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Bulletin, February/March 2010

Bulletin Editor, Irene TravisEditor's Desktop

Irene L. Travis, Editor

Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Couldn’t be everywhere in Vancouver? Couldn’t be in Vancouver for the ASIS&T Annual Meeting? This issue offers you the opportunity to discover some of what you missed.

First, we have our always-popular photo coverage of the events and awards followed by Steve Hardin’s reporting of the plenary sessions, which also has risen to the level of a Bulletin tradition. I believe he has rendered this service to us since 1997. My hat is off to Steve. I’ve tried to write up a session or two myself (with unprintable results), so I recognize what a great job he does. 

Our special section, as well, deals with an important event at the meeting: the 10th anniversary of one of our most active Special Interest Groups, SIG/USE (Information needs, seeking and use). The SIG took advantage of this milestone to hold several special events and institute some new activities. It inducted 10 SIG/USE Fellows and initiated an annual SIG/USE award for Contributions to Information Behavior. It also sponsored an anniversary panel structured as a fish bowl dialog, and its annual pre-conference activity, the SIG/USE Symposium, was joined by 16 avatars on the ASIS&T Second Life Island – another first for the Society. Crystal Fulton, who initiated the Bulletin coverage and then served as the special section editor, has captured all these events and two more important contributions – two brief overviews of the field of information behavior that can serve as valuable introductions to this field for those of us who are not specialists in the area. The first is by T.D. Wilson, who was also the first recipient of the new Contributions to Information Behavior award as well as one of the 10 fellows. The second, focusing on early research, is by Barbara Wildemuth and Donald Case.

Our last feature is also from an ASIS&T Annual Meeting, but from 2008. I attended this panel and thought it was of particularly high quality. I am very pleased to have a report on it (with some updates). Rafal Kasprowski took on the task of writing it up. The subject is “Perspectives on DRM: Between Digital Rights Management and Digital Restrictions Management.” The panelists considered the issue from many angles. Kristin Eschenfelder of the University of Wisconsin spoke on the basis of her extensive research on digital rights management, especially in relation to libraries and archives. Kevin Smith, scholarly communications officer at Duke University, spoke to the issues of DRM and fair use in teaching and research, while Bill Burger from the Copyright Clearance Center discussed how DRM affects its efforts to provide content licensing solutions. The final speaker was John Sullivan from the Free Software Foundation.