Latest Publications

Information Science at 65?

In their work, “Coming of Age in Academe–Information Science at 21″ (1966), Donohue and Karioth begin with a quote from Berry (1965):

The little tyke was conceived during the fleeting affair between that somewhat shabby and passive old maid, librarianship, and the rich playboy, science. The poor kid hasn’t even been named yet; in fact, most of us don’t even know what he looks like…Some of the family felt that he ought to be reared by his mother in her flat on the outskirts of Academe. The others said that his father could give him a better life, with prestige, wealth, and status, on the best street in town. They were already calling him by his father’s name, hoping he would be known as ‘Information Science.’ (p. 117)

At a first read, this may seem an outdated nod to a past long since forgotten. However, recent conversations on listservs, in conferences, and the heated debate over name changes in schools suggests that these seemingly antiquated perceptions and rifts may not be so forgotten. This causes me pause. Donohue and Karioth present three conditions for demonstrating disciplinarity, all of which one could argue Information Science has obtained. Yet the discord still remains. If we follow the birth date set by Donohue and Karioth, Information Science is now 65. At 65 should one still expect growing pains?

Donohue, J.C., & Karioth, N.E. (1966). Coming of Age in Academe–Information Science at 21. American Documentation, 17(3), 117-119.

Cassidy R. Sugimoto
Chair, SIGED

LACASIS&T Collaborative Tools event

The Los Angeles Chapter of ASIS&T and the Los Angeles User Experience
Meetup Group invite you to:

“Collaborative Tools: Best Practices and New Trends”

What does it mean to collaborate in today’s Web 2.0 world? A panel of
speakers pooled from LACASIST and the LA-UX (User Experience Meetup Group)
will give a breakdown for best practices on keeping your head above water
on collaborative documentation and team productivity. They will talk about
collaboration tools and tips for better communication, every day
productivity, and shared documentation. Some topics covered include using
collaborative document sharing (Google Apps), online project management
tools (Basecamp, etc.).

Event Details

Date and Time:
Thursday, November 19, 2009 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm

UCLA Law School
405 Hilgard Avenue, ROOM 1357
Los Angeles, CA, 90095

Daily parking permit is $10.
Driving and parking information:
See map: Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps

This program is free. Please RSVP here:

If you have registration questions, please contact Grace Lau at or call (213) 985-1219.

The 2009 Annual Meeting: An LIS Student Perspective

In just a few short days Vancouver will host the 2009 ASIS&T Annual Meeting.  Many of us are starting to pack, looking for a good guidebook, or scanning the latest Yelp reviews.  Others are starting to look forward to seeing old friends we’ve met at Annual Meetings over the years.  Or, if you are like me, looking forward to making that first friend.

I am currently an LIS student, and this is the first professional conference I will be attending.  To say I’m looking forward to flying out of Boston this coming Saturday would be an understatement.  Nervous and excited would better describe it.  But, above all, I am humbled by the opportunity that attending ASIS&T Annual this year represents — a real first step into the diverse global community of information professionals.

Follow along with me as I take that step.  During the course of next few weeks I will post my thoughts, observations, and perspectives as an LIS student attending the Annual Meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver!

NEASIST: Reinventing the Libraries for the 21st Century


The Rebirth of Libraries in the 21st Century.

Library closures, slashed budgets, user apathy – everything’s online, right?  On December 8th, NEASIST will host a day long event at Massachusetts Institute of Technology  examining how libraries are re-inventing themselves, with new services and new roles, in order to thrive in the 21st century.   Speakers will include John Palfrey, Steven Bell, Shana Kimball, Marguerite Avery, and Cyril Oberlander.

Information on the event is at  Can’t make it to Cambridge?  We are asking attendees to live tweet the event with the tag #neasist09

Tag it! at the AM

neasistThe Annual Meeting is only 20 days away (less for pre-conference!). As in previous years, the Membership Committee will be offering tags for SIGS and Chapters (regional and student). For those of you who have not participated before, the tags are small stickers with the Chapter/SIG logo that can be placed on your name badge. 
siguse_logoThis is a fun way to connect your membership and promote your Chapter at the AM.  If your Chapter or SIG would like to participate, please send me ( your logo by October 26.  [The stickers will be approximately 1 inch square, so make sure your image renders well at that size.

