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Inside ASIS&T, July 2018

President's Column

Lisa M. Given, PhD
July 2018

It is amazing to think that in only four short months the Annual Meeting (Vancouver, November 10th-14th) will have come and gone – where does the time go? For those of you in the northern hemisphere, I hope that you are enjoying the summer sunshine and having a productive few months until fall semester begins. Here in Australia, we are looking ahead to spring (on September 1st) as the trees have started to bud and the daffodils are flowering; it is hardly what I would describe as a tough winter season for the semester of the year, but I’m still looking forward to warmer temperatures.

The next few months will be a busy time for the Board, the conference program committee, and ASIS&T HQ staff as we finalize preparations for Vancouver. The draft program is online and the website tells me that there are only 110 days, 9 hours, 38 minutes, and 27 seconds until the AM begins – so be sure to register soon! We are also looking for student volunteers to help with conference preparations on-site in Vancouver, so if you would like to help (and receive a discount on conference registration) please complete the online application form by September 7th 2018. We have two incredible plenary speakers lined up for this year’s conference, with Dr Ramesh Srinivasan (Director, UCLA Digital Cultures Lab) and Dr Zeynep Tufekci (Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill) presenting on their exciting work. In addition to an engaging set of workshops, papers, panels, and receptions during the conference days, consider adding a pre- or post-conference “special event” to your Vancouver to-do list – such as a guided tour of the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the First Nations people and other cultural communities of the West Coast of Canada. My flight is booked and I can’t wait to see everyone in November!

Although the Annual Meeting is a key event in the annual cycle for ASIS&T, we are also very lucky to have a large number of dedicated volunteers around the globe hosting webinars, chapter events, and regional meetings throughout the year. One upcoming event to highlight will be held January 3-4, 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – an exciting new location for an ASIS&T regional meeting and one that will also serve as a significant recruiting event for AM2019 (in Melbourne next year). The Asia-Pacific Chapter has been hard at work over the last few months identifying the conference theme (Effective learning in low-tech information environments) and crafting a call for papers, panels, and other presentations that will launch in the next few days – so please watch the ASIS&T website for details. Submissions for the conference will be due in September/October 2018, so start thinking about topics and ideas to present. I am thrilled to be giving a keynote at this event, so I hope to see you there!


Letter from the Executive Director

Lydia S. Middleton, MBA, CAE
July 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank those of you who reached out to me in response to my last Inside ASIS&T column in which I explained why we are making some hard decisions at ASIS&T around what we make available to non-members and why. Several of you reached out to applaud the fact that the Board and staff are taking a critical and pragmatic look at what we as an association are able to offer to our members in terms of member services, programs and benefits, and how, if at all, we make those features of membership available to those that choose not to join ASIS&T. It is difficult to navigate change in an organization as steeped in history and tradition as we are at ASIS&T. I am delighted that we have so many stakeholders who are supportive of our efforts thus far.

There are many more changes afoot here at ASIS&T, all designed to create a more nimble and impactful organization that can represent our members and provide continued benefit in a rapidly changing environment. The Governance Report will go into some detail around changes that are currently underway to revamp our committee-level governance structure to better meet the needs of our current and prospective members. While the details of those revisions are still under consideration by the Board, with a planned vote on September 5th and dissemination shortly thereafter, I can share that the President’s Advisory Group and the Board have given careful consideration to the role of our governance structure in improving the way we operate, and I am confident that the membership will quickly reap the benefits of these changes.

As we wrap up the changes to the committee-level governance structure, we will be turning our attention to higher-level governance issues through a thorough review and potential revision to the ASIS&T Constitution & Bylaws. Our bylaws have undergone modification many times over the years, but it has been a very long time since they were looked at as a whole and considered for revision. The result is that we have done a lot of adding to our bylaws without taking much away. Our current bylaws are heavily proscriptive and require frequent modification as a result. Our intent is to move much of the proscriptive policy that currently exists within the bylaws out to policy documents that guide our activities. For example, much of what is in the Chapter Officer’s Manual is proscribed in the bylaws and could live independently as a policy document without being detailed in the bylaws where any change requires a membership vote. This prohibits ASIS&T from being nimble and able to react to opportunities and correct problems quickly.

