B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 30, No. 2      December/January  2004

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Inside ASIS&T

Annual Meeting Coverage

While the December/January issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology traditionally contains in-depth coverage of the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, this year's late October meeting fell outside the production cycle for this issue. Therefore, the bulk of the Annual Meeting news, such as reports on major technical sessions, photographic and textual coverage of the winners of the ASIS&T awards and news of other relevant activities, will appear in the February/March 2004 issue of the Bulletin.

2003 ASIS&T Award Honorees

The following individuals and groups were among those honored at the 2003 ASIS&T Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon and at other venues during the meeting. Details of these honors will be included in the next issue of the Bulletin.

Award of Merit Nicholas J. (Nick) Belkin

Watson Davis Award Nancy Roderer

Research Award Peter Ingwersen

Best Information Science Book Award Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior by Donald O. Case

Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award Raya Fidel

John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award Gary Marchionini for "Co-evolution of User and Organizational Interfaces: A Longitudinal Case Study of WWW Dissemination of National Statistics"

ISI/ASIST Citation Analysis Research Grant Rong Tang

ISI Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship Jiangping Chen

ASIST/Proquest Dissertation Award Anne Diekema

James M. Cretsos Leadership Award Amy Wallace

Chapter-of-the-Year Los Angeles Chapter and Southern Ohio Chapter

Student Chapter-of-the-Year University of Washington Student Chapter

Chapter Member-of-the-Year (two winners) Louisa (Toot) Verma and Yin Zhang

Chapter Event-of-the-Year It's Not Just Google Anymore: Blogs and the Latest in Search Engines (New England Chapter)

Chapter Electronic Publication-of-the-Year www.lacasis.org (Los Angeles Chapter)

Chapter Print Publication-of-the-Year OASIS (Los Angeles Chapter)

SIG-of-the-Year SIG/USE

New Officer and Directors Join ASIS&T Board

The start of a new administrative year brings new faces to the ASIS&T Board of Directors. Three new members were welcomed to the Board at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting in Long Beach, while three retiring members were thanked for their service.

Each of the new members will serve the society for three years. Those elected to the Board during the summer balloting are Nicholas J. Belkin, president-elect; and Dietmar Wolfram and Gail Hodge, directors-at-large.

As the new members took their seats, Samantha Hastings, elected last year as president-elect, assumed the presidency from Trudi Bellardo Hahn, who now serves as past president for one year. Former president Donald Kraft and directors-at-large Dudee Chiang and Michael Leach completed their terms of service on the Board.

Samantha Hastings is an associate professor of information science and fellow of the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge at the University of North Texas in Denton. She teaches courses in digital image management, telecommunications, and science and technology reference.

Nick Belkin has been professor of information science in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers University since 1985.  Prior to this appointment he was senior lecturer in information science at The City University, London. He is currently chair of the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers, and was previously the director of the Ph.D. program in Communication, Information and Library Studies there. He has held visiting positions at institutions in Canada, Germany, Singapore and Finland. Nick holds the Ph.D. in information studies from the University of London, and the MLS and BA from the University of Washington. He is a recipient of the ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award (1990) and the ASIS&T Research Award (1997).

Dietmar Wolfram is professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He teaches courses in the areas of information science, electronic networking, and database systems and conducts research in information retrieval, applied informetrics and technology education for information professionals. He holds a Ph.D. and MLIS in library and information science and a B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario.  As an ASIS&T member, he has served as faculty advisor to the UW-Milwaukee ASIS&T Student Chapter and as an officer (secretary, vice-chair, chair) of the Wisconsin Chapter; as chair and communication officer for the former SIG/OIS (Office Information Systems); on the Awards and Honors and Education Committees; and he has organized and presented on a number of panels at ASIS&T Annual Meetings.

