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President’s Column

Clara Chu, PhD

Clara Chu, PhD

Dear ASIS&T colleagues,

We are ASIS&T: Be, Belong, Become. I am delighted to share with you news that corresponds to my three-pronged plan for organization and social transformation, and to invite you to participate in the many related activities.

BE: connecting with ourselves and each other, and contributing to not just ASIS&T but to Society (locally and globally).

The call is out for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-28, 2020 and let me warmly invite you, on behalf of Board and the Annual Meeting Program Committee, to submit a proposal responding to the conference theme “Information for a Sustainable World: Addressing Society’s Grand/Global Challenges,” or associated information science and technology topics. In addition to our two new series (Industry Series; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Accelerator Series), we will be having the ASIS&T unCommons, a space for SIGs and others to showcase, engage and collaborate.

The work to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), started at an international incubator during the 2019 annual meeting and coordinated with Kendra Albright, Jia Tina Du and Bharat Mehra, is generating Information Action Briefs that introduce transformational actions using information to advance the SDGs. We are continuing to work with the incubator participants and will introduce other activities to enable the ASIS&T membership and information community at-large to act locally or globally, personally or collectively, in the lead-up to the 2020 Annual Meeting and beyond. For example, two ASIS&T Hours (July 8th and September 9th) will be focused on this work.

The new Governance Committee, chaired by Heidi Julien, is starting its work ensuring the quality and performance of the Board of Directors and the governance structure of the Association, and the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, co-chaired by Ana Ndumu and Hamid Jamali, is initiating the review of "Diversity and Inclusion in ASIS&T: A Report and Recommendations from AM16 Luncheon Discussion".

We are also re-starting our Meet the Author Series webcast, which will be hosted by Steve Hardin.  Details will be forthcoming on this Series that aims to connect people with ideas, and connect us with each other.  If you are an author or wish to recommend an author, please contact Lydia Middleton

BELONG: a strong sense of identity.

It’s been a pleasure to meet many of you during the ASIS&T Hour, a monthly virtual meet-up, where the Board and/or other ASIS&T leaders meet with members to connect and discuss issues important to the Association, our community and the field.  Information is being sent out in the ASIS&T Weekly Round Up and is available on iConnect, our online community platform. The ASIS&T Hour is offered at a different set time every other month in order for our members from around the world to have the opportunity to connect synchronously, and for those who can’t, a recording is available.  We have dedicated the last two sessions to strategic planning, and I hope you will join us on Mar. 11th, 9am ET to learn about iConnect: The Power of a Network.

I am happy to hear of activities that chapters organize which provide an opportunity to connect regionally and develop a local ASIS&T identity. I look forward to meeting members of the European Chapter as I will be presenting a Community-Library Inter-Action (CLIA) Workshop, jointly organized by ASIS&T at the Stelline Conference (Milan, March 12-13th), where I will be keynoting. The Asia-Pacific Chapter is organizing an exciting regional conference in Wuhan, June 24-25th, and we are waiting for news about the local situation and the viability of holding the conference. I have also been connecting with and getting to know individual members who have reached out to me online. As well, I have had opportunities to meet members in person, such as Past-President Michael Leach at the ALA Midwinter Conference in June, which I attended, representing ASIS&T, as an ALA affiliate member.

BECOME: focuses on thriving.

President-Elect Brian Detlor is chairing the Strategic Planning Task Force, which has been busy examining and gathering data to develop our new strategic plan.  The Board will have the opportunity to review an initial draft at its March 18th meeting.  The task force will be sharing a draft strategic plan for membership review later in the year.

Last year Past-President Elaine Toms led the Board through a process to generate Big Ideas, focused on investing in our future, while fiscally managing our present. The development phase is now being undertaken by various standing committees and the Board looks forward to reviewing the proposals.

I wish to close by welcoming two new staff members, Account and Office Manager Naonnda Scoggins and Administrative Assistant Aminta Dawson. I hope you will also take the opportunity to welcome them. I look forward to connecting with you online and in person.

Thank You,


Return to Inside ASIS&T February 2020