Inside ASIS&T June 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Elaine Toms, President
Where does our money come from?
We are now in budgeting mode, as ASIS&T’s fiscal year ends at the end of June. This raises the question about our bottom line. Since we stopped organizing IA summits (their choice, not ours), we have been in the red. So, what holds for next year and thereafter?
A look at our revenue sources is very revealing -- multiple sources, but the surprise for me was how little comes from memberships compared to how much comes from our publications (see figure below). The others (and the annual meeting in particular) have expenses that wipe out that revenue. Without those publications we would be in dire straits.
We are constantly being challenged by members for the need to be more egalitarian and offer webinars, chapter events, and SIG meetings for free to anyone. We even have members attend pre-conference workshops but never pay a conference fee even though the fee for those workshops does not cover the cost, and the workshops benefit from the conference. We are generous with members from countries that do not have the advantages of western societies’ economies. But in the end, someone pays. Clearly from the graph above, it is not the membership fees that are sustaining us. Right now, we are investigating how to enable open access to many things, but open access is never free as the simple mechanism of enabling it has a cost, even with all of that free volunteer labour. It is a conundrum.
We are, at the moment, at a bit of a crossroads. Do we hunker down and wait for something to happen? Do we strip away services? Reduce staff? Or what? At the same time, memberships are in a state of flux, but surprisingly we have generously not increased our membership fees in 15 years. Despite our low fees, we can no longer assume that when a person joins one year that the person will renew their membership in the next. At present, we would need to quadruple our membership for it to supply just 50% of our revenue.
We (your Board) are taking a step back. What should we be providing to recruit and retain members, and at the same time, what might be potential revenue sources to sustain those members services? We clearly cannot rely only on publications. Yes, we do have a comfortable reserve which we are dipping into, but that is not sustainable in the long term. However, for the next year or two, it is time to think about the strategic use of some of those reserves, to not just ensure a balanced operational budget, but to invest in our future, and we re-fill the reserves.
What do you think we should be doing? Suggestions, recommendations are welcome.
Please email: President@asist.org
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Lydia S. Middleton, MBA, CAE
Why Associations Have Reserves
Following up on Elaine’s wonderful column of a few weeks back, where she shared some of the ideas we are formulating at ASIS&T to bring you new and exciting products, programs, and services, I want to address the issue of ASIS&T’s reserve account. In her column, Elaine mentioned that we are “sitting on a pile (of money).” Since then we heard from a few of you asking why, if we have a pile of money, we have to charge as much as we do for the Annual Meeting, for example. I thought I would take a few minutes to explain this.
First, let me better define exactly what Elaine was referring to when she said we are sitting on “a pile.” Elaine is referring to the ASIS&T’s reserve net asset balance (reserves) which is the cumulative bottom line that is carried forward from previous years—money that we hold in reserve for several specific purposes. Our reserve fund, as of the end of Fiscal Year ‘18, has a balance of $2,225,123. Of that total, $140,000 is earmarked as Chapter Funds, $64,000 is earmarked as SIG Funds, $150,000 is designated to the Lois Lunin Award Fund, $27,000 is designated to the Bob Williams History Award Fund, and $4,500 is designated to the Scholarship Fund. This leaves $1,809,000 in undesignated funds available for discretionary expenditure.
As I mentioned earlier, associations hold funds in reserve for two general purposes. The first purpose is to provide a cushion so that, in difficult years when funding sources may unexpectedly disappear, or expenses are unexpectedly high, the Association can continue to operate at its normal levels without either cutting staff, programs, and services, or shutting down altogether. The second reason the Association carries a reserve balance is to have a fund available to invest in the organization on activities that are not normally part of ongoing operations. These funds allow the Board to be creative and innovative and take some financial risk in order to grow the organization.
Over the last several years, our reserve balance has decreased. In Fiscal Year 2017 (October 2016 – September 2017), the $300k+ decrease resulted from a variety of planned expenditures, including the search for new Executive Director and the hiring of the new staff position. This decrease in net assets was budgeted and anticipated. Ultimately, our bottom line ended up being somewhat more negative than budgeted as a result of a change in accounting procedures between FY16 and FY17 that recognized some expenditures that were carried forward from the previous year. In FY18, we saw a decrease in net assets of roughly $110k resulting from a combination of poor performance in our investment accounts (a phenomenon everyone experienced between 2018 and 2019), the loss of the EuroIA summit, and the change in fiscal years which required that FY 18 be a nine-month year. Again, this decrease in net assets was budgeted and anticipated. In FY19, we again budgeted and anticipate a reduction in net assets as this will be the first year the loss of the IA Summit hits our budget.
