B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology   Vol. 31, No. 6   August/September 2005

Go to
Bulletin Index

bookstore2Go to the ASIST Bookstore


Inside ASIS&T

2005 Annual Meeting

Pattie Maes to Headline ASIS&T 2005

            Pattie Maes, associate professor at MIT’s Media Laboratory where she founded and directs the Software Agents Group, will be a featured plenary speaker at the 2005 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together, October 28-November 2, in Charlotte , North Carolina .

            Maes is one of the pioneers of the research area known as software agents – an area which builds on such disciplines as artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, computer-supported collaborative work, information filtering and electronic commerce. Software agents are semi-intelligent computer programs that help users with the overload of information and the complexity of the online world. Maes’ group pioneered the use of machine learning to build such agents and invented a range of new algorithms, such as collaborative filtering.

            Maes joins a lineup of dozens of leading researchers and practitioners in information science and technology who will explore the intersection of research domains – such as behavioral science, communications, computer science, sociology, business, biomedical sciences, history, philosophy and others – with a variety of fields of practice – such as librarianship, information architecture, systems design and development, publishing, bibliography, interface design and usability, teaching and classification.

            Technical sessions at the meeting have been divided into a number of tracks, including information behavior; digital libraries; information design; information organization; ethical, legal and policy issues; knowledge management; medical and health information; online searching behavior; information resources; social informatics; foundations of information science; and online help.

Program co-chairs Mike Crandall and Barbara Wildemuth note several unique additions to this year’s Annual Meeting plans. For one, they say the poster sessions have been expanded to two full days, with poster presenters on hand at designated hours each day for discussion. At all other times, the posters will be available for viewing. The first poster day will be focused on the topic Users and Behaviors; the second will feature Content and Systems.

Another innovation this year is that the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting will be offered in electronic form only. A CD-ROM version of the Proceedings will be available at the conference and provided to all full conference registrants as part of their registration fees. Additional copies of the CD will be available for purchase on site. Enhanced content including information from poster and panel sessions will be added to the Proceedings after the meeting and will be available at the ASIS&T website.

Conference Hotel

            The Westin Charlotte has been chosen as the conference hotel. All conference sessions and events will be held at the conference hotel, unless otherwise noted. A special discounted room rate of $149 single or double is available until October 9, 2005.

            The 700-room Westin Charlotte offers an uptown location in the heart of the city's financial district. A convenient trolley stop whisks guests to the city's hottest dining and entertainment district. All guest rooms and suites feature dual-line telephones with voice messaging, large work desk, in-room data port, complimentary gourmet coffee, in-room movies and minibar. A full-service concierge and well-equipped business center are available to attend to last-minute details. A gourmet restaurant and an outdoor café are guaranteed to satisfy any palate. A number of attractions are within minutes of the hotel including the shops and restaurants of Historic South End, the Charlotte Convention Center and Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.

Pre-Conference Workshops and Seminars

            As always, ASIS&T’s robust continuing education efforts will be visible at the 2005 Annual Meeting. Seven courses and two SIG Workshops are in the schedule.

The courses, for which separate registration is required and which are described in some detail at the ASIS&T website, are Building Digital Library Collections with Open Source Software; Theory and Practice of Cognitive Work Analysis: Designing Ecological Information Systems; Information Architecture & Findability; Ontology Design Using RDF/OWL and Topic Maps; Resolving Taxonomy Challenges and IA Conflicts; Building Taxonomies for Information Retrieval; and Personal Information Management in Theory and in Practice.

The two SIG workshops are the 16th SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop and the 5th SIG/USE Workshop.

Additional Conference Information

An abridged preliminary program will be mailed to all ASIS&T members this summer. In addition, complete program information is available at the ASIS&T website: www.asis.org.

News from an ASIS&T SIG

            Special Interest Group/International Information Issues (SIG/III) raised over $7000 in just two months this spring for the 6th International Paper Contest on International Digital Libraries and Information Science & Technology Advances in Developing Countries. With fundraising a continuing process, SIG officials expressed pleasure and expectation for ongoing support from the information community. The funds support two-year ASIS&T memberships for six to eight of the paper contest winners each year and cover expenses of the top winner(s) to travel from his or her home country to the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.  Since the contest began in 2000, SIG/III has sponsored 32 two-year ASIS&T memberships to contest winners from 15 different countries and has supported 15 winners to attend ASIS&T Annual Meetings.

News from ASIS&T Chapters

            For its June meeting, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (LACASIS) combined a professional development workshop on Personal Knowledge Management: Coping with Information Overload with a business meeting. Aura Lippincott, UCLA Rosenfeld Management Library, led the workshop participants in a discussion of personalized strategies for managing one’s own information.

            The Indiana , Michigan and Chicago chapters of ASIS&T joined together in June for a daylong regional ASIS&T program on To Google or Not to Google? Speakers from the University of Michigan and Dominican University, as well as Notre Dame representatives that included Pascal V. Calarco and Tom Lehman, were to discuss Google digitization projects, search engine research, and usability testing of digitized library catalogs in the Google age.

The Wisconsin Chapter of ASIS&T, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies and libraries, planned What’s So International About International Librarianship? as its July meeting. Peter Johan Lor, secretary general of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), was to look at what passes for international librarianship in the literature, explore the rationale and scope of the field and outline major themes that need to be addressed in contemporary studies in international librarianship.

