B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 31, No. 1    October/November 2004

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ASIST President Samantha K. HastingsPresident's Page

This is my last column as President of this wonderful society. It has been an honor to work with you and as always, I think ASIS&T is the very best of professional associations. There are so many things we do right and we are not afraid to face and deal with the challenges facing all professional associations. I look forward to our long collaboration in an exciting future.

Your Board of Directors met for retreat and Board meeting August 20-22 in Alexandria, Virginia. If you have an opportunity to thank your officers and other elected representatives, please do so because your Board really made some hard decisions. These times are difficult for associations, and we took the approach that the fiscal picture will not improve dramatically anytime soon , given public and private budgets. We took a very conservative approach to the budget for 2005 in hopes that we may be pleasantly surprised if we have a surplus next year. Below I list and discuss the issues acted on by the Board and close the column with additional information about the Annual Meeting, November 12-17, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Membership Dues

ASIS&T membership dues have not increased since 1998. Calculating a compounded 3% cost of living increase over six years showed our dues structure to be woefully lacking. Effective January 1, 2005, the Board voted unanimously to increase regular membership dues to $140 per year and student membership dues to $40. These increases only bring us from arrears; they do not provide for the development of future value-added membership programs and services. Your representatives were very clear that they did not want to charge now for services and programs that may or may not develop. I caution that we do not want to, nor can we, wait another six years to adjust your dues structure.

Electronic Publications

The Board unanimously voted to move the Annual Meeting Proceedings to electronic format only, beginning at the 2005 meeting. Portable electronic formats of the proceedings will be distributed at the conference and will be available to registrants prior to the meeting. Students will now receive copies of the proceedings as part of the conference registration. All ASIS&T members will be able to access the digital proceedings after the scheduled meeting through the ASIS&T Digital Library.

As soon as the membership database and directory are available online, the ASIS&T Handbook and Directory will not be published in print format. The Board requested that the online version include print formatted versions such as PDF or other appropriate formats. The vote to support this move was unanimous.

Special Interest Groups

A report from the SIG Steering Committee indicated that former officers of three SIGs recommend dissolution. The Board voted to dissolve SIG/ALP, SIG/CRS and SIG/PUB. Discussion following the report led to a realization that SIGs need to be freed from much of the reporting structure and requirements for the organization of new SIGs. The Board directed the SIG Steering Committee to present alternative scenarios to restructure SIGs and set them free.


The new job placement service from ASIS&T is up and running, powered by Job Target. The Board unanimously voted to cease publication of Jobline in paper format.

Digital Library

The Board requested that a line item be added and maintained in the ASIS&T budget to support the maintenance of the Digital Library. We are not sure what this will entail nor do we have cost figures at this time, but your representatives want to be sure to keep this issue on the agenda. The Digital Library is scheduled to debut (at least in prototype) at the Annual Meeting.

Web Redesign

On Friday evening before the retreat, Stacy Surla and Dick Horst presented the plan for the redesign of the ASIS&T website. Dick Horst stood in for Mark Nolan, both from UserWorks. A wireframe for the new site and particulars for a user-centered design were presented. The Board thanks Stacy for all of her good work and appreciates the work of Dick and Mark in helping us get our monster under control.

 The Board approved funds for implementation and maintenance of the new website which should debut (at least in prototype) at the Annual Meeting.

The Future

The retreat also yielded a list of benefits, programs and services for the future, including development of a marketing plan, maintenance of the digital library and development of value-added services, support and updating for the new website, exploration of alternative communication formats and conference venues, exploration of new continuing education models, new publications including an applications -oriented magazine and moving the Bulletin to electronic only format. We didn't have time to get a fully developed three-year plan but we did identify these major categories for future consideration.

Oh, and remember the Information Architecture Summit will be in Montreal next March. Watch for more information at www.iasummit.org.

Annual Meeting

Rumor has it that Llewellyn C. Puppybreath has surfaced and is listed in the program with a poster titled "POP: Poster Optimisation Problem."  The first poster session is Sunday at 3:30 so I'll see you there!

The chapter officers have a planning breakfast scheduled for 7 a.m. on Monday. This is a new effort to provide more time to strategize. Chapter Assembly meets Sunday at 9 a.m. followed by SIG Cabinet at 10:30. Both of these meetings are good opportunities to become more involved with ASIS&T.

We have a band for the president's party on Wednesday night and they sound good! Bring your dancing shoes.

In closing, let me say that this has been a fun and challenging year! Your society is healthy and we're ready for the future.

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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