The initial review of the bylaws is currently in my hands but will soon be shared with the Constitution & Bylaws Committee which will be asked to help us answer critical questions of governance. For example, does a President-Elect who has never served on the Board in the past have adequate time in their first year to become prepared to be President? If not, should we perhaps consider different models such as adding an officer position in the line of succession ahead of President-Elect in order for an individual to familiarize themselves with the culture of the Board and the operations of ASIS&T before taking on such a critical leadership role? This is just one example of the many wicked problems we want to solve with this bylaws revision.

Once we have a draft revision we intend to share it with the membership ahead of the Annual Meeting so that you will have ample time during the meeting to share your feedback on the revisions. Your feedback will then be incorporated into a final draft for a vote in late 2018 or early 2019. We hope you will all be with us in Vancouver, but if you are unable to attend, we will provide virtual venues where you can provide feedback as well.

One final change that I mentioned briefly in my last column, but I think is worth touching on again, is the notion of centralizing what was largely a decentralized organization in the past. I have found over my year+ as Executive Director that much of the work of ASIS&T was carried out by volunteers and components either wholly or almost entirely independently of ASIS&T staff. As a result, we are frequently discovering that there were actions taken and decisions made that never quite made it back to ASIS&T HQ for documentation or incorporation into our ongoing processes. This has presented a significant challenge from a knowledge management perspective. And as we try to add more structure and connectivity to ASIS&T HQ for all activities that take place under the ASIS&T umbrella, we meet occasional resistance from members who feel that the way things were done in the past was fine and shouldn’t change.

While we are tremendously grateful to our volunteers who create so many of the programs, products, and services that ASIS&T delivers, we also have a responsibility to ensure consistency of product and brand. Anything that goes out into the world with the ASIS&T name or logo on it sends a message about the organization, who we are and what we represent. If there isn’t a consistent approach to producing and reviewing the products and communications of ASIS&T, we will inevitably lose our brand integrity. For this reason, if you are active in a component or committee, you will notice increased staff presence in your activities in the future. And while our staff resources are very limited, we feel that deploying them to engage with components and report back their activities in order to ensure both consistency and coordination between groups will be critical to our success over time.

As always, I invite your feedback, positive or constructive, on these changes and other aspects of ASIS&T. We are here to serve you and want to ensure your interests are taken into account as the Board and staff take decisions on these big issues. While we may not always be able to modify our direction in response to your interests, we are always open to discussing them and finding reasonable solutions to your concerns.

I also want to invite those of you seeking to become more involved to consider volunteering with ASIS&T in the coming year. We have a bit of a conundrum in that we are in the process of revising the committee structure yet now is also the time of year that we invite volunteers for the coming year. We can’t invite you to volunteer for the old committees that will be changing, and we have a few more approval steps to complete before we share the new committee structure. However, we will figure out a solution to this conundrum in the next week, so be on the lookout for a communication about volunteering in your email.

I wish those of you whose summers are coming to a close all the best as you prepare for the fall and all of the excitement that brings! And to the rest, happy Spring!

All the best,



Governance Report

The Board of Directors met on June 3-4, 2018 for a business and planning meeting. In attendance were Lisa Given (President); Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Past President); Elaine Toms (President-elect); June Abbas (Treasurer); Dania Bilal; Emily Knox; Kathryn La Barre; Brandi Loveday-Chesley; Heather O’Brien; Soo Young Rieh; Abebe Rorissa; Kayla Siddell; Lydia Middleton (Executive Director); and Steve Hardin (Parliamentarian). The following issues were discussed and/or decided:

President’s Report

In her President’s report, Lisa Given noted that ASIS&T has held several successful meetups now. The first three were held in Australia in the early spring. Another was held while the Board was in Vancouver during the Board meeting. Additional meetups for the rest of the year will be arranged as the opportunities present themselves. She also reported that she is doing considerable of work planning and preparing for the 2019 meeting in Melbourne. She is standing ready to recruit members and attendees for that meeting once we have more clarity on the theme and Leadership for that meeting. Finally, she reported that she and the President's Advisory Group have been hard at work redefining ASIS&T committee roles and guidelines. That topic is discussed later in the meeting.

