Plans to mobilize the goals of Association president Sandy Hirsh have been put into place with feedback from focus groups and 2014 Annual Meeting attendees and the formation of several task forces. The primary goal is to develop a strategic plan for the Association, ensuring that resources align with the groupís mission and membersí needs. As the second goal, member attraction, engagement and retention efforts will promote membership among practitioners as a new membership category recognizing applied information science, as well as students and international members. The 2016 Annual Meeting planned for Copenhagen is an expression of the Associationís global view. The third goal is for ASIS&T to advocate for the information professions, expanding understanding of professionalsí diverse activities and value. ASIS&T members are encouraged to participate in these initiatives designed to strengthen the Association.

Association for Information Science and Technology
strategic planning
information professionals
product and service providers
international aspects
cultural diversity

Bulletin, December 2014/January 2015

ASIS&T President, Dr. Sandy HirshPresidentís Page

Sandy Hirsh
2015 ASIS&T President
Director and Professor 
School of Information
San Jose State University

Attending the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Seattle was energizing, and I am excited about the opportunities to work with ASIS&T members this year. I have three major goals as ASIS&T President: 

  1. Develop a strategic plan for the Association; 
  2. Identify ways to attract, engage and retain members, especially practitioners, students and international members 
  3. Advocate for the information professions.

Goal 1: Develop a Strategic Plan for the Association 
With the ongoing changes to our field, the range of choices that people have to engage professionally and the importance of charting a clear future for the Association, one of my major initiatives as ASIS&T president this year is strategic planning. Specifically, the strategic planning process will include the following activities:

  • Review ASIS&Tís mission, vision and goals and translate these into clear actions that can be reported on.
  • Get input from ASIS&T members to ensure the Association is meeting membership needs.
  • Develop a plan of action, with goals and objectives, that will provide strategic direction for the Association and will position the Association for long-term success.
  • Assess resources to better align the Association with strategic goals and objectives. 

The strategic planning initiative got off to a strong start at the Annual Meeting in Seattle. We ran six focus group interview sessions with 50 participants. We also solicited conference attendee feedback on four questions posted on poster boards. We are already learning a great deal from the members who participated in these activities at the Annual Meeting. 
I am very pleased that Michael Leach has agreed to chair a new Strategic Planning Task Force and will work closely with the ASIS&T Board to drive the strategic planning process throughout the year. The goal is to develop the strategic plan by next yearís Annual Meeting.

There will be more opportunities over the next several months to provide input, and I hope to engage the full spectrum of ASIS&T members in the strategic planning process. There will be additional focus group sessions (including virtual ones), as well as virtual town hall meetings where we will review and discuss draft versions of the strategic plan. I want to encourage you to participate actively in this process. I will be posting periodic updates on the ASIS&T blog and in the Bulletin so members can keep up with what is going on with the strategic planning initiative. 

Goal 2: Identify Ways to Attract, Engage and Retain Members, Especially Practitioners, Students and International Members
Members are the key to ASIS&Tís ongoing success as an association. All of ASIS&Tís members are extremely important, and we want to ensure that the Association is meeting all of our membersí needs. This year, we will be paying special attention to three membership categories: practitioners, students and international members.

Practitioners: Over the years, fewer information practitioners have chosen ASIS&T as their home. We have an opportunity to explore why this is and take steps to address this gap. The Membership Committee will work on defining new membership categories, in particular, one called Professionals that will help practitioners recognize that ASIS&T is for them. The ASIS&T Board is also interested in attracting more practitioners to participate in next yearís Annual Meeting. The theme of next yearís Annual Meeting in St. Louis is ďInformation Science with Impact: Research in and for the Community.Ē This theme bridges theoretical and applied research and will be a good start toward striking the right balance to address the varied research interests of ASIS&T membership. 

Students: Students are the future of the association. To pay special attention to their interests and needs, I have created a Student Task Force that will be lead by Eric Meyers. The charge for this new task force is to recommend, develop and implement programs and activities that create more meaningful experiences for student members and recent graduates of undergraduate, mastersí and doctoral programs.

International: As an international association, it is exciting to look forward to 2016 when ASIS&T will hold its first Annual Meeting outside of North America in Copenhagen. This meeting is a good start toward welcoming the full range of ASIS&T members, wherever they happen to live around the world. To ensure that all members feel welcome on the ASIS&T website, the International Relations Committee, chaired by Diane Sonnenwald and Mei-Me Wu, will review the new ASIS&T website to ensure the content on the site reflects our global associationís membership. 

I have also created the Outreach and Engagement Task Force, lead by Dirk Lewandowski, to identify, recommend and implement ways to collaborate, engage and participate in the association through in-person and virtual activities. The objective is to ensure members can participate in and feel connected to ASIS&T Ė even if they canít attend Annual Meetings Ė and to provide additional ways to interact with the Association throughout the year. This year, Dirk will work with the International Relations Committee to focus on new ways to reach out and engage with members across our international association. 

Goal 3: Advocate for the Information Professions
As the leading association for information science, representing information professionals from around the world, ASIS&T can help broaden peopleís understanding about what information professionals do, who they are and what their value is. The Information Professionals Task Force will create a web presence Ė building on an earlier prototype developed by Marcia Bates, Prudence Dalrymple and me Ė that highlights the diversity and value of the information professions and increases awareness and interest among the general public, employers, students and other information professionals. Specifically, the goals are to advocate for and market the information professions, consolidate a professional identify and benefit ASIS&T by building awareness of the Association. I am very pleased that Nancy Roderer, the original chair of the Information Professionals Task Force, has agreed to co-chair this effort with Diane Rasmussen Pennington, who has served as the chair of the Web Presence Task Force. I think their combined skills and expertise will lead to a tremendous end product that will benefit the information professions as a whole, as well as ASIS&T. 

In sum, we have a very busy and active year planned! I look forward to working with ASIS&T members to build on the strong foundation we already have and to help define the ongoing success of the Association. These activities and initiatives, taken together, should put ASIS&T on a strong path toward deeper member engagement and participation. I hope you will participate actively in the process.