of the American Society for Information Science and Technology          Vol. 28, No. 4          April / May 2002


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ASIST President Donald H. KraftPresident's Page

Donald H. Kraft
2002 ASIST President
Professor, Department of Computer Science
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA  70803-2253

"May you live in interesting times," is an old adage, a Chinese curse in origin if memory serves. Well, we certainly do that. These are also exciting times for ASIST. One of my most fervent desires is to see ASIST have a digital library providing members with access to all of the ASIST publications: the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST), the Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meetings and perhaps more. Thus, we have a Task Force on the ASIST Digital Library that is busy looking into this possibility.

While I cannot report definitive progress to date, we are gathering essential information. This research includes data on what forms and formats our publications are in, how far into the past we have electronic versions, how far back we wish to go in terms of retrospective access, what costs are involved and so forth. Moreover, we are looking at extending the access by incorporating the ASIST Thesaurus and including ASIST works in the Cross-Ref program, which makes live links to cited material from the references in the text. We are even exploring additional access via such mechanisms as the Web of Science. As I have said before, there is no reason why ASIST should not be the number one information science and technology society, the one that others seek out for information on how IS&T can and should be done. ASIST can and should lead, especially by example.

As part of this quest, we are installing a new computer system at headquarters to provide better member service, such as the ability to update your own records and to allow chapter and SIG officers to retrieve lists and reports. And, we are moving the location of our website platform and e-mail lists as part of that better service.

Another key issue is accreditation of library and information science schools. Although it has traditionally been done by the American Library Association, there are proposals that the process be more inclusive, allowing input from other societies such as ASIST. While the devil is in the details, we are looking into this possibility from a variety of angles, including some excellent work done by our Education Committee and conversations among some of the deans and directors and the executive director and president of ASIST.

In order to offer the best service to all of our members, we are looking into a new publication, a magazine that would offer articles of interest to our members but with a slant towards the practical. This magazine would be a significant expansion of the Bulletin, and we already have one interested publisher. Moreover, we are about to ask authors of new JASIST papers to write an abstract of their work to be published in the Bulletin, but again with a slant to what is of benefit to practitioners of information science and technology.

Finally, we are looking into our relationships with other societies and organizations. We need criteria by which we can decide which organizations are cost-beneficial for ASIST to become involved with and at what levels of involvement. These issues include the recruitment of members from other countries and continents. As one general example, we are looking into the various societies involved with information architecture and how we can cooperate to keep participants in the "IA" world interested in information science and technology the ASIST way.

With all these interesting times, we need your input as caring, participating members more than ever. To paraphrase an old saying, "Tune in, turn on (to ASIST), and drop in." Become involved; ask me about joining a committee! And, for those of you who have already been involved with ASIST, to repeat myself, no good deed goes unpunished so let's do it again. ASIST needs you. Get active in ASIST! Your return on investment is guaranteed!.

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