ASIS&T has expanded its roster of chapters with the October 2013 approval of the Asia Pacific Chapter by the Board of Directors and Chapter Assembly. Early discussion of an Asia Pacific chapter started in 2012 among representatives from universities in Japan and Singapore and from ASIS&T, meeting at the Libraries in the Digital Age conference in Croatia. A presentation on ASIS&T was delivered at a subsequent conference in Thailand in July 2013. Like other chapters, the goals are to facilitate professional networking in the region, support professional development and association involvement and publicize the contributions of ASIS&T. The chapter chair is Dr. Songphan Choemprayong of Chulalongkorn Univerisity, Bangkok, Thailand, with Michael Olsson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, designated as chair-elect. Chapter members hail from India, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and other countries. With a Facebook page established, student chapters and a chapter webpage are under development. 

information associations
international aspects
Asia
Pacific Rim

Bulletin, December 2013/January 2014


ASIS&T Board Approves Asia Pacific Chapter 

by Emil Levine

In October 2013 the ASIS&T Board of Directors and the ASIS&T Chapter Assembly approved an Asia Pacific Chapter. Songphan Choemprayong, lecturer at Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, will serve as the first chair of the chapter. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As of late October, chapter membership included seven individuals each from India and Australia, three from Singapore, two from China and Japan and one each from Austria, Sweden, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Philippines. In September 2013 ASIS&T had approximately 90 members in the Asia Pacific region.

Michael Olsson, senior lecturer, Communication Studies Group, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, is chair-elect. 

The chapter set the following goals:

  • Facilitate professional networking among ASIS&T members located in Asia Pacific countries;
  • Contribute to their professional development by means of meetings, continuing education programs, special programs, newsletter and any other appropriate forms of communication and interaction;
  • Liaison with ASIS&T officers, SIGs and other chapters with a view to facilitate the interaction between ASIS&T members in Asia Pacific and in other parts of the world, the effective participation of Asia Pacific members in ASIS&T activities, in particular meetings and publications;
  • Help publicize ASIS&T and its activities within professional communities in Asia Pacific.

Background
Emil Levine, former chair of the ASIS&T European Chapter; Diane Sonnenwald, then ASIS&T president; Makiko Miwa, professor at The Open University of Japan Chiba, Japan, and Yin-Leng Theng, associate chair (research), Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Singapore, initiated informal discussions about the formation of an Asia Pacific chapter at the Libraries in the Digital Age meeting held in Zadar, Croatia, in 2012. Subsequently, a panel explaining ASIS&T was presented at the 5th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Library & Information Education & Practice, in Khon Kaen City, Thailand, July 2013. Speakers included Levine, Yin-Leng Theng and Candy Schwartz, Simmons College, who is a former president of ASIS&T. (For more on this meeting, please see the August/September 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology).

As a result of interest shown at the panel, Songphan Choemprayong agreed to coordinate formation of the chapter. All requirements for creation of a new chapter were quickly fulfilled. Richard Hill, ASIS&T executive director, working with ASIS&T parliamentarian Steve Hardin and Sonnenwald, provided detailed guidance for formation of the chapter. 

Student chapters are now being formed. A Facebook site has been developed at www.facebook.com/groups/asistasiapacific/ and a webpage is under development at www.asis.org/Chapters/ap.html.

Further information and requests for membership can be addressed to Songphan Choemprayong (songphan<at>gmail.com).

Figure 1
Figure 1. From the left, Diane Sonnenwald, then ASIS&T president; Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, chair of the European Chapter of ASIS&T; Makiko Miwa, professor at The Open University of Japan Chiba, Japan; and Yin-Leng Theng, associate chair (research), Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Singapore, joined Emil Levine, not pictured, for initial discussions on formation of an Asia Pacific Chapter.

Figure 2
Figure 2.
Yin-Leng Theng, right, leads the ASIS&T panel discussion with assistance from former ASIS&T president Candy Schwartz.

Figure 3
Figures 3.
Attendees at the ASIS&T panel, Fifth International Conference on Asia-Pacific Library & Information Education & Practice in Khon Kaen City, Thailand, July 10-12, 2013.