of the American Society for Information Science and Technology   Vol. 28, No. 1    October / November 2001


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Joseph A. Busch President's Page

by Joseph A. Busch

How are we doing on our 2001 Objectives?

In my inaugural address last November, I set the following objectives for the 2001 Board:

  • To coordinate content and context and
  • To build community.

As we approach the end of my term as your President, I want to report to you some highlights of the progress we have made towards meeting these objectives. The Board has met three times in November following the Annual Meeting, in March and in June. We will meet once more at the 2001 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. To facilitate the work of the Board, the President often delegates substantive research and planning work to task forces. These working groups exist during the current President's tenure, but can be re-instituted by the subsequent President.

Objective 1: Coordinate content and context: Align our content channels and meeting programs and build explicit and implicit linkages between our content products so that we serve the needs and interest levels of all ASIST members (Table 1).

Task: Work on building a business plan and "meeting machine" that can support many summits and workshops.

  • In November, the Institutes and Summits Task Force was designated to develop a business plan for summits. The Task Force members are Gene Garfield, Gary Marchionini, Pat Molholt, Victor Rosenberg, Michael Stallings and Dick Hill. This business model is already being implemented with great success. Plans are now in process for an expanded 2002 summit schedule which will include the
    • 3rd Information Architecture summit chaired by Andrew Dillon (Indiana University) to be held in Baltimore in conjunction with the Human Factors workshop, and
    • Content Management summit chaired by Howard McQueen (McQueen Consulting).

 Dates and details are forthcoming.

  • Additional summits are in the preliminary planning stages including a
    • Search summit to be chaired by Matthew Koll, and
    • Bioinformatics summit being developed in cooperation with the University of Maryland.

Task: Provide centralized services to SIGs and chapters to help them build and manage their communities of interest.

  • In November, the Information Architecture Task Force was established composed of Joseph Busch, Gene Garfield, Dick Hill, Michael Leach and Gretchen Whitney. This task force has been developing a plan for a more effective, "end-to-end" ASIST information system. I'm pleased to report that Headquarters has negotiated a contract for a new association management software platform. This new software will enable ASIST to distribute services to SIGs and chapters such as Web access to chapter membership information and online chapter meeting registration.
  • In March, the Board set up a new category of local groups called "forums," intended to foster local development of special interests such as information architecture. Forums require a liaison with the local ASIST chapter. Regional IA groups have been forming and are meeting in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, as well as other cities. The Board instituted a process whereby a forum can apply for seed money to develop local programs. The Board believes this blending of regional and special interests will be an opportunity to reinforce our expanding Summit program, as well as bolster our long-standing regional chapters.
  • In May, the Board chartered two new Special Interest Groups SIG/Information Architecture (SIG/IA) and SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL). To join these new SIGs' listserves, go to


Task: Work on building relationships to support a scalable digital library to make our current and legacy content easily Web-accessible.

  • In November, the Digital Library Task Force was reconstituted with Suzie Allard, Doug Kaylor, Allison Kopczynski, Don Kraft and Michael Leach as members. Their assignment was to inventory ASIST intellectual property assets, review opportunities to partner with existing digital libraries such as those offered by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Wiley Interscience and to develop plans and scenarios for the Board to consider.
  • In March, the Applications Venue Task Force was convened consisting of Dudee Chiang, Raya Fidel, Margie Hlava and Don Kraft to develop objectives and concepts for a new applied research publication. The task force submitted a report in May that is undergoing Board review.

Objective 2: Build community: Organize an expanded Membership Committee with an ambitious agenda to advise and assist the Board and Headquarters in expanding membership and enhancing membership services (Table 2).

Task: Focus on developing new leadership by identifying and mentoring member volunteers.

  • The Leadership Development Committee has built a directory of willing volunteers that I have used to help populate committees, task forces and award juries. The committee is also organizing an Annual Meeting Workshop as part of the overall technical program.
  • Sam Hastings and Kris Liberman, members of the Membership Committee, are organizing the New Member Orientation Session for the 2001 Annual Meeting. The committee also identifies, tracks and recognizes new active volunteers with the annual Cretsos Award.

Task: Provide members-only services on asis.org including personal access to your directory information.

  • I'm pleased to report that the new association management software platform will enable ASIST to distribute member-only services on our website such as online access to your membership information.

Task: Work on developing a marketing plan that will include re-branding the organization to reflect the name change, focus on identifying what services and benefits are desired by our members, and begin to implement a targeted marketing campaign to corporations, institutions and other high value audiences.

  • Donald Case, working with Wiley and coordinating with the Board, has been surveying ASIST members (new and long-standing) and non-members.
  • In May, the Marketing & Recruitment Task Force was formed consisting of Dick Hill, Doug Kaylor, Michael Leach and Vic Rosenberg to examine issues related to individual membership, chapters, SIGs.

Task: Work on developing an understanding of how to transform communities of interest into communities of practice.

  • In May, the Affiliation & Advocacy Task Force was formed consisting of Joseph Busch, Don Kraft and Victor Rosenberg to recommend criteria and processes for affiliations, identify target groups with whom to affiliate (particularly those that provide advocacy) and to recommend how ASIST should advocate directly itself.

I hope you share my excitement and enthusiasm about ASIST and are pleased with the progress we have made so far in 2001. Please contact me with your suggestions and comments. And please let me know if you are willing to volunteer to work together on this agenda, because we have a lot more work to do.

Table 1. Coordinate content and context




Build "meeting machine"

Institutes and Summits Task Force
Andrew Dillon
Howard McQueen
Matthew Koll
University of Maryland

Model business plan
3rd IA Summit (2002)
Content Management (2002)
Search (future)
Bioinformatics (future)

Provide Centralized Services

Information Architecture Task Force

New association management software platform
Regional forums
2 new SIGs IA and DL

Build Digital Library

Digital Library Task Force
Digital Library Task Force
Applications Venue Task Force

Inventory of Assets
Plan and scenarios (due soon)

Table 2. Build community




Develop new leadership

Leadership Development Committee
Leadership Development Committee
Membership Committee
Membership Committee

"Young Turks" directory
Annual Meeting Workshop
Annual Meeting Orientation
Cretsos Award

Provide members-only Web services

Information Architecture Task Force

New association management software platform

Develop marketing plan

Don Case
Marketing & Recruitment Task Force

Market survey
Membership issues report (due soon)

Create "communities of practice"

Affiliation & Advocacy Task Force

Recommend process & identify targets (due soon)

Joseph A. Busch, 2001 ASIST PResident, is affiliated with Interwoven, 101 Second Street, Suite 499, San Francisco, CA 94105; telephone: 415/778-3100; fax: 415/778-3131; e-mail: jbusch@interwoven.com.

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