We expect that reduction to be roughly $100,000. I am happy to report that the board has approved a budget that projects a very modest positive bottom line in FY20. This is possible because we do not plan to fill a vacant staff position for at least six months. This demonstrates that we are on our way to recovering from the loss of the IA Summit, though it will be some time before we can be fully staffed and realize a sustainable positive bottom line. That said, in FY21, assuming operations in line with FY 20 and a strong annual meeting, it is reasonable to expect that we would produce a positive bottom line given anticipated savings from FY 20 in the area of the annual meeting.
All of this is to say that, without our healthy reserve balance, ASIS&T would be in a precarious financial situation. However, because of the hard work of previous leaders of the Association, we are able to weather an unforeseen storm and anticipate turning the corner in the next 12 to 24 months. Meanwhile, the Board is exploring ways in which we can invest in the organization to expand member benefits, programs, and services, and grow Association membership as a result. Again, were it not for a healthy reserve balance, the Board would not have the wherewithal to make investments in the organization that will result in a better member experience.
As to the question of why we could not charge less for the annual meeting because we have a healthy reserve balance, I would refer to the experience of the last several years in which we have reduced our net assets rather than growing them. We are not currently in a position where we could take a further loss on the annual meeting beyond what we already do. The FY20 (July 19 – June 20) budget projects a net loss on the annual meeting of $117,000. While we strive to ensure that the meeting breaks even on out of pocket costs, when factoring in the considerable staff time that goes into making the meeting a success, the cost is significantly higher. The fact that we are meeting outside of North America adds to our cost, not only in terms of travel, shipping, etc., but also in terms of hotel costs as hotels outside of North America do not provide complimentary meeting space as they do within North America. Meeting space, alone, accounts for more than 20% of our total meeting budget this year. I can assure you that we have priced Annual Meeting as low as we possibly can in order to break even on direct expenses.
I hope this explanation has provided you a better understanding of our financial position and the various issues that the Board considers when contemplating its budget and potential future investments. I have been tremendously impressed by the fiduciary consciousness of your Board of Directors and their strong desire to ensure the long-term future of this organization through prudent financial management. Likewise, your staff is making every effort to minimize expenditures while, at the same time, maximizing the member experience.
As always, if you would like to discuss this further or want any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am readily available to explore these and other issues with you.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS VOTE
After a thorough review and vetting of a proposed revised Constitution and Bylaws document, the Board of Directors is pleased to present a final proposed revision to the Constitution and Bylaws for a vote during the upcoming Board election.
The Board took into account the comments received from members, discussed each comment separately, and decided whether or not to modify the draft to respond to the recommendation of the member. The individual responses to each member comment can be found here. While there were a few member recommendations upon which the Board chose not to act, we hope that the explanation for that decision will allay the concerns of the members.
Please feel free to contact Lydia Middleton directly should you wish to discuss further. The election and Constitution & Bylaws vote will be opened the last week in June. Please watch your email for a message from electionbuddy.com who will be running our election again this year.
ANNUAL MEETING 2019
Plans for the upcoming 82nd ASIS&T Annual Meeting well underway and the scientific program is shaping up to be of superb quality. The meeting is being held in Melbourne Australia, October 19-23, 1019. The submission site is open and you are encouraged to submit a proposal for the formats still open: Posters due: June 17 and Doctoral Colloquium submissions due: July 15.
Workshops and tutorials will be held in Melbourne on Saturday, 19 October and Wednesday, 23 October. Detailed information will be on the registration site by mid-June.
Watch for details on registration, which will open in mid-June. Mark your calendars now to register early and save! The rates will be the lowest during the Early Bird Registration Period which will end on Friday, 2 August.
We are excited to announce the keynote speakers for this year: Mikaela Jade will be the keynote speaker at the Opening Plenary on Sunday, 20 October, and the title of her talk is “Mixing Reality for Cultural Proliferation”. The Closing Plenary on Tuesday, 22 October will feature Helena Teede, speaking on “Changing the Paradigm: Driving Disruption Through Collaboration”.
Submission of posters due: EXTENDED 20 June 2019
Proposal submissions due: 15 July 2019
Housing & Visa
This is a reminder to make your hotel and airline reservations for the Annual Meeting early. Visit our website for information and rates for the two Crown Hotels we have selected. Both hotels, the Crown Metropol and the Crown Promenade are connected to the Crown Conference Centre where all of the sessions will be held. We have appointed oneworld as the Official Airline Alliance for the meeting. Purchase your discounted airline tickets.
Apply now for your required visa as they can take several months to finalize and get approved.