Internet-scale thinking

Facebook has to manage 40 billion (and counting) user photos, while Google must contend with roughly 20 petabytes of information as part of its daily data analysis.  These are just two of the examples cited in a recent New York Times piece on the need for college graduates who can think about, and effectively tackle, Internet-scale problems.  It all comes down to the sheer volume of data:

Researchers and workers in fields as diverse as bio-technology, astronomy and computer science will soon find themselves overwhelmed with information. Better telescopes and genome sequencers are as much to blame for this data glut as are faster computers and bigger hard drives.

While members of ASIS&T have been watching data trends soar for some time, the repercussions for undergraduate education are just beginning to surface in mainstream media.  I’m curious how many ASIS&T members are involved in the various campus initiatives named by the Times.

David M. Pimentel
Member, SIG-CR

ASIS&T Job Placement Service

The ASIS&T Annual Meeting (AM) is just around the corner and will once again be hosting a job placement service. This is a great opportunity for organizations looking to hire information professionals and for information professionals seeking a position. Anyone can submit their position or CV for free to the database; however, only those registered for the AM will be able to view them.

In addition to offering a database of job positions, ASIS&T will be providing rooms for employers to interview their candidates.

For all of you employers and potential employees–I would encourage you to take advantage of this free service! Click here to get started!

I hope to see you all in Vancouver in November!
Cassidy R. Sugimoto
Communications Officer, SIG-ED

Microcosmographia Academica and Doctoral Education

Yesterday at a bookstore I happened upon an early edition of Microcosmographia Academica (the entire text of which can be found here–I would encourage you to read the advertisement, pretty funny). One particular quote made me think about the academic life cycle:

While you are young you will be oppressed, and angry, and increasingly disagreeable. When you reach middle age, at five-and-thirty, you will become complacent and, in your turn, an oppressor; those whom you oppress will find you still disagreeable; and so will all the people whose toes you trod upon in youth. It will seem to you then that you grow wiser every day, as you learn more and more of the reasons why things should not be done, and understand more fully the peculiarities of powerful persons, which make it quixotic through an amount of squaring and lobbying sufficient to sicken any but the most hardened soul. If you persist to the threshold of old age–your fiftieth year, let us say–you will be a powerful person yourself, with an accretion of peculiarities which other people will have to study in order to square you. The toes you will have trodden on by this time will be as the sands on the seashore; and from far below you will mount the roar of a ruthless multitude of young men in a hurry. You may perhaps grow to be aware what they are in a hurry to do. They are in a hurry to get you out of the way.

Now, I don’t subscribe to such a grim view of the academic process, but I think there may be at least some element of truth in the idea of the oppressed-becomes-the-oppressor cycle. In particular, I think that some of this mentality leads to resistance to change in doctoral education–those in the position to make changes seem unwilling to do so, wanting instead for current students to repeat their own experiences (for better or worse). Do you think there is an element of this? Or do you think the resistance to change is more for the sake of “maintaining rigor” (as some might argue)?

Cassidy R. Sugimoto
Communications Officer, SIG-ED

Happy, happy, happy anniversaries

I’ve just received my teaser/promo program for this year’s annual meeting, and (as usual) there are lots of very promising sessions on the lineup.  But I also noticed that 2009 is a year for ASIS&T cake and candles, with three different SIGs celebrating milestone anniversaries:

Congratulations to all the folks affiliated with these SIGs over the years!

David M. Pimentel
Member, SIG-CR

Visualization vs. storytelling

To begin, this is a topic in which I am just getting interested, so I apologize if my naivete raises hackle. But I’m stuck on a question that I can’t seem to get past.

It seems that, broadly speaking, visualization is an attempt to provide a way of seeing how all the data in an unmanageably large set relates, whether it’s a tag cloud or a flowchart or some other such visual artifact of simplification. It also seems that storytelling does largely the same thing, simplifying a large set of sequential data so that each relates to the other in a narrative format. What, then, is the difference between storytelling and visualization? Is it just the end-product? Are the two practices similar, perhaps more similar than different?

I wonder if storytelling and visualization are the same act, with identical intent, similar methods, but different products? What do you think?

Chris Landbeck