The New England Chapter of ASIS&T (NEASIST) has announced the winners of its NEASIST Student Travel Award competition. The 2005 Best Papers in Information Science awards go to Jim Campbell, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for "Reactions to the Enclosure of the Information Commons: 2000-2004," and Johanna Kasubowski, Simmons College, for "Providing Subject Access to Images." These awards entitle each winner up to $750 to help defray the costs of attending the 2005 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Charlotte , North Carolina .

The European Chapter of ASIS&T (ASIST-EC) was an active participant at the Libraries in the Digital Age 2005 conference in Croatia. Mabrouka El Hachani, a student at ENSSIB, led a panel discussion about ASIST-EC and the new student chapter that she leads. At the closing banquet, five free student memberships were donated by these ASIS&T members – Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina; Christine Borgman, UCLA; Emil Levine, chapter advisor; Tatjana Aparac, chapter chair, and her husband, Srecko Jelusic, both University of Osijek, Croatia – and the ASIST-EC chapter. At the final breakfast for ASIS&T members, students presented Emil Levine an award for his support over the past several years.

Mabrouka El Hachani, a student at ENSSIB, France, presents her poster concerning the new ASIST-EC student chapter.

News About ASIS&T Members

Karen Fisher, Joan Durrance and Marian Bouch Hinton are the winners of ALA’s 2005 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, for their article “Information Grounds and the Use of Need-based Services by Immigrants in Queens, NY: A Context-based, Outcome Evaluation Approach.” The paper was originally published in 2004 in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

William E. Moen, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences and interim director of the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge at the University of North Texas , is the 2005 winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology. This annual award, presented by LITA and OCLC, recognizes persons who have amassed a significant body of research in the field of library and information technology. It was established to honor the achievements of Frederick G. Kilgour, the founder of OCLC and a seminal figure in library automation.

Trudi Bellardo Hahn, former ASIS&T president, has been named executive director of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. She had been serving as interim director since November. Prior to coming to the commission, she was manager of library user education services and adjunct professor at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland . Earlier positions include training specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education, director of professional development for the Special Libraries Association, associate professor at Catholic University and assistant professor and data services librarian at the University of Kentucky .

Jagdish Arora, Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Science Consortium (INDEST), is one of six new members to the IEEE Library Advisory Council. The council brings together a group of international corporate, academic and government librarians who consult with IEEE to help develop products and policies. Members serve two-year terms.

            Michael Lesk has been named chair of the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University . ASIS&T President Nicholas Belkin, former chair of the department, is on sabbatical through the 2005-2006 academic year.


Harold Wooster

Harold Wooster, an information scientist widely regarded as a major influence in the development of computer technology, died of a heart attack in late May. He was 86 years old.

            In the 1960s, Dr. Wooster served as chief of the information sciences division of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. It was here that he awarded research grants to many of the engineers and scientists whose work would eventually lead to the development of the personal computer and the Internet. Among those whose early work he supported are Douglas Englebart, J.C.R. Licklider, Ted Nelson and Marvin Minsky. Each of these scientists played a critical role in the development of the technological infrastructure that we now take for granted.

            In the 1970s, while working at the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Wooster once again proved his pioneering spirit with his supervision of experiments using television to connect patients in remote areas to doctors.

            Dr. Wooster was also a lifelong science fiction enthusiast. His son, Martin Morse Wooster, notes that his father “sold one ‘Probability Zero’ piece to Astounding in 1943” and characterized his father’s work at the Office of Scientific Research as a time in which “he was in charge of strange projects.” Martin also noted that his father “was good at spotting promising young talent and giving them money early. He realized these people were doing research that was going to be important.”

            Dr. Wooster also had a history with ASIS&T. He co-wrote a chapter on “Biomedical Communications” for Volume 17 of the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST). He also co-edited Volume 18 of the Proceedings of the ASIS&T Annual Meeting with Lois Lunin and Madeline Henderson. His work was also evident in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, where he wrote a book review (JASIST 41 (8), 1990) and an article, “Historical Note: Shining Palaces, Shifting Sands: National Information Systems” (JASIST 38 (5).

Ethel Auster

            Ethel Auster, professor at the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto , passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on July 1 at the age of 63.

Born in Montreal on June 4, 1942, Prof. Auster attended McGill University before completing her undergraduate education at Boston University and receiving a master’s degree from Simmons College . After the birth of her son she returned to Canada and resumed work as research librarian at the Toronto Board of Education, then as librarian at OISE/University of Toronto .

While at OISE , Prof. Auster began studying for her doctoral degree. While completing her research and dissertation, she was appointed assistant professor of library science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A year and a half later, in 1982, she returned to Toronto to join the University of Toronto ’s Faculty of Library Science, where she remained for 23 years.

Prof. Auster’s research dealt with libraries, management and information use.

During her career she published three books, co-authored two others and wrote numerous scholarly articles.

Prof. Auster is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David L. and Janis H. Auster, and David’s father, Henry Auster, of Toronto . In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto. A memorial scholarship will also be set up at the Faculty of Information Studies.

George B. Dantzig

            George B. Dantzig, a mathematician credited with devising the formula that revolutionized planning, scheduling, network design and other complex functions key to modern business, industry and government, died in mid-May at the age of 90. Dr. Dantzig was known as the father of linear programming and as inventor of an algorithm for solving linear programming problems.

How to Order

American Society for Information Science and Technology
8555 16th Street, Suite 850, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA
Tel. 301-495-0900, Fax: 301-495-0810 | E-mail:

Copyright © 2005, American Society for Information Science and Technology