SOASIS....On the move

Volume 20, Number 2  June, 1999

SOASIS.... on the move: Newsletter of the Southern Ohio Chapter, Association for American Science
Volume 20, Number 2, June 1999

Message from the Chair
Election Results - Board Members for 1999/2000
Members in the News
Member Profile - Marjo Hettick Maxwell van Patten
Summary of SOASIS/I-ASIS program March 24, 1999
Summary of SOASIS program May 13, 1999
Treasurer's Report
SOASIS Board Members Contact List



As always, there are exciting things happening for SOASIS! 
A new board was elected in April to begin their terms in October 1999. Congratulations to Ted Morris, Chair-Elect; Megan Schenk, Treasurer; Angela Myatt, Secretary; Yvonne Davis, Chapter Assembly Representative; and John Tebo, Alternate Chapter Assembly Representative! Lexis-Nexis hosted a SOASIS program on XML in May.  The speaker, Don Steiner, gave an excellent presentation and many attendees enjoyed a nice dinner afterwards.  Finally, SOASIS has gained 2 new members, Suzie Allard and Rosemary Ashton.  Welcome!  We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Now, read on for all the exciting SOASIS news!

Victoria Whipple, Chair, SOASIS



Congratulations to our new SOASIS Executive Board members!  The SOASIS Nominations & Elections Committee sincerely appreciates the willingness of the new officers to offer their time and effort to our Chapter. 

Chair-Elect: Theodore Morris, Research Facilitator, University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Academic Information Technology & Libraries

Treasurer: Megan Schenk, University of Cincinnati Academic Information Technology & Libraries

Secretary: Angela Myatt, University of Cincinnati Academic Information Technology & Libraries

Chapter Assembly Representative: Yvonne Michal Davis, Cinergy Corporation

Alternate Chapter Assembly Representative: John Tebo, Head, Chemistry/Biology Library, University of Cincinnati

Submitted by Elna Saxton, Chair, SOASIS Nominations & Elections Committee



Academic Information Technology & Libraries was the recent recipient of a contract to work on the consumer health database project, Medlineplus,  The project entails combing government sites and voluntary organizations for consumer health information on particular topics and creating a record of those links. Participants in the project are Leslie Schick, Associate Director; Sharon Bressert, Head of Cataloging and Collection Services; Edith Starbuck, Information Services Librarian; and Akram Pari, Lloyd Library Assistant Librarian/Cataloger. 

SOASIS Welcomes New Members: Susie L. Allard and Rosemary Ashton, both students at SLIS, University of Kentucky.

The Washington-Centerville Public Library (where Victoria Whipple, Chair of SOASIS, works, and the library director is SOASIS member Cynthia Klinck) was ranked #2 in the nation for Public Libraries serving communities of 10,000-99,999 as reported in the January issue of American Libraries.



During the recent ASIS mid-year meeting in Pasadena, I had the opportunity to initiate a national ASIS project on behalf of our Chapter. It goes under the name of MEMALERT, and it is being introduced as "MEMALERT, a Southern Ohio Chapter Initiative."

Simply put, MEMALERT is a 'new-member alerting service' to ASIS members, chapters, and SIGs.  It cuts down significantly the time of new-member notification.  MEMALERT is designed to address such issues as prompt new-member notification, member involvement in ASIS grassroots activities, leadership development in chapters and SIGs, and member retention.

The ASIS Chapter Assembly Director and Deputy, the SIG Cabinet Director and Deputy, the Executive Director, and the Manager of ASIS Membership Services have endorsed MEMALERT.

Here how MEMALERT works.  Once a week, I receive an electronic report from ASIS headquarters on all new members who joined ASIS during the previous week.  I reformat the report to make it more concise and more readable, and notify the new members and their  corresponding chapters and SIGs.  That process is completed within 24 hours.  A message of "Welcome"--with chapter and SIG contacts--is sent to the new members. A separate notification is sent to the chairpersons of those chapters and SIGs that had new members, asking them to welcome and encourage their new members to participate in chapter and SIG activities.

In view of a recent replacement in ASIS Headquarters staff, I had expected MEMALERT to start in July or August.  To its credit, ASIS headquarters responded promptly, and I have received the first report. So, I need to act on this quickly.

In my view, this is a great opportunity for SOASIS to serve ASIS in a unique capacity and get national recognition.

Though I'm personally committed to this project, and can handle it entirely on my own, I would prefer to have the involvement of some of our Chapter's members.  This is an opportunity for any of our members to get some visibility at the ASIS national level.

Toward that end, I'm sending out a call for volunteers.  The amount of time it takes to process a weekly new member report is not that much, especially when a group is involved.  But the turn-around time needs to be fast to ensure MEMALERT's reliability.

