2017 ASIS&T President
Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research
ASIS&T President, Lynn Connaway, traveled to Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China in December to visit the Asia Pacific and Taipei Chapters. At several universities she participated in chapter meetings and research forums with faculty and students and promoted ASIS&T membership in the region. ASIS&T plans interesting upcoming events including an ASIS&T Regional Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Meet the Author webinars and the 2017 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Washington, D.C. October 27-November 1, 2017. The search for an Executive to replace Dick Hill, who is retiring, is now being conducted by an executive search firm. Hill also became ill in mid-January, and ASIS&T Director of Finance and Administration, Jan Hatzakos, is serving as Interim Executive Director until he can return or his replacement is hired.
Association for Information Science and Technology
by Lynn Silipigni Connaway
It has been a busy several months since my last column. Approximately 75 people attended the Asia Pacific chapter event at Nankai University on November 29, 2016. Yuelin Li, professor, associate dean and chair of the department of information resources management in the business school at Nankai University, organized and hosted the event and gave an overview of the benefits of membership in the ASIS&T Asia Pacific Chapter. I had the opportunity to share my research on digital visitors and residents and to discuss the activities and benefits provided by ASIS&T membership. Eleven excellent faculty and doctoral student research projects were presented. The faculty presenters were Wenlin Bai, Zhenjia Fan and Man Xu from Nankai University; Change Liu, Peking University; and Rui Wei, Hebei University. The student presenters included Hongliang Han, Pengei He, Pianran Wang, Jing Yan, Zin Zhang and Wenbo Zhou from Nankai University. The research topics included gamification in information retrieval systems, mobile learning environments, online health communities, data-driven health care decision making, empowerment for immigrant workers, user studies and monograph open access. Morning tea and a delicious lunch were served to make the event even more memorable.
I worked with Ming-Hsin Phoebe Chiu, associate professor, National Taiwan Normal University and chair of the ASIS&T Taipei Chapter, and Tien-I Tsai, assistant professor, National Taiwan University and vice chair of the chapter, to organize a full agenda for my visit to Taiwan December 4-11, 2016. I met with doctoral students and faculty at National Taiwan Normal University, gave a guest lecture in Professor Tsai’s information visualization course at National Taiwan University and in Professor Joyo Chiou’s class at National Cheng-Chi University. I presented an invited talk at TamKang University and a keynote at the Library Association of the Republic of China (LAROC) Annual Meeting about my user studies research. My travels to these universities and events in Taiwan gave me an opportunity to share information about ASIS&T and to encourage new members to join the Association.
On December 7, the ASIS&T Taipei Chapter hosted a Research Forum and Reception at the National Taiwan University library. Twelve library and information science faculty and students from Taiwan universities presented their research. Dr. Chiu gave an overview of the Taipei Chapter activities and events, and I talked about the benefits of ASIS&T membership. Once again the presentations were excellent, interesting and thought-provoking and I was able to provide suggestions on different data collection and analysis tools and provide advice for junior faculty and doctoral students. For more detailed information about and photos of the Research Forum and Reception, see Phoebe and Tien-I’s report in Inside ASIS&T.
I also was in Hong Kong for an OCLC event and met with Dr. Sam Chu, associate professor, University of Hong Kong, who is coordinating an ASIS&T event titled, “Symposium on Research Design, Paper Writing & Publishing in Information Science,” with the Asia Pacific and Taiwan Chapters. Sam is the symposium chair and primary organizer for the event, which will be held at the University of Hong Kong on March 27-28, 2017. For additional information see www.asist.org/mc-events/symposium-on-research-design-paper-writing-publishing-in-information-science/.
My hosts in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were kind, cordial, funny, intelligent and generous. I had the opportunity to visit many different academic and cultural institutions, to spend time with students and to indulge in an eclectic array of delicious food. I cannot thank them enough and want to encourage them to co-author a book with ideas for hosting foreign guests since there is a lot that can be learned from them.
If you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area on March 3, join us at the OCLC Conference Center for an ASIS&T Regional Meeting co-sponsored by the Central Ohio Chapter, the Northern Ohio Chapter and OCLC. Organizing and participating in these regional meetings supports my presidential initiative to meet with and to attract students, early career professionals and researchers to ASIS&T by facilitating new forms of engagement in addition to the Annual Meeting. The program and speaker and registration information are available at www.asist.org/events/asist-regional-meeting/asist-regional-meeting-oclc/.
We also are continuing the Meet the Author Series webinars initiated by Nadia. Please join Marie L. Radford, Rutgers University professor, and me on February 16, for a discussion of trends and tips for library and information science research. The discussion will be based on the new edition of the book, Research Methods in Library and Information Science. More details about and registration for the webinar are available at www.asist.org/events/meet-the-author-series/meet-the-authors-top-trends-and-tips-in-lis-research/. Registration is free for ASIS&T members and $15 for non-members. I hope you are able to join us.
Sanda Erdelez, professor, University of Missouri, and Naresh Agarwal, associate professor, Simmons College, have agreed to co-chair the 2017 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Crystal City (Washington, DC), October 27-November 1. They have been busy organizing their committees and identifying speakers. The theme of the 80th meeting is Diversity of Engagement: Connecting People and Information in the Physical and Virtual Worlds. Sanda and Naresh have confirmed one of the keynote speakers – Dr. Richard Marks, senior research engineer and head of the PlayStation Magic Lab at Sony Interactive Entertainment. The Magic Lab, a part of the research and development group, was founded by Marks to push the boundaries of play by investigating how technology can be used to create new entertainment experiences. His areas are augmented reality and virtual reality. More information about Marks is available at
The search for the new ASIS&T executive director is well under way. The ASIS&T Executive Director Search Committee is chaired by Sandy Hirsh and Clara M. Chu; other members include Jamshid Behshti, Nadia Caidi, Lisa Given, Marjorie Hlava and me. The Search Committee made the recommendation to the ASIS&T Board of Directors to hire an executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller (IM), which was approved. IM has gathered input from Association members and staff, the Search Committee, Board members, Dick Hill and other key stakeholders in the Association to identify the knowledge and skills needed for the next executive director and the areas of focus for the Association. Additionally, IM held two virtual focus group interviews in early December 2016. The Search Committee has provided IM with key documents, including the ASIS&T Executive Director Search Membership Input Survey Report and the ASIS&T Strategic Plan. IM has worked with the Search Committee to finalize the position profile, which has been posted. Candidate selection will take place in Spring 2017. We welcome your help in spreading the word about this opportunity! If you have any nominations for the position, please contact Nanette Blandin, nblandin@IMSearch.com, and Jackie Mildner, jmildner@IMSearch.com
We are also sorry to report that our present and long-time executive director, Dick Hill, had a stroke in January 2017. He is recovering and undergoing physical therapy at the time of this publication. We do not have a date for his return to the office and he is greatly missed. Based on this information and after consulting with Dick, the Executive Committee has asked Jan Hatzakos, ASIS&T director of finance and administration and webmaster, to serve as acting executive director until Dick returns to the office or a new executive director is hired. Jan has graciously agreed. If you would like to send well wishes to Dick, please send them to the ASIS&T Headquarters, and the staff will be sure that Dick receives them.