President-Elect Report

Elaine Toms reported that she and Lydia had a very good opportunity to plan for the 2018-19 governance year by attending a meeting in Amsterdam designed to facilitate conversations between the staff and volunteer leaders of the organization. This meeting highlighted for her issues that she would like to focus upon and her president year. Among them are addressing the challenge of being simultaneously global and local as a membership organization. While it is critical that we plan and act as a global organization, members expect us to engage locally and to meet them where they are. She noted that this will be particularly evident at the 2019 meeting in Melbourne which will be a significant opportunity for us to determine whether or not our global reach is successful. She acknowledged that this meeting will be a risk for the association and that we will need to proactively market the meeting to members and non-members alike. She went on to explain her interest in nurturing special interest groups and chapters, noting that we should be turning to these groups to develop content for ASIS&T. There are experts in a variety of topics within the SIGs and chapters and we should be seeking their input for such media as blogs or articles.


The Board reviewed, discussed and approved the FY2019 Budget which projects a bottom line of just under ($100,000). This is approximately the amount of revenue anticipated to be lost from the IA Summit. It is important to note that there are three potentially revenue-producing activities (IA Summit, RDAP, and EuroIA Summit) that are not included in the 2019 budget, so a total loss of $100k is actually significantly less than the total potential revenue from these three meetings.

The Board reviewed, discussed and approved the FY2017 Audited Financial Statements which reported an overall loss of ($279,604). This loss was budgeted prior to this year and can be explained as a result of a number of unusual expenditures related to concluding employment of four staff with more than 20 years each of tenure with the organization; hiring a new Executive Director; paying off the amortized cost of the website purchased in 2015; and less-than-budgeted revenue for the Annual Meeting. The Board met in Executive Session with the auditor to review the findings and ensure there were no hidden issues not exposed in the auditor’s report which there were not.

Annual Meeting 2018

Luanne Freund, chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee, joined the meeting to update the Board on preparation for the 2018 meeting in Vancouver. She reported that more than 300 reviewers were recruited to review 140 papers, of which 69 were accepted. They also reviewed 46 panel proposals of which 26 were accepted. At the time of her report, the visual presentations were under review and had not yet been concluded. We can report now, however, that 100 proposals out of a total of 203 were accepted for presentation at the annual meeting. Luanne noted that there are several changes this year that make the program somewhat different from last year's annual meeting. Those changes are noted in the Annual Meeting section of this Inside ASIS&T.

Committee Guidelines

The Board then discussed proposed committee guidelines, designed to add more structure and consistency to all ASIS&T committees. The guidelines allow for two co-chairs for every committee, appointed in alternating years. Committees will have no more than 10 members nor less than 5. Each member will serve a term of two years with the option to renew for another 2 years. The president-elect will appoint the co-chairs and then, in consultation with the co-chairs, will identify individuals to fill the upcoming vacancies on the committees. Committee members will be oriented prior to as well as at the annual meeting. Committees will meet at least quarterly, prior to schedule Board meetings so that reports can be provided to the Board. Committees will use the iConnect community platform for communication and sharing of materials. Each committee will have a Board and staff liaison appointed to them. This proposal was accepted unanimously by the Board.

Restructuring Committees

Considerable time was spent discussing proposals from the president's Advisory Group regarding restructuring existing committees and reorganizing some of them under new committee structures. The Board gave a great deal of thought to breaking down the roles and responsibilities of each ASIS&T committee to determine how best to ensure that the activities and functions of each committee were continued but in the most efficient and effective manner. Additional structures were proposed that would address such critical topics as research engagement and new publications. Resulting proposals were agreed in principle, with the understanding that the Board would review terms of reference for each proposed committee at their September 5th meeting. At that time the Board will take action to approve or revise those terms of reference and the attendant proposal for committee restructuring.

