Indiana Chapter of the Association for Information Science
Spring 2000 Issue

New Members/Membership Notes | Your IASIS 2000 Officers | More About Your New Chair Elect | IASIS/SOASIS Joint Spring Meeting

New Members

IASIS Would like to welcome the following new members to the chapter:

Ms. Judy Meirose
Membership: 12/1999 - 12/2000
Student Member

Ms. Bo-Rim Lee
MIS Student, Student Member
Membership: 01/2000 - 01/2001

Ms. Kathleen Smith
Membership: 02/2000 02/2001
Student Member

Mr. Tim Waugh
Membership: 02/2000 - 02/2001
Student Member

As of February (the latest month we have updated membership records for) there are 78 members of the Indiana Chapter of ASIS. This appears to be a fairly stable number, fluctuating little over the last two years (but perhaps 2000 will be the year when we start to see the numbers increase).

Your IASIS 2000 Officers

Vacant Chapter Assembly Representative and Past Chair

Allison Kopczynski Chair

Matthew S. Theobald Chair-elect and Program Chair

Charles Sweet Secretary/Treasurer

Allan Barclay Chapter Member Records Holder and Newsletter Editor

More about your new Chair Elect

In January of this year Matt Theobald was elected as your new Program Chair and Chair elect. Matt Theobald is an Information Specialist working in information architecture and knowledge management at the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System. Interests have been marked by roles in public/private consortia Internet strategy, design and application:

  • Application Developer - Indiana Digital County Network ( Indiana Interactive (I@I) | National Information Consortium (EGOV) | Access Indiana Initiative (AII)
  • Webmaster - Access Indiana Information Network (I@I | EGOV | AII)
  • Site Architect/Webmaster - IOWAccess Project 1 Iowa Citizens Information Network, presented the State of Iowa Governor's Award for Outstanding Dedication and Service in Spring 1999. (IOWAccess received the Armand Hammer National Information Technology Award from Vice President Gore in Fall 1999)

Matt holds a Masters in Science in Library & Information Science ('96) from Indiana University and a B.A. in History ('94) from Hanover College.

IASIS/SOASIS Joint Spring Meeting

I-ASIS Meeting with Gene Garfield
March 8, 2000
by Indiana Aces reporter Steve Hardin

The President of the Association for Information Science - Gene Garfield - discussed the Society's future and possible name change at an Indiana Chapter meeting March 8 in Indianapolis. Garfield's talk, "ASIS and Beyond," was the fifth in a series he's giving around the Society to outline his thoughts.

Garfield said he wanted to leave office with a five-year plan in place for ASIS' future. ASIS, he said, should reach out to new constituencies and double its membership in three to five years. Such moves will secure the Society's financial future. He added ASIS should reassert its dedication to research, but also work with educational outreach.

Garfield noted that eversince the 1950s, when he joined the Society (then called the American Documentation Institute), ASIS has been challenged by new technologies and crises. Eventually, members came to recognize that "information science" fit its interests better than "documentation." He's proposing changing the Society's name to the "Association for Information Science and Technology." Ten years ago, a majority of the membership supported that change, but because the Society's constitution requires three-quarters of the membership to approve before such a change can occur, the motion was tabled.

When he was elected last year, Garfield pledged to change the downward course of ASIS membership. Not counting students members, the Society's numbers have dwindled from a high of nearly 4500 to about 2100. (There has been a slight upturn in membership in the past few months; he doesn't know whether that upturn represents an end to the decline or merely an interruption in it.) He said ASIS has lost hundreds of members over the past few decades because they were frustrated by ASIS' perceived abandonment of information technology. We want to address practical information technology problems in our programs and meetings, he said. He noted that in the same time period, many library schools have added "information science" to their names. Newer information technologies have spawned dozens of information-related societies. While ASIS has declined in membership, most other information societies have grown, primarily by catering to the practical needs of their members, he said.

It's not sufficient to change only the name, Garfield said. The Society needs to reorganize and redefine many of its Special Interest Groups (SIGs). If and when ASIS changes its name, it must be ready to present to the outside world a new set of up-to-date SIGs.

Unless we take steps to improve our membership numbers, competition and aging will make ASIS a "virtual" society, he said. We can choose to remain a small, invisible college, or we can choose to become a highly visible ASIST, working with other societies. Garfield said he predicted in 1962 that it will become increasingly difficult to differentiate future laboratory and clinical science from information science. ASIST can provide leadership to fellow scientists and scholars.

Garfield thinks some of ASIS' difficulties may be attributed to an academic approach to problems inherent in the Society's leadership. He said that ASIS' student members should represent a good source of new members for the Society. But because of ASIS' lack of commitment to their needs, and its research orientation, students often abandon ASIS when they get their first jobs out of graduate school. They enjoy the research while working for their faculty mentors, but they need practical advice on practical problems when they enter the work force.

The Society, Garfield said, needs to find ways to get outside the library and information science world to reach a larger audience. While we're awaiting the name change, we can move the Society in the proper direction, he said. The Board has eliminated the Mid-Year meetings and replaced them with the Institute, which has no governance meetings. The field of bioinformatics is growing at an incredible rate, and it's not too late for the Society to participate. We could also organize meetings around "internetology" and other areas.

Garfield concluded his talk by noting that those who consider ASIS their primary professional society have a strong loyalty to it. ASIS members, he said, must bring into the fold all those who share our vision of the future of information science. He reiterated his forecast that one day every laboratory scientist and scholar will become an information scientist. We need to find a way to get outside our current confines and reach that audience. He's optimistic, he stated, that we'll become an even greater Society in the process.

For more information about Indiana ASIS please visit us at:

Questions? Please write to Allan R Barclay (