Students & Job Seekers
Student members should consider applying for the Student Volunteer Program. Student volunteers will assist staff with tasks such as organizing meeting materials, staffing the registration desk, assembling meeting bags, monitoring sessions, providing directions and assistance to attendees, collecting tickets at certain events, packing materials, supporting meeting logistics, and the like.
ALISE serves as a vital resource in connecting schools and potential faculty members through its placement services. Institutions may register for up to six hours of interviewing space on October 20-23, 2019. Interview rooms and time blocks will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for interview space online by September 27, 2019. After September 27th, all registered schools will receive a confirmation email with their final schedule. Register online to secure your interview space.
Tours & Events
Please take a minute to review the Visit Melbourne website to get familiar with Melbourne and all it has to offer. Highly recommended is the bus tour to see the Penguin Parade and allow time for the all-day Great Ocean Road tour as well. There are several magnificent libraries in Melbourne, and you should plan time in your schedule to visit them. You won’t be disappointed. The State Library Victoria offers a number of free tours.
Library at the Dock - Library at The Dock, one of our six public libraries and one of four community hubs in the City of Melbourne, is the civic heart of Docklands. It offers traditional and digital catalogs and free wi-fi.
The Law Library of Victoria - An integral resource for the courts, as well as for the legal profession and the community. The Library provides access to authoritative legal information for all Victorian legal practitioners to assist with the accurate, effective and fair administration of justice. Headquarters of the Law Library is based in the beautiful Supreme Court Library, which is regarded as a library of national significance and is one of the largest law collections in Victoria, containing over 120,000 volumes. Opened in 1884, the Supreme Court Library is of architectural, historical and social significance and has one of the largest law collections in the state. Our tours offer an opportunity to learn more about the library and its place in the Supreme Court. After the tour, we encourage you to spend some time to view our exhibitions and take in the beautiful surrounds under the dome of the Supreme Court Library.
City Library - With exhibitions, concerts, storytelling, crafts workshops, a kids’ program and ESL conversation programs, City Library is not your average suburban library. Sharing its building with the CAE and popular Journal Cafe, the City Library has extensive collections including community languages – Chinese, Vietnamese and others; extensive music and film collections on CD and DVD; local history; reference, nonfiction and fiction for all tastes, from genre to edgy.
2019 Research Applications, Information and Library Studies (RAILS) Conference
The School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia is organizing a conference “Research Applications, Information and Library Studies (RAILS)” after the ASIS&T Conference from 28-29 October in Canberra-Australia. The Research Applications in Information and Library Studies conference is Australasia’s premier research conference for information and library studies and related disciplines. This annual conference brings together educators, researchers and practitioners within the information professions to encourage a culture of informed and innovative research practice. For more information and registration, please visit the RAILS conference website.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
Our volunteers are our greatest asset! Being a part of an ASIS&T committee, jury, SIG or chapter is a wonderful way to meet colleagues, build your resume, and give back to your profession. ASIS&T is currently seeking volunteers for the following committees:
- Awards & Honors Committee
- Executive Committee
- Membership Committee
- Nominations Committee
- Professional Development Committee
- Research Engagement Committee
- Standards Committee
Additionally, in the spring of 2020 we will need to populate our awards juries. ASIS&T SIGs and Chapters are always looking for new leadership. If you would like to be considered for a committee or other volunteer role, please submit the volunteer interest form.
Thank you for your commitment to ASIS&T!
CALL FOR SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
ASIS&T is often called upon to comment on issues of importance to the Information Science and Technology community.
In order to be responsive to these requests and proactive when issues arise, we are embarking upon the development of a database of subject matter experts who would be willing to serve as spokespeople on behalf of ASIS&T on issues of relevance to our profession. If you feel you are an expert in a subject and would like to be listed in our SME database, please complete THIS FORM.
Thank you as always for your engagement with ASIS&T!
ANNUAL MEETING 2020 & BEYOND
The 2020 Annual Meeting dates have been finalized. The meeting will be held October 24-28, 2020, at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. We will begin adding information to the website in the next few months as those plans come together.
Looking ahead, proposals for hosting the 2021 Annual Meeting were received from: San Antonio, TX; Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Pasadena, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and Calgary, AB, Canada. Another round of RFPs has been sent to: Salt Lake City, UT and Denver, CO. A summary of the proposals will be discussed with the Board in June. We hope to make a decision and finalize the dates by the Fall of 2019.
What attracted you to information science as a profession and field of study?
Information science as a field of study places people at the center when discussing their information needs, use, and behavior. The field embraces diversity and inclusion. It emphasizes the importance of connecting people with information. Researching people’s information behavior is fascinating.
In what area of information science do you practice, teach or do research? What about that area of practice/study made you choose it?