Annual Meeting 2019

The Board reviewed and assessed the financial projections for the 2019 meeting in Melbourne. It was agreed that this meeting will present potential financial risks if we are unable to attract as many individuals to the meeting as we have been able to do within North America. It was acknowledged that our meeting in Copenhagen was aided by the fact that Europe is so condensed, and it was easily accessible to a great many people who don’t typically travel to an ASIS&T meeting in North America. However, ASIS&T acknowledges that we didn't do a good job converting those individuals that came to the meeting for the first time over to continuing membership. There was some question as to whether or not we would be able to carry out all of the governance functions that happen at an annual meeting if members of chapters, SIGs, and committees are unable to travel as far as Australia for a meeting. However, the strong consensus of the Board was that we are a global association committed to stretching our boundaries and making ourselves accessible to a wider audience. While Asia-Pacific is a huge area, and it may present unique challenges for our North American colleagues to travel there, we will make every effort to attract our growing membership in the region, as well as individuals who are not yet familiar with ASIS&T but would benefit greatly from the content of our meeting.

ASIS&T / ALISE Conjoined Meeting Proposal

The Board discussed a proposal developed by ASIS&T and ALISE to conjoin our annual meetings in 2020 with one day of joint meeting overlap. The Board agreed that there were both upsides and potential downsides to this proposal, and in the end, decided that the best course of action for 2020 would be too co-locate but not conjoin our meetings. While co-locating the meetings is convenient for members of both organizations, it also provides them with the flexibility to determine how much of each meeting they would like to attend. Colocation can allow for combined registration fees without either association having to sacrifice any of the valuable presentation time in each respective meeting.

ALISE Management Services Proposal

The Board then considered a proposal to provide Management Services to ALISE in response to the request for proposals issued by Elise for such a service. While it was viewed as a significant positive two more closely aligned the two organizations, the Board felt strongly that ASIS&T has enough pressing internal priorities at the current time that offering services to another organization would not be prudent.

Chapter Revitalization

The Board reviewed a report showing that the vast majority of chapters that have, at some time, existed within the ASIS&T infrastructure are now dormant or defunct. Further, there are considerable resources being held in reserve for these dormant chapters. After some conversation about how we might get existing chapters to become more active, it was proposed that we consider disbanding all of the inactive chapters and rethinking what our chapter infrastructure should be. The Board asked the staff to come back with a proposal for discussion at the next meeting that might re-envision how ASIS&T chapters are defined and populated. It was agreed that it does not make sense to have multiple chapters within one state, and then only one chapter for an area so large as the Asia-Pacific region. The staff will undertake a review of best practices and returned a report to the Board for initial consideration at the September meeting.

History Fund Award Criteria

The Board Revisited an outstanding item from the February meeting—the question of whether or not nominees for the History Fund Awards should be members of ASIS&T. It was noted that the History Fund was originally proposed and built on the understanding that the fund would be a source of support for furthering our understanding of the history and information science broadly, and never intended to be specifically a member benefit of ASIS&T. The Board discussed how issues of this type were handled for other funds that ASIS&T manages. It was pointed out that several SIGs have their own funds. The resulting decision from the Board was that the History Fund and attendant awards be moved under SIG-HFIS and it would be the SIG’s role to determine the criteria for the awards.

Code of Conduct

The Board revisited the need for a strong Code of Conduct for our meetings as well as potentially a reconsideration of the ASIS&T professional guidelines which are now more than 40 years old. It was suggested that the SIGs might be able to contribute to this effort and it was agreed that we would reach out to the leadership of the relevant SIGs to request their input.

The next meeting of the ASIS&T Board will take place September 5 via video conference.


