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Inside ASIS&T, July 2015

ASIS&T Members Elect New Board Officers and Representatives

In ASIS&T’s annual summertime election, members made their selections for president-elect and directors-at-large, while also approving an amendment to the organization’s bylaws.

The winning candidate for president-elect, who will serve a three-year term from president-elect through past president, is Lynn Silipigni Connaway. The two candidates earning spots as directors-at-large are Kathryn La Barre and Abebe Rorissa.

Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Lynn Silipigni Connaway, who is completing a three-year term as a director, is senior research scientist at OCLC Research where she leads the user studies activities. Her responsibilities include research projects that directly involve OCLC libraries and users, such as WorldCat data mining projects; JISC-funded investigations of digital information seekers and users in the virtual research environment; and IMLS-funded grant projects to study virtual reference services and the behavior patterns of college and university information seekers.

A member of ASIS&T since her doctoral student days, Lynn says in her position statement for the election the she believes “it is imperative in today’s globalized information environment for ASIS&T to provide value to its members.” To work toward that goal, she will use the results of the strategic planning process and work with the Board and membership on the following activities:

  • Provision of career development and mentoring opportunities focused on students, early-career professionals and researchers
  • Identification and implementation of new forms of member engagement
  • Promotion and support of SIGs and chapters
  • Recruitment of more international members

Abebe Rorissa

Abebe Rorissa

Abebe Rorissa is an associate professor in the department of information studies at University at Albany, State University of New York. Previously he worked in four countries over a 17-year period as a lecturer and systems librarian. He has also consulted for academic institutions, national governments and international organizations. His research interests include multimedia information organization and retrieval, scaling of users’ information needs/perceptions and impact of information and communication technologies.

Abebe notes in his position statement that in 13 years of membership he has served in numerous leadership positions and participated in virtually every type of activity ASIS&T sponsors. He says that “ASIS&T is on a long journey to becoming a truly international association. If elected. . . I will strive to broaden the geographic reach of ASIS&T with members from every corner of this global village.” To accomplish this goal, he says “ASIS&T must widen the scope of issues addressed and reach/attract a new and diverse group of academics, researchers, students and practitioners on all continents.”

Kathryn La Barre

Kathryn La Barre

Kathryn La Barre is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research on historical and contemporary knowledge organization systems focuses on cultural heritage materials. She is co-principal investigator of the Comic Book Readership Archive (CoBRA) project to build a digital archive of materials related to comic book readership and fandom. She has been an active member of the organization since the days she was working on her master’s degree.

In her position statement, Kathryn notes that the history of ASIS&T includes “vibrant involvement and impact across disciplinary boundaries.” She remembers when the Annual Meeting attracted a broader range of attendees from industry, government and academia – all seeking solutions to “thorny information problems.” But today’s environment casts numerous challenges, including “proliferating competition for members and a race to maintain relevance.” Kathryn pledges as director-at-large to strengthen ASIS&T’s efforts in education, outreach and inclusion. She looks to working with the membership to make ASIS&T once again the “go-to association for the information professions, bursting with energy and innovation.

Bylaws Amendment

The amendment to the ASIS&T Bylaws received approval from 87% of the members voting. The amendment allows the Board of Directors to identify categories or stratifications of membership to better define those who participate in ASIS&T. The change does not alter forms of membership or benefits of membership; rather, it attempts to better illustrate the types of information professionals who join the association.

Plans Ramping Up for the 2015 Annual Meeting

2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, St. Louis MO

2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, St. Louis MO

With the passing of deadlines for submission of proposals for program activities at the 78th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, conference committee chairs have moved into the final stages of accepting the best-of-the-best ideas and putting form to an actual conference schedule. When attendees gather in St. Louis on November 6-10 for Information Science with Impact: Research in and for the Community, they will choose from among eight exceptional pre-conference workshops and then head into the technical program days where conference organizers have identified two keynote speakers; some 40 superb papers and 20 panel presentations.

Plenary Speakers

This year’s conference theme gives information science researchers – including academics and practitioner researchers – the opportunity to discuss the impact of their research on industry, government, local/national/global community groups, individuals, information systems and other practice contexts. The theme highlights the introduction of a new conference focus on applied research, which recognizes that basic research in information science is also inspired by and/or connected to information practice contexts. Conference chair Lisa Given, Charles Sturt University, Australia, says the two plenary sessions at the meeting will help focus the conference theme and the dozens of concurrent sessions that will speak to it.

First up is the plenary session on Sunday, November 8, featuring Aaron Doering, associate professor in the LT Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, and current holder of the Bonnie Westby Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology. His research involves the design, development and evaluation of online and mobile teaching environments; technology integration in K-12 settings; and the innovative use of technology to support teaching and learning.

Then on Monday, November 9, , Sarah Morton, co-director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR), University of Edinburg, Scotland, will discuss “Creating Impact: Issues, Challenges and Solutions.” Sarah leads her center’s knowledge exchange team, facilitating ways in which research on families and relationships can be widely used. She has been working in knowledge exchange for more than 10 years and is interested in all aspects of research use and knowledge to action, particularly social research, and issues in the co-production of research. Her research has investigated the process of assessing the impact of research on policy and practice. She has a specialty in contribution analysis and uses this approach in a variety of projects, often working with non-academic partners.

Pre-conference Workshops

As always, ASIS&T encourages its members to take advantage of pre-conference workshops, many of which are offered by ASIS&T special interest groups and offer in-depth looks into new topics or new approaches to the fields they represent. This year’s workshops will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 6 and 7. Separate registration is required for these sessions. Here’s what is planned:

Friday, November 6
So Who’s Managing All That Organizational Information Anyway? (SIG/MGT)
Metrics 2015: Workshop on Informetric and Scientometric Research (SIG/MET)
Knowledge Audits: A to Z (SIG/KM)
PKM Education and Devices as Key Enablers for Growing a 21st Century Knowledge Society

Saturday, November 7
11th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium: The Impacts of Social Informatics Research (SIG/SI)
Conceptual Crowbars and Classification at the Crossroads: The Impact and Future of Classification Research (SIG/CR)
Digital Liaisons: Serving and Impacting Communities Through Digital Libraries (SIG/DL)
Information Visualization Workshop (SIG/VIS)
15th Annual SIG/USE Symposium (SIG/USE)

Look for descriptions of these sessions and more details in the 2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting preliminary program coming your way later this month and on the ASIS&T website.

Information Professionals Task Force

As ASIS&T president Sandy Hirsh notes in her President’s Page in this issue of the Bulletin, the ASIS&T Information Professionals Task Force (IPTF) is hard at work looking for new and innovative ways in which “to increase awareness and interest in the information professions.” The task force’s web page defines its charge in part as follows:

The web presence will be designed to define information professional as a generic term to refer to professionally trained workers in information intensive environments, but will also include the ASIS&T brand. The site will highlight information professional career paths and job descriptions and will provide leads to educational programs, jobs and professional organizations.

As one of many means to that end, IPTF co-chairs Diane Rasmussen Pennington and Nancy Roderer have posted a short survey that seeks individual thoughts about the roles of information professionals. The survey is available at