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From Your Executive Director, January 2024

Greetings friends and colleagues!

I always struggle in January to find exciting things to write about in my column. The winter months are when we at ASIS&T regroup from one Annual Meeting and get ramped up for all of the things that go into the next Annual Meeting. We clean up the database and get set up for awards and make sure SIGs and Chapter leaders are set on the right path for the coming year. I won't say we're hibernating. We certainly are not doing that. But we are getting things in order to burst out in the spring with lots of exciting announcements!

One of the first things you can expect to see coming out of ASIS&T Central will be news of our new program offering, the IDEA Institute. Building on an IMLS grant awarded to several ASIS&T members in 2019, the IDEA Institute will be a virtual and face-to-face summit on Artificial Intelligence in Libraries. While open to all ASIS&T members at a discount, we hope to also attract attendance and sponsorship from a wide range of individuals and institutions, including academic and public libraries. Please feel free to share information about this event with your colleagues when it becomes available.

You can expect to see a call for awards in your mailboxes soon as well. A new award will be debuted this year. Thanks to the generosity of Rutgers University, ASIS&T is pleased to announce the Research Impact Award. Focusing not on the research or the researcher but instead on the impact made by the research makes this award unique among ASIS&T offerings. The criteria and eligibility for the award are being finalized as I write this, so please give some consideration to making a nomination for this or any of ASIS&T's fourteen other global awards.

Our Annual Meeting Program Committee is hard at work planning another outstanding meeting experience in Calgary this coming October. This year's theme, "Putting People First: Responsibility, Reciprocity and Care in Information Research and Practice," provides fabulous opportunities to present your work around the continued and vital role of the human in an increasingly virtual world. This topic touches on research, practice, and education, allowing us to bring together a wide variety of perspectives and topics at this meeting. Please consider submitting a proposal so you can be a part of the fun in Calgary.

As Crystal and I both noted in London, ASIS&T is focusing this year on the ABC's. ABC stands for Access, Belonging, and Community. The Board will be discussing how to create access to benefits and services at its January Board meeting and reaching out to Chapters and SIGs to help us in these efforts. We also hope to hear from you about what we can do to make our offerings more accessible. While we recognize that making everything free would automatically make it more accessible, that is not possible given the realities of our financial situation. So we are looking for other pragmatic approaches to offering programs and services in multiple languages and at multiple times as a first step.

If you have thoughts on this or any other ASIS&T topic, please don't hesitate to reach out to your ASIS&T staff. We're always eager to hear from you. All the best to you and yours for a fruitful New Year!