Gail Hodge is a senior information scientist in the Advanced Information Research and Technologies Group of Information International Associates.  She is a consultant and contractor for government and private sector organizations, specializing in database design, metadata, taxonomy and controlled vocabulary development, process reengineering, standards and information policy. Gail has served as chair and program chair for SIG/IFP, developing sessions on intellectual property, public domain and government information policy, and is also a member of SIGs/STI and ALP.  She has been a frequent speaker at ASIS&T Annual Meetings and has contributed to the Bulletin on topics such as digital preservation, electronic journals, e-prints and database protection. 

News About ASIS&T Chapters

For the program planned in conjunction with its annual business meeting in October, the Potomac Valley Chapter offered a presentation on The ASIST Web Site Redesign Project: Objectives, Stakeholders and Workplan. A Web redesign group in the DC area is looking at the redesign process and all its aspects from identifying users and stakeholders to recognizing the forms, databases and transactions that are typically conducted by Society members. Members of the team shared insights into Web processes and workflows, usability testing, IA and interface design and high-level business requirements.

In September, the Central Ohio ASIS&T Chapter (CO-ASIS&T) offered a program entitled, Current Awareness Services for Librarians, presented by Jay Kegley, Columbus Metropolitan Library. He shared his insights on the best current awareness services for librarians.

For its November program, CO-ASIS&T planned Copyright Catch-Up: What's Happening Now?, featuring Trisha Davis, The Ohio State University Libraries, speaking about copyright and recent events affecting it.

The New England Chapter of ASIS&T (NEASIST) and ASIS&T Special Interest Group/ Scientific and Technical Information Systems (SIG/STI), in cooperation with the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division of SLA, sponsored a "Summit on Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources" in late November. The summit included panels and presentations from academia, non-profit organizations, the commercial sector and government initiatives, both in the United States and abroad.  Keynote speaker was Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

The Northern Ohio ASIS&T Chapter (NORASIST), in conjunction with Cleveland SLA, presented the Annual George Mandel Technology Lecture in late October. Innovations in Technology: Has the Future Arrived? Experts' Views of Today's Spaces, Technologies for Intuitive Learning & Internet Treasures featured presentations by David Ewing, John Carroll University; James A. Barker, Case Western Reserve University; and Diane K. Kovacs, Kovacs Consulting.

News from an ASIS&T SIG

Sue O'Neill Johnson (current chair of SIG/III) reports that the August 2003 issue of Scientific American contains an update on a project from the SIG's 2001 International Paper Competition. The Gyandoot Digital Library Internet, a project reported by Aashish Sharma and his professor William Yurcik in the April/May 2001 Bulletin, is discussed in a Scientific American article as a major example of a successful model to close the digital divide in India. The article says, "Farmers access the Gyandoot intranet at a community computer facility in central India's Dhar district, where 60 percent of the 1.7 million residents live below the poverty line. The intranet provides crop prices, official application forms and a place to hold village auctions and to air public grievances."

When presenting the paper in 2001, Aashish predicted that this project, just in its initial stages then, would grow and become effective. Indeed it has.

News about ASIS&T Members

Randoph Bias, associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded $100,000 to study the effects of Microsoft ClearType on user performance in programming tasks. ClearType is a font-rendering technology designed to make on-screen text easier to read. Researchers at the School of Information have been examining the usability of this technology, and preliminary results suggest ClearType can significantly improve reading speeds for electronic text. The new grant will extend this research into more complex task domains and explore ClearType's effects on the performance of software programmers.

Henry Small, chief scientist at Thomson ISI, has been named to a four-year term as president of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI), a biennial conference of scientometric and informetric scholars from around the world. The members comprise government advisers, librarians, people working in corporations and academic researchers.

News from an ASIS&T Institutional Member

Syracuse University to Create Nationwide Digital Library Tools

The Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS), a research center of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, has received a $250,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Studies to create a nationwide digital reference education initiative. The grant, led by co-principal investigators and SU assistant professors Abby Goodrum and R. David Lankes, with Joseph Janes of the University of Washington, will help prepare librarians, students and paraprofessionals to deliver high-quality reference service on the Internet.

