Bulletin, December/January 2012

Inside ASIS&T

ASIS&T Invited to White House Awards Ceremony

When President Barack Obama honored the recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation – the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers and inventors – the White House invited the American Society for Information Science and Technology to be among the guests. Executive director Richard Hill answered the call and was front and center for the ceremony on October 21.

In introducing the dozen recipients, the President reminded the audience that “America has always been a place where good ideas can thrive and dreams can become real – where innovation is encouraged and the greatest minds in the world are free to push the very limits of science and technology.” 

The President then spoke directly to the interests of ASIS&T when he spoke of the global economy in which we live and compete which resulted in part from the technologies of the information age. “The key to our success has always been and always will be our unparalleled ability to think up new ideas, create new industries and lead the way in discovery and innovation.” 

President Obama at White House National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation Ceremony President Obama at White House National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation Ceremony.


ASIS&T 75th Annual Meeting
Get Ready to Celebrate All Things Information

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the 2012 Annual Meeting will focus on Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present and Creating the Future. Weaving together all the threads that make the tapestry of information science, this landmark conference provides a great opportunity for practitioners and researchers to reflect on our past accomplishments and current activities and to chart potential pathways for the future.

Conference planners will utilize three reviewing tracks to ensure high standards and quality, as well as broad coverage of the field. The three tracks and their emphases are

  • Information: topics related to metadata, information retrieval, organization of information, knowledge management, information architecture and more
  • Interaction: topics related to information behavior, information sharing, human-computer interaction, gaming, visualization and more
  • Innovation: topics related to emerging technologies, Web 3.0, innovations in digital libraries, cloud computing and more.

The 75th ASIS&T Annual Meeting will be October 26-31, 2012, in Baltimore, Maryland. For full details about the Call for Papers and deadlines for submissions, please visit the ASIS&T website at asis.org.

News about ASIS&T Members
Former ASIS&T president Debora (Ralf) Shaw, longtime faculty member at Indiana University (IU), has been named dean of the university’s School of Library and Information Science. IU executive vice president and Bloomington campus provost Karen Hanson made the announcement, noting that Ralf “has received strong support from SLIS faculty and staff as interim dean. She has served with distinction as interim, providing energetic and effective leadership of the school.”

News from ASIS&T Chapters
The Northeast Ohio ASIS&T chapter (NORASIST) has an innovative weapon in its membership recruitment bag: a membership sale, providing discounted membership rates for student and regular members living in Northeast Ohio. For the second year, the chapter invited new members to join at a discounted rate and to attend the annual fall social mixer in September. New student members could join ASIS&T and the local chapter for $32 – just $2.50/month – during the membership sale period. 

The chapter further encouraged new members by offering the first five people to join at the mixer free books from Rosenfeld Media, personally donated by Lou Rosenfeld, one of the fathers of Information Architecture, and co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites.

News about ASIS&T Institutional Members
The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and Information International Associates (IIa) have formed a joint venture to develop an institutional repository (IR) service for federal agencies. Institutional repositories are collections of digital scientific and technical information documents and other content. This repository will be hosted by NTIS and supported by content managers and technical experts from IIa and NTIS. The program will make federal agency content available to users with increased ease of access and provide cost savings to the agencies. Representatives of both organizations will provide more details to the Bulletin as the project develops.

The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) announces that professor Richard Marciano, co-founder and former executive director of the Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center, affiliated professor in American studies and director of Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies (SALT), is now co-founder and co-director of a new virtual lab that will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative digital humanities projects.

The Digital Innovation Lab, affiliated with the American studies department in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, will encourage the production of digital "public goods": projects and tools that are of social and cultural value; can be made publicly available; are scalable and reusable; and/or serve multiple audiences. One immediate focus will be the use of large-scale data sources - maps, newspapers, city directories, public records - by scholars and the public in understanding the history of communities. The lab (http://digitalinnovation.unc.edu) was created with a startup grant from the college. 

The lab will build on the nationally funded digital humanities work of Marciano and Robert Allen, co-founder and co-director of the lab. Allen is the James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor of American studies, history and communication studies. 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has received a $390,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project entitled Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange: Next Generation (MIREX: NG). Led by J. Stephen Downie of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the project runs from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013. MIREX, which Downie has directed since 2005, allows music information retrieval (MIR) researchers to come together to investigate how well their innovative MIR algorithms perform. MIREX has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the MIR research community, having performed more than 1200 evaluations of algorithms across 23 unique task categories. 

In partnership with experts from Ithaka S+R, the MIREX: NG project will allow Downie to develop formal models for the financial and administrative sustainability of MIREX. Once the organizational structures have been created, the partners will work with the MIR community to finalize and then implement a sustainable business plan model to ensure the long term vitality of MIREX.