A report by Emil Levine and Maja Krtalić in August/September Bulletin of ASIS&T.
The 2016 Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) Conference in Croatia provided an opportunity for ASIS&T’s European and Asian Pacific Chapters to come together for events and discussion of professional issues, with 43 members attending. ASIS&T dignitaries, including past presidents Tefko Saracevic and Diane Sonnenwald, led discussions about how professional associations can aid graduate students starting their careers through networking, academic opportunities and other resources. A Ph.D. forum drew about 60 participants, including LIDA attendees. Special announcements included the winners of top study projects and the LIDA poster contest, earning free ASIS&T membership or a cash award, and a new anonymous donor program for student memberships. The meeting was a valuable channel to promote ASIS&T membership and discuss the Association’s broad and local strategic goals.
The European and Asian Pacific Chapters held a joint meeting at the Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) 2016 conference on June 13 at the University of Zadar, Croatia. Two other ASIS&T events were held there: a discussion of the value of professional organizations and an ASIS&T sponsored Ph.D. forum. The events, open to all LIDA attendees, brought together library and information science scholars, practitioners and students and provided an opportunity to discuss chapter status, promote ASIS&T events and recruit new members, especially students from developing countries. ASIS&T, through the European Chapter, provided refreshments for all events.
The joint meeting of the European and Asian Pacific Chapters was opened by Tefko Saracevic and Diane Sonnenwald, both past presidents of ASIS&T, who discussed the organization and its importance in career development. Elke Greifeneder, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, ASIS&T International Relations Committee Chair, noted the new reduced membership fees based on Gross National Income. For example, student fees are $8 in many countries. Emil Levine, retired and living in Austria, and Christopher Khoo, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore represented the European and Asian-Pacific Chapters at the joint meeting, which 43 people attended. Levine announced an anonymous donor program through which $500 is annually available to each chapter to pay for student memberships with recipients selected by chapter officers and country representatives.
The European Chapter also provided two free memberships to winners of the LIDA poster contest, while five free memberships were provided by an anonymous donor to the five graduate students who presented their study projects. In addition, the winner of the project competition was awarded 500
euros by another anonymous donor. On June 17, prior to the Ph.D. forum,
doctoral and other graduate students met with ASIS&T representatives and talked about the role of professional associations when starting a career, networking through ASIS&T, looking for Ph.D. possibilities and other professional issues regarding early stage careers. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC and ASIS&T president-elect, Diane Sonnenwald, a past president, and Tatjana Aparac Jelušić, recently retired from the University of Osijek and recipient of the ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award in 2006, participated together with 11 students. This session was followed by the Ph.D. forum. Altogether, around 60 participants were present at these two events. ASIS&T flyers were available on the registration desk and handed out to LIDA participants.
All ASIS&T sessions were open to all LIDA participants and provided an opportunity to address ASIS&T strategic goals regarding membership: to increase student and transitional memberships; to attract new academic, professional and institutional members; and to expand and strengthen programs and services at the local/regional level.
About the authors: Emil Levine, who is retired and living in Austria, has long been an active member of the ASIS&T European Chapter and a champion for ASIS&T in the international community. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maja Krtalić is an assistant professor at the University of Osijek, Croatia. She can be reached at email@example.com.