"The Internet has become an essential tool for libraries to interact with patrons. Digital reference allows the heart of the library, the librarian, to be just as accessible as the online catalog," says Goodrum. "This helps those librarians get to the patrons and makes libraries more central to the communities they serve."

The grant will be used to educate librarians, students and paraprofessionals in digital reference and build a Web portal for them to access training materials, online courses and hands-on experience with digital reference software. The portal will also provide a common place for posting digital reference job and internship opportunities.

The IIS (iis.syr.edu) is the umbrella organization for a number of highly visible and widely successful digital education information services and projects. IIS projects bring together universities, government agencies and private enterprises to promote easy access to high quality educational information for a diverse user population.

Among the schools already brought into the digital reference initiative are Syracuse University, University of Washington, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, Florida State University, Kent State, Emporia State, UCLA and Drexel. Software providers are OCLC, 24/7 Reference, LSSI and LiveAssistance. Libraries include Washington State Library, Library of Congress, National Library of Canada, Library of the Netherlands, National Library of Australia, Multnomah County Public Library, Alberta Public Library Consortia, Grant MacEwan College and Brigham Young University.


April Bohannan

April Bohannan, cataloging services librarian at the Virginia Beach Public Library, passed away in late August from a cancer that was first diagnosed on Memorial Day weekend. She is survived by her mother, Viola Bohannan, of Reedville, Virginia, and by two sons, Mark and Kevin Schlipper, of Palmyra, Virginia, and Seattle, Washington, respectively.

Before joining Virginia Beach Public Library, April had been coordinator of library automation and technical services for Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, information resources manager at the School of Library & Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University and an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University. She earned her MS in library science at Catholic University and her Ph.D. in library science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was a presenter and author on topics of information organization throughout her career.

April applied her expertise in organizing information to the creation of a vocabulary of terms designed to assure successful Web access to local government information by Virginia Beach citizens. At the time of her death, she was leading the planning for an expanded virtual library presence in Virginia Beach. She was a treasured colleague, passionate in her work and a source of encouragement for those considering post-graduate studies in library science. Always the optimist with a ready smile, her consistent question was "How can we make it happen?" April made many things happen during her three years in Virginia Beach.

Patrick G. Wilson

Patrick G. Wilson, professor emeritus and former dean of the School of Librarianship at the University of California, Berkeley, died of heart failure in San Francisco on September 12. 2003. He was 75.

Professor Wilson was born in Santa Cruz, California. In an oral history on file with UC Berkeley, Wilson said he graduated from high school in Santa Cruz during World War II with no thought of ever attending college. "It wasn't done," he said. "Children of working-class parents didn't go to college." Wilson went on to earn bachelor's degrees in philosophy and in library science and his Ph.D. in philosophy.

He began working in the general reference service of UC Berkeley's Doe Library after receiving his degree in library science, and later served as a librarian and bibliographer for South Asia Studies.

Wilson taught philosophy at UCLA starting in 1960, but came back to UC Berkeley to join the School of Librarianship faculty in 1965, a tumultuous time on campus just following the emergence of the Free Speech Movement. He served as dean of the school from 1970-1975, a time when the school increasingly turned its attention to computers and automation for libraries and when online searching became a real, practical tool. Wilson also was acting dean from 1989 until his 1991 retirement.

When asked by oral history interviewer Laura McCreery what he thought his lasting contributions would be, Wilson said, "Lasting is not up to me. If anything lasts more than 10 minutes, it may be something that is, as far as you're concerned, entirely irrelevant."

Wilson was the recipient of the ASIS&T Award of Merit in 2001 (Bulletin, December/January 2002) and is perhaps most widely known for his three influential books: Two Kinds of Power: An Essay on Bibliographical Control (1968); Public Knowledge, Private Ignorance: Toward a Library and Information Policy (1977); and Second-Hand Knowledge: An Inquiry into Cognitive Authority (1983).

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