunities, and I believe that we are taking advantage of every opportunity and are turning the challenges into benefits for the society. Two major ongoing initiatives are coming to fruition: the redesign of the ASIS&T website and the ASIS&T Digital Library at Wiley, and we hope they will be available for preview at the Annual Meeting.

Annual Meeting Plans

With regard to the Annual Meeting, much has been going on behind the scenes. Linda Schamber and her team have planned a jam-packed program, even more full than usual. Program details are at www.asis.org/Conferences/AM04/. The technical program starts on Sunday, November 14, at 1:00 p.m. in Providence, Rhode Island, and ends on Wednesday evening with a gala reception. This revised format worked quite well last year, and everyone seemed to enjoy the President's closing reception. (See www.asis.org/Conferences/AM03/images/.)

There are a couple of sessions I would particularly like to mention:

  • We are delighted to have sessions co-sponsored by our own SIG/Metrics (a virtual SIG existing only as an e-mail list) and the International Society for Scientometrics and Infometrics on Tuesday morning at 8:30 and 10:30.
  • On Tuesday right after the Annual Business Meeting Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Liewen Vaughan will discuss the recent survey of ASIS&T members, their findings and the implications for the long-term future of the society.
  • Finally, contributors to the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (one of ASIS&T's publication jewels) will discuss "Social Informatics: A Rubric with an Identity Crisis?" a session that promises to be both provocative and insightful.

I could go on, but the total conference program is excellent, and you should check it out for yourself. In fact, Linda and her committee had to twist and turn things, even adding a Tuesday evening session from 5:30 to 7:00 (ending an hour before SIG CON) in order to accommodate all the excellent proposals, which have included a record number of posters almost 100!

Then there are the two plenary speakers! On Sunday, don't miss JC Herz and her take on the millions of (mostly) young game players, a class of users we rarely see but which are a driving force in such technologies as search engines and the Web. Then, on Monday we are delighted to have Tim Berners-Lee join us. He needs no introduction to ASIS&T members, being generally recognized as the "Father of the Web" for his "invention" of HTML.

ASIS&T Issues at the Annual Meeting

This packed program has left us scrambling to squeeze in demonstrations and an update on another major endeavor that has required a lot of attention from headquarters, your Board of Directors and volunteers this year. If the "creeks don't rise" you will finally get to see the ASIS&T Digital Library. While details are still being ironed out, work is steaming ahead on a couple of fronts. Marge Hlava and Data Harmony have been converting documents and using their software to index and build an updated information science thesaurus that drives much of the search functions on the site. At the same time John Wiley has been designing and developing the architecture for the library. We hope (and expect) to have a prototype for demonstration in Providence.

We may also have a new ASIS&T website to model and test. A team led by Stacy Surla has assessed the current site and made recommendations in a detailed redesign plan. Your Board has taken this plan to heart and authorized headquarters to move ahead with implementation. The review undertaken by the Web design team was fascinating to observe and very thorough in its approach. In fact, their recommendations include some changes in policies and priorities as well as a new site design and structure. The Web team is meeting with the ASIS&T Board in August to discuss the redesign plan.

During the August retreat the Board will continue a planning process that produced a three-year business plan for ASIS&T. The document will be distributed at the Annual Business Meeting in Providence and will be posted in advance on the website. As always, your comments and suggestions are needed and welcomed.

On Sunday or Monday at the Annual Meeting please keep an eye out for badges that have "I'm a High School teacher" printed on them. Take the time to talk with these special guests and encourage them to advise their students on the benefits and fun associated with being information professionals. Then, maybe someday you'll meet a young person who says, "I want to be an information scientist when I grow up."


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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