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June 2021 President’s Column

Hello ASIS&T members.

It is so good to be able to reach out and communicate with the ASIS&T community. I cannot believe it is already June. Time flies by fast. But that means we will be meeting up and seeing each other sooner than later (virtually or in-person) at the Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Here in Ontario, Canada, everything is still in lock-down due to the COVID virus, so personally I am looking forward to things opening up soon and seeing everyone in Salt Lake City.

The ASIS&T elections are underway. I strongly encourage everyone to review the list of candidates and vote before the deadline of June 30th at 9 am EDT. Your vote matters.

So much has been happening on the ASIS&T front. Committees are fully engaged and moving forward on several initiatives outlined in the strategic plan for the Association. The strategic plan continues to guide the Association’s activities.

Great efforts have occurred over the last few months on developing a budget for fiscal year 2022. The Budget and Finance Committee, of which I am a member, met recently and approved the budget presented by Executive Director, Lydia Middleton. This budget will be vetted shortly by the Board at its June meeting.

Pamela Yonker, our new Marketing person, has developed a draft marketing plan to rally new memberships, secure current members, and re-establish lapsed memberships within the Association. The Board will vet this marketing plan at its June meeting and this will lead to an action plan to secure and rally memberships within a budgeted marketing campaign.

Special Project Funding proposals submitted by Chapters have been received and will be vetted by the Board at its June meeting. At the Board meeting, revisions to Chapter and SIG policies and procedures will be discussed.

We are seeking out an Editor-in-Chief for ARIST. Formulation of a job description is underway. We are making headway on delivering a new journal publication that would complement JASIS&T. Stay tuned for more details. We have secured an Editor-in-Chief for our newest publication, Information Matters. Am very pleased to welcome Dr. Chirag Shag in this new inaugural role. Welcome Chirag.

Work on the Annual Meeting continues. It is really shaping up to be an excellent conference, whether one attends virtually or in-person. Many strong paper, panel and poster submissions have been received. We have secured excellent keynote speakers. Jim Jansen, Conference Chair, and his team have done an excellent job in ensuring that the content delivered at the Annual Meeting will be first-rate and of high value to conference attendees. I am so excited to attend this upcoming Annual Meeting.

At this point in time, I would like to remind everyone the benefits of membership. Pressures mount from ideas and suggestions submitted by ASIS&T members to offer things for free, especially in terms of free content and events. However, if all content and events are free, there is little incentive for people to join the Association and be paying members. ASIS&T cannot deliver all content and events for free as this would undermine the financial health of the Association. So, a delicate balance needs to be struck. There is a value on ASIS&T products and services, and though providing free content and events may seem like a good way to attract members, the data shows that free events and content rarely, if ever, result in new members joining the ASIS&T community.

On a final note, I encourage everyone to register for the Annual Meeting. I wish everyone stays safe and keeps healthy during these troubling COVID times.

Best regards,

Brian Detlor, President