Call for Volunteers - Committees & Juries

It is time once again to let us know if you would like to serve on an ASIS&T Committee or Awards Jury. As noted in the Executive Director's letter, the committee structures are still under revision so we are unable to recruit volunteers for specific committees until that is done. However, please let us know of your interest now so that we can make preliminary pairings and then circle back with you to confirm your interest once the Terms of Reference are complete. Committee appointments will be made in September so please complete this form not later than September 5, 2018.

Volunteer Interest Form



ASIS&T Lecture Series

ASIS&T Lecture Series Award Recipient Travels to China

Jenna Hartel
University of Toronto

The ASIS&T Lecture Series award was used to fund a Canadian scholar of information science, Dr. Jenna Hartel of the Faculty of Information University of Toronto, to present her lecture, "The Red Thread of Information," at the School of Information Management (SIM) at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. She was hosted by the Dean of the School, Dr. Miguel Nuñez. There, she delivered a lecture on the foundations of North American information science. Dr. Hartel's goal was to initiate a more culturally and geographically expansive vision of information science that integrated North American and Chinese perspectives. To bring the tenets of our field into a coherent framework for the audience, she drew upon the life’s work of Dr. Marcia J. Bates, recipient of ASIST’s Award of Merit, among other honors. While at SIM, Dr. Hartel had one-on-one discussions with doctoral students and faculty to better assimilate a youthful, local perspective. Further, in partnership with Dr. Nuñez, Dr. Hartel offered an interactive workshop on arts-informed, visual research and its application to research on information. Overall, this ASIS&T Annual Lecture celebrated and re-imagined tenets of information science; introduced new research methods; and enhanced international cooperation across ASIS&T and beyond.


ASIS&T Award Winners

ASIS&T would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s ASIS&T international awards. Awards will be presented throughout the Annual Meeting in Vancouver (10-14 November), culminating in the presentation of the Research Award, Watson Davis Award, and Award of Merit at the Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening.

Congratulations award winners:
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Press releases announcing each award winner individually will be forthcoming.


Call for Recommendations - Member Spotlight 

ASIS&T turns the spotlight on members to highlight how they are making a difference and how they have benefited from ASIS&T membership. It offers an opportunity for you to share your story with your colleagues, inspire future information science professionals, and strengthen awareness of the profession and association.  To nominate another member or yourself, submit your nomination here.


Do You Have Issues?

ASIS&T publication issues, that is! ASIS&T is working on organizing our in-house library and in that process,  we have discovered that we’re missing just a few ASIS&T hard-copy publications that we need to complete our collection. Specifically, we are missing the following:

  • JASIS 51:3 (2000)
  • JASIS 51:4 (2000)
  • JASIS 51:5 (2000)
  • JASIST 52:3 (2001)
  • JASIST 65:5 (2014)
  • JASIST 65:7 (2014)
  • American Documentation Institute Annual Meeting Proceedings, Volume 2 (1965)
  • ASIS Mid-Year Meeting Proceedings 1972; 1973; 1985; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989; 1990; 1991; 1993; 1994; 1995
  • ASIS Bulletin: 1 no. 1 (1974)
  • ASIS Bulletin 6 no. 3 (1979)
  • ASIS Bulletin 24 no. 2 (1997)
  • ASIS Bulletin 26 no. 3 (2000)
  • American Documentation / JASIS Volume XX
  • American Documentation / JASIS Volume XXI

If you have any of these volumes/issues and would be willing to donate them to the ASIS&T Library, we would be most grateful. Please contact Lydia Middleton to discuss further.


Chapter and SIG News

Central Ohio Update

After winning Chapter Event of the Year in 2017, the Central Ohio chapter has been busy with another installment of their annual Summer of Tours. The program began with the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Library in May, and continued with the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (at The Ohio State University) and Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) in June. The next tour is at the Delaware County District Library Main Branch in July, followed by two tours in August: the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program (at OSU) and the Grant Morrow Medical Library (Nationwide Children’s Hospital). The Summer of Tours program has been a successful undertaking for the chapter since 2013 and has drawn over 50 attendees from various kinds of libraries so far this summer. These tours help CO-ASIS&T reach out to local library professionals and increase chapter membership, which has grown by 50% over the past two years. The chapter hopes to continue to provide these insightful experiences for library professionals across all disciplines.