Please contact me if you need additional information about MEMALERT or if you wish to join the MEMALERT Task Force.

Jim Cretsos
Chair, MEMALERT Task Force


Marjo Hettick Maxwell van Patten - MEMBER PROFILE

She stands tall, tall above any crowd.  And every cell of her body oozes pure talent.  That's how talented she is.  She is a first born, a last born, an only child who was destined to lead.  She is Marjo M. van Patten, a twenty-year SOASIS member extraordinaire.

Marjo has served SOASIS in many capacities, including that of secretary and chapter chair-elect.  She is the designer of chapter award certificates and the coveted SOASIS coffee mug--a collector's item. SOASIS has honored Marjo with its prestigious John Kahles Membership Award and the Heberle Eyles Leadership Award.

By any standards, Marjo is biiiiiiig, in many ways.  Big as the heart of Texas.  And she hails from the small Texas town of Phillips, a town of five thousand people who lived in little cookie-cutter houses, where most town residents worked for the Phillips Petroleum Company.  The town's big refinery remains but the town is long gone, leaving its ghost behind, 42 miles northeast of Amarillo.

As they say, it's all in the genes.  Talented parents in the arts and sciences produce a very talented offspring.

Mom, who earned her MS degree in dress design, was well known for designs based on native Mexican costumes.  And later she was widely known as a malacologist--a tongue twister, for a person who studies mollusks.  Mom's collection of several hundred thousand sea shells is now part of the zoological trove at Oklahoma State University.

Dad was a chemical engineer whose job took the family to Mexico City. Photography was his avocation.  His national award-winning photographs of Chichen Itza are in the collection at the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas.  And, if by chance, you are curious to know how Marjo looked as a child, go the Barker Texas History Center and you'll find stunning photographs of her on display amid pictorials of Mexican jungles.  That's how Marjo became a part of Texas lore and history.

But you don't have to travel all the way to Texas to find out what Marjo was like as a child.  In grade school, she was taller than most kids, talked a bit too much, and was a straight-A student who loved music.  She started taking piano lessons early on and, by the time she entered fifth grade, she added alto saxophone, soon playing for the school's marching and concert bands. 

At Oklahoma State University, Marjo majored in the sciences, earning a BS degree in Zoology/Wildlife Management and an MS in Natural Sciences.  At OSU she played alto sax in the marching band and contrabass clarinet for the concert band and the University Wind ensemble--the only non-music major in the university's wind ensemble.

Like many of her contemporaries, Marjo got married soon after college graduation.  She married Keith Maxwell, a physicist working for a defense contractor, a job which necessitated a series of relocations for the couple:  Lived in St. Charles, MO, where first son Colin, was born; in Los Angeles, where Marjo earned an MSLS degree at the University of Southern California; in Pittsfield, MA, where second son, Kevin, was born; and in Dayton, Ohio, the final destination of a nomadic life that also brought an end to a nineteen-year old marriage.

Yet, there were many joyful years while the children were growing up. Colin was a precocious child whose ear for the human voice challenged the very best.  What other tiny tot could clearly pronounce the polysyllabic phrase, "roseate spoonbill"?  Even some ornithologists have a problem pronouncing it.  Kevin, on the other hand, was a "me, too" child, never being sure how many "nas" were in the word "bananas."

Leave it to Marjo to instill the love of music deep in the heart of her children.  Colin had an affinity for the piano, and Kevin picked up the trombone, just to shed his "me, too" image.  Colin and Kevin were fierce musical competitors, each practicing on their own, vying for individual attention from an appreciative audience.  One day, a wise music teacher called upon the two brothers to perform a duet.  The sounds emanating from two divergent musical instruments blended into a flowing melody. Competition ceased and harmony prevailed thanks to their love of music, a love that is Marjo's legacy to her children.

It would be awfully hard to talk to Marjo for a few minutes and not perceive her extensive knowledge of our field and her high sense of professionalism.  She is truly a consummate information professional whose breadth and depth of knowledge cover the gamut of library and information science and technology.

Perhaps that is due to an illustrious and diverse career that spans more than three decades:  Laboratory Instructor (botany and zoology) at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy; Reference Assistant at the Public Library in St.Charles, MO; Head Librarian at the Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA; Reference Librarian at Wright State University and at the University of Dayton; Information Consultant and Contractor at Wright Patterson Air Force Base; Senior Functional Analyst at Litton/PRC, Inc.; and currently she is Technical Information Specialist at the University of Dayton Research Institute.

