B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology           Vol. 30, No. 5               June/July 2004

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ASIST President Samantha K. HastingsPresident's Page

This spring my fantasy vacation to visit every major league baseball park has been replaced by my desire to visit every ASIS&T chapter. I love the different approaches each chapter takes to programming and member services, and I relish meeting members that often are not able to attend our annual conferences or other meetings. I believe that chapters and SIGs are the heart and soul of our society. This means I also want to visit every SIG. I lurk on SIG listservs and go to SIG websites to get a picture of the issues being brought forward and discussed. Unfortunately for both chapters and SIGs, there are great disparities in levels of communication with their members and by default with members of the national society. Some of our chapters are experts in bringing local information professionals to their meetings by providing substance and relevance in their programming. Some of our SIGs understand that communication with their members leads to interactions, presentations and publications on many levels. I suggest that we need to build bridges between our regional and student chapters and our special interest groups. We can't afford to have inactive chapters and SIGs, so please put your brains to work and help me find some creative solutions to this important issue. You can communicate your ideas directly to me or to any member of your board.

The remainder of this column includes updates on my activities, information about our new awards nominations and submission procedures and some highlights about this issue of the Bulletin.

In April, I gave the Alice G. Smith Lecture at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Vicki Gregory, Tom Terrell and Bahaa and Lily El-Hadidy were the best of hosts. A transcript of the talk is in issue #4 of the President's Corner on the ASIS&T website (www.asist.org). USF also presented me with the Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award, and I am still glowing!

In May, I attended the Council for Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) for the second time. As I have said before, our high regard in the council is due to the good work of our past presidents, Eugene Garfield and Trudi Bellardo Hahn. This year the outlook for federal funding of science and humanities research is in decline, immigration laws are undermining our scholarly communication networks and initiatives such as the Public Library of Science and Highwire that counter rising publication costs may find institutional support more difficult to obtain. If you have concerns about these issues please contact me directly at hastings@unt.edu, and I will forward your thoughts to Martin Apple, CSSP president.

I also visited the Central Ohio Chapter of ASIS&T in May. What a dynamic and wonderful group of people greeted me! If you want to know what ASIS&T looks like inside and out, don't miss the member survey summary and the JASIS&T reader survey results that appeared in the last issue of the Bulletin (April/May 2004). It describes a unique blend of practitioners, researchers and teachers, and the CO-ASIST membership reflects this blend. Of course, being close to OCLC they have some proclivities for blending research and application.

I couldn't make the dates for the invitation to speak before the National Council for Library and Information Science (NCLIS), but Trudi Bellardo Hahn graciously stepped in and represented the concerns of our membership before that group. I will ask her to report in the next issue of the Bulletin.

This year you can submit nominations for all but three ASIS&T awards electronically, using a modification of the same system (START from smartconf.com) that has worked well for submissions for the ASIS&T meetings and summits.

The following are among the advantages to using an electronic submission system:

  • Submissions/nominations can be modified up until the deadline.
  • Nominations can be reviewed by anyone, anywhere with access to the Web. This accessibility resolves prior problems for members on vacation and also allows our international members to take part in juries and provide reviews.
  • Similarly, electronic nominations allow international students and others to submit and fully participate in the process. Specifically, international SIG or chapter officers can make nominations and submissions without the expense of mailing the submission.
  • As an added bonus, we also get an electronic archive of all submissions.

All ASIS&T awards, with deadlines, can be seen at www.asis.org/awards/awardchart.htm

The only awards for which electronic submissions are not used because the award juries review lengthy or numerous commercially available publications are Information Science Book of the Year; Proquest/UMI Doctoral Dissertation Award; and John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award.

Paper, panel and poster session acceptances for the 2004 Annual Meeting are out, and I look forward to seeing you in Providence. Our keynote speakers are Tim Berners-Lee and JC Herz. Thanks to Linda Schamber and her international posse, the program promises something for each of you and some surprises also!

I am so pleased that my good friend Layna White has put together such a great look at museum informatics for this issue. I am convinced that the preservation of our cultural heritage, whether analog or digital, is one of our most important challenges, and the work presented in this issue does much to help that effort. I also want to acknowledge and welcome the first student member representative to the Bulletin, Lisa Nathan. She makes some challenging and cogent remarks. I am willing to "reboot" and bring her concerns to your Board of Directors. Let's keep taking care of and recruiting our future members!

In closing, we have a retreat planned for the Board in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 20-22. We will be working on the redesign of the ASIS&T website, the new Digital Library, member categories and dues, and other strategic planning issues. Please send me your suggestions and comments. I will take them forward for consideration.


Samantha Hastings
2004 ASIS&T President
Associate Professor and Fellow
Texas Center for Digital Knowledge
University of North Texas
Box 311068, ISB 2051
Denton, Texas 76203-1068

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