Annual Meeting 2018 Update

Members save over 20% on Vancouver

Registration is open for the 2018 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, 10-14 November.  Register now and SAVE! Take advantage of huge savings through early bird registration and by taking advantage of discounted room rates at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Space is limited so book your accommodations at the rate of $225CAD ($175US).

Schedule at A Glance Now Available



Contributing Sponsor:

Department of Library and Information Science, University at Buffalo 


Silver Sponsor:

University of Illinois 

University of Tennessee


Sponsorship Opportunities

Don’t miss your chance to connect with the ASIS&T community at ASIST2018 in Vancouver. We offer a myriad of sponsorship opportunities to meet your marketing needs and budget. Get noticed, get exposure, and get connected. Sponsors will have access to professionals from a multitude of backgrounds, including researchers, developers, students, and information science practitioners.

Details of all sponsorships and other opportunities are on the ASIS&T AM18 website. Call now to reserve your spot TODAY! Contact DeVonne Parks, Director of Conferences & Events at 301.495.0900 ext. 1500 or e-mail with ASIST2018 Sponsorship noted in the subject line.

Sponsor Specials

University Tea will not be at ASIS&T 2018….there is something new….have a tabletop at the Student Reception where all the students will be hanging out on Sunday, 11 November at 5 pm and you can still have your tabletop in the registration area. Sign Up today!


What's New in 2018?

Wondering what's different in 2018 from 2017? Here's a quick list of meeting format changes of which you should be aware:

  • Workshops and tutorials will be held on Saturday and Wednesday instead of Friday and Saturday.
  • SIG Con, the University Tea, and the International Reception are no longer standard events during the Annual Meeting. They may yet take place as independently organized events.
  • The New Members / First Time Attendee Orientation is now afternoon session.
  • The Business Meeting will take place over lunch on Monday.
  • The Awards event will be an evening Awards Banquet on Tuesday. It will be preceded by the Closing Keynote.
  • The ASIS&T core meeting (without pre- and post-meetings) begins Sunday, November 11 at 1 pm and concludes with dinner on Tuesday, November 13.


Call for Annual Meeting (Student) Volunteers!

ASIS&T is seeking student members to volunteer at our 2018 Annual Meeting 10-14 November 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.  Accepted volunteers receive complimentary registration (valued at $315) (travel and lodging not included) More Details

Volunteers must be:

  • ASIS&T student membership in good standing for 2018 is a prerequisite to volunteer.
  • To volunteer, please apply here no later than September 7, 2018, with the following information, so we can contact you if you are selected.


Call for Submissions – ASIS&T Regional Meeting

Join us January 3-4, 2018, for the ASIS&T Regional Meeting in Cambodia the University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. This regional conference will focus on effective learning in such contexts. We are interested in (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Learning in low-tech information environments across different organizational contexts
  • Case studies of information worlds, cultures, social dynamics, and access from the Asia-Pacific region
  • Green information systems and learning
  • Implementation of high-tech information and technological strategies in low-tech environments
  • Pedagogical approaches, models, and theories for effective learning in low-tech environments
  • Learning in formal and informal low-tech settings
  • Strategies and challenges for learning in low-tech information environments
  • Evaluation and assessment of learning in low-tech environments
  • Research methods, ethics, and implementation of learning in low-tech environments
  • Innovation of learning in low-tech information environments
  • The future of learning in low-tech environments

We invite papers, posters, panels and workshop submissions centered on this theme from or relating to the Asia-Pacific region.

Submit Here



We Value Your Privacy and Are Committed to Protecting Your Data!

With the arrival of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),  ASIS&T has reviewed and updated its Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018. This policy reflects our commitment to protecting your privacy and data, and outlines the ways we use, track, and store this information.

We will continue to keep our members around the world informed on ASIS&T's many programs and resources.  Please know you can always change your email preferences in the future by contacting us or by updating your preferences on the MY ASIS&T page of the website.


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