Of all the exciting positions she has held, the one at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) would undoubtedly rank among the best, for that's where Marjo first met Robert E. van Patten (Van), a Ph.D. engineer and Branch Chief of the Human Centrifuge Program.  Call it fate.  Marjo's office was next to the mailboxes where employees went to pick up their daily mail.  And out of all her fellow employees who passed by daily, it was Van with his kindness, felicity, and charm that fascinated Marjo. Call it centrifugal force.  Marjo and Van got married in 1987. 

Van is retired now and busier than ever, doing the things he always wanted to do but never had time for them.  He founded a War of 1812 re-enactment group, Steele's Rifles.  He has learned to play alto recorder, to draw and paint, and has become a community activist.

While the van Pattens have plenty to do at home--gardening some five hilly acres and building a water feature--they also like to travel.  Name a place and they've probably been there: the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Holland, Peru (the magical, majestic, mythical Macchu Picchu, lost city of the Incas), Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, and several Caribbean islands.  They've sailed the Caribbean, Lake Michigan twice, and Penobscot Bay, Maine. They've traveled much of the US in an RV or tent camping.  Two years ago, they made a four-week loop of Vancouver and, this year, they are planning a tent camping trip along the St. Lawrence Seaway up to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  Also, they plan to visit Spain and Portugal.

Though she was raised as a Southern Baptist, Marjo joined the Episcopal Church while in college.  Her current church activities for St. George's Episcopal Church include: Lay Reader, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Deanery Representative, Stephen Leader, and calligrapher. Once a month, for the healing service, she plays unaccompanied recorder.

A founding member of Musici Anonymi, a consort, Marjo has played tenor recorder with this mostly early music group for 10 years.  The group is active and well known in the area.

Immersed in classical music, never without a book (most recent, Turtletaub's "Justinian"), subscriber to Wright State University Theater, an occasional movie ("Life Is Beautiful"), more lessons in calligraphy, playing the recorder--and who knows what else--and extensive travel spell nothing but F-U-N.  And that describes, in a nutshell, Marjo's philosophy: "If you aren't having any fun, what's the point?"

And fun she has, enjoying fully whatever she does.  But it's the recipients of Marjo's artistic creations who enjoy her gifts and appreciate her talents even more.  To them, Marjo is not just another artisan.  She is a Renaissance figure living in an MTV world.  She's rare and she's precious.  She is Renaissance.
Marjo says she plans to retire this year or next.  To that, we say, "No!" Emphatically.  The profession still needs its role model.  And SOASIS direly needs Marjo's leadership, energy, enthusiasm, and talent.  There is only one Marjo, and she belongs to SOASIS, forever!

By Jim Cretsos


"Knowledge Management: Leveraging Intellectual Capital for Business Benefit" 
March 24, 1999, Joint SOASIS/I-ASIS Meeting

Some 20 members of the Indiana and Southern Ohio chapters of ASIS heard a presentation on knowledge management and its uses March 24th at a special joint meeting in Cincinnati.   Stu Coleman, Principal Consultant at NCR, specializing in enterprise architecture and integration management, spoke on "Knowledge Management: Leveraging Intellectual Capital for Business Benefit." 

After a few introductory words about NCR, Coleman set about defining knowledge management (KM).  Many businesses and organizations have defined it in different ways; one of the best summaries, he said, comes from the American Productivity & Quality Center, which says that knowledge management features "systematic approaches to find, understand, share and use knowledge to create value."  It also includes efforts "to help information and knowledge flow to the right people at the right time so they can act more efficiently and effectively." 

It's easier to sell knowledge management to a business's leaders, he said, when they understand its value.  A business can achieve improved margin and profit, better time to market, and better utilization of its practitioners, along with decreased risk, support costs, rediscovery/reinvention and cycle time.  The business's customers can see better response time and improvements in quality and consistency.  At Ernst & Young, for example, Coleman said revenue is growing at twice the rate of the overall market thanks to better use of knowledge management. It's possible to do the same tasks for less money using knowledge management. 

Pillsbury represents one of the great knowledge management success stories.  Since the corporation launched a KM program in 1996, organizational training costs have been reduced by 50%, the time to approve product labels has fallen by 80% and the time to approve new ingredients has declined by 95%.  Pillsbury established online access to an "organizational knowledge encyclopedia" to permit these improvements. One of the reasons for Pillsbury's success, he said, lies in its approach to corporate culture.  In many businesses, people tend to jealously guard information as a tool for power.  At Pillsbury, the managers provide incentives for people to encapsulate knowledge.  Employees are rewarded when others use their knowledge.  The three elements of knowledge management practice are process, tools and culture, and Pillsbury uses them all.

Coleman pointed out we're still in the early development of KM, so some of the principles for its successful implementation haven't been worked out.  One critical issue is that of measurement.  Without measurement, it's impossible to determine whether a KM program is effective.  It would be good, for example, to determine how many times a particular piece of knowledge is used, and how often it was effective. 

The metadata describing the properties of digitized documents represents another key element of knowledge management.  At NCR, Coleman said, the metadata structure is simple; it describes when a document was produced, who produced it, the problems the document addresses, and other information.  Current metadata structures are weak, he said.  NCR is working on improvements. 

Although there are a number of software tools on the market, Coleman said, very few commercial offerings were specifically designed for knowledge management.  Most are a collection of common technologies.  He mentioned Lotus Notes, SolutionBuilder, Domino, Variety, GrapeVINE/Collabra, Excalibur, Cognos/Paradis, Clementine and GroupLens as packages that can be used for KM.  In addition, content-sensitive subscription servers such as Pointcast, Wayfarer, Diffusion and BackWeb have KM uses. 

How can you implement knowledge management in your own shop?  Coleman said we "must change the way we think and the way we manage people." Managers must make knowledge acquisition transparent to the provider, by building it into routine tasks and providing feedback and measures for acquisition.  Then, managers need to reward the sharing of that knowledge by implementing incentives to share.  It's good to provide feedback when someone's piece of knowledge is used, too.  At the same time, managers need to educate their workforce on the value of knowledge management by pointing out its potential value for executives and managers and addressing the "what's in it for me?" questions of individual workers. The tracking and reporting of effective measures is critical, too. 

During the question-and-answer session, one audience member asked for suggestions on bringing together knowledge from systems that don't have a lot in common.  How can you share information across incompatible systems?  Coleman responded that the missing element is information architecture.  We need to establish relationships among the various information items.  It's not easy to resolve the differences, but it must be done. 

Another person asked how the value of a piece of knowledge is determined. Coleman said some places do it with peer review - each person using a piece of knowledge is required to note their use. 

Before Coleman's presentation, former ASIS presidents Jim Cretsos, Chuck Davis and Ralf Shaw, along with former ASIS Director-at-Large Steve Hardin, spoke briefly about their involvement in the Society, and the benefits they receive from membership.  There was a general feeling that this joint meeting worked well, and that more joint programs could be planned for the future. 

By Steve Hardin, I-ASIS


XML--eXtensible Markup Language
May 13, 1999 SOASIS program

Don Steiner of Lexis-Nexis gave an interesting and informative program on XML--eXtensible Markup Language--to a group of about 30 people on Thursday May 13. 

Mr. Steiner began with a general explanation of markup languages, then gave a little more detail on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), and then showed how XML fit into the whole markup language puzzle.  From there, he went on to detail steps required in writing an XML document.  As with other markup languages, there are many standards involved in writing an XML document.  Mr. Steiner explained in detail several standards and what their status is as far as being recommended, draft, or proposed standards.  Because XML was designed for Web use, standardization is not as stringent as SGML, for example, because there must be flexibility to move forward in creation of web documents and standards.

Finally, Mr. Steiner discussed several XML applications and their usage, and showed us how Lexis-Nexis plans to use XML in some of its web-based products.  It was an excellent program that left people hungry for more knowledge on the topic--and the bibliography and webliography that were included in the packet will allow those people to pursue further knowledge of XML.

Thanks to Don Steiner for an excellent presentation, Lexis-Nexis for its generosity providing meeting space and refreshments, and Patricia Carter who pulled the whole program together!

By Victoria Whipple


Adjusted balance on 12/31/98 = $4,764.34
Total cash receipts = $627.20
Total cash disbursements = $244.27

Adjusted balance on 3/31/99 = $5,147.27

Submitted by Marianna Wells, SOASIS Treasurer



Chair: Victoria Whipple, phone: 937-433-8091; email:

Chair-Elect/Program Chair: Jim Cretsos,    phone: 513-791-8244; email:

Past Chair: Elna Saxton, phone: 513-556-1413; email:

Secretary: Alison Armstrong, phone: 513-556-1761;

Treasurer: Marianna Wells, phone: 513-961-3350

Newsletter Editor: Elna Saxton (See Past-Chair)

Assembly Representative: Yvonne Davis, email:

Alternate Assembly Representative: John Tebo, phone: 513-556-1505; email:

Awards Committee Chair: Karen Ruud Marsh, phone: 513-558-3374; email:

Membership Committee Chair: Barbara J. Davis, email:

Nominations Committee Chair: Elna L. Saxton (see Past Chair)

Webmaster: Earl Einhaus, email:


Document date 6.20.99 SOASIS HOME PAGE