I do research on children’s library services (including storytelling, reading practices, and their classification behavior) with a particular emphasis on preschool children. Using participatory methods to elicit preschool children’s perspectives is full of fun and joy. People’s information behavior starts from birth, but current LIS literature on children’s information behavior tends to focus on children above 7.
Why did you join ASIS&T?
I joined ASIS&T to become part of a leading association in the field and to keep abreast of leading and updated research through reading its news and publications and participating in conversations.
What advice would you give to young people contemplating information science as a potential profession or field of study?
Information science is a field where you learn new things all the time. It’s exciting and interesting to study how people of different ages and from all walks of life use information.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for those working in information science in the next decade?
The transformation from information/service providers to information/service facilitators will be a big challenge for information professionals. Research directions will change in accordance.
As a new member of ASIS&T; what do you forward to participating in the most?
I very much look forward to participating and presenting in ASIS&T annual meetings and publishing in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).
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.
iConnect is where ASIS&T members can ask questions, learn from the success of others, share research, and network with other leaders in Information Science & Technology.
Here are the steps:
- Navigate to community.asist.org
- Login using your email address and (ASIS&T password)
- Don't know your password? Reset it Here
Here are quick links to information that we feel you will find helpful.
- Getting Started Video
- How to Post to a Discussion
- Using the Directory
- Join the Open Forum
- Quick Guide to iConnect
CHAPTER & SIG NEWS
Asia Pacific Chapter
The Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Asia-Pacific Regional Conference was held in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia on January 3-4, 2019. The theme of this conference was Effective Learning in Low-Tech Information Environments. Even with rapid developments in technological infrastructure in many parts of the word, there exists low-tech information environments around the globe currently. Kingdom of Cambodia has made progress in the use of information technology over the past decade. However, it still lags behind the developed countries in some areas, such as IT infrastructure. This conference seeks to facilitate the effective learning in such contexts by introducing high-tech information and technological strategies, pedagogical approaches/theories for effective learning, evaluation and assessment for learning and other information practices to be implemented in low-tech environments. The full transcript can be found here.
EUROPEAN CHAPTER UPDATE
Information Science Trends: Search Engines and Information Retrieval
The ASIS&T European Chapter held its first Information Science Trends symposium at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany, on April, 26, 2019. The theme was Search Engines and Information Retrieval.
In accordance with the title of the event, more than 50 participants concentrated on the topics of search engines and computer-aided information search in exciting lectures and discussions. The full-day event in English language was thereby open to all professors, researchers, students and specialists from industry. Interested people, not able to attend, could follow the lectures via a live stream.
About the "Information Science Trends" event series
The symposium in Hamburg was the start of a new event series called "Information Science Trends", organized by the ASIS&T European Chapter. Our aim is to offer European researchers, students and experts from industry as well as academia a platform to discuss a specific topic in information science and related fields. We plan to continue the event series with a variety of topics and at different venues.
We would like to provide support for further events of this series. All interested persons are cordially invited to forward their ideas and suggestions to the ASIS&T European Chapter.
More information about the event and future events can be found here.
We are happy to answer any questions regarding the event series. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the ASIS&T European Chapter officers:
SIG - KM UPDATE
SIG - KM recently released a newsletter and blog post! Check out the latest blog post "Peering Beneath KM's Veneer"
SIG - MET UPDATE
SIG-MET is happy to announce that the METRICS workshop is accepted for the ASIS&T 82nd Annual Meeting 19-23 October 2019 Melbourne, AU.
The workshop continues the successful SIG-MET workshop series held annually since 2011 by providing an opportunity to present and discuss research in the fields of informetrics, scientometrics, bibliometrics, altmetrics, quantitative science studies, and information retrieval among experienced researchers, young academics, and practitioners.
More information, the call for papers (CFP) will be announced soon on our website.
SIG - SM UPDATE
Time flies! In this Inside ASIS&T Issue we have two gifts for you:
On behalf of the SIG Social Media officers, we would like to share with you our first newsletter!
Do you like it? Would you like to share your research and experience with other colleagues or researchers? Then send us your short report (1-2 pages) and we will include it on our next issue. Feel free to write to (Aylin Ilhan and Isabelle Dorsch). We are also looking forward to introducing a subtopic “publications” if you have published a paper about social media. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Sig Social Media Member Spotlight
We started our own Member Spotlight and are very glad to have the pleasure to introduce Dr. Muhammad Rafiq:
Dr. Muhammad Rafiq is Associate Professor at Department of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He has over 18 years of experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, conducting and supervising research, and administrating libraries and archives of government and non-government institutes. He is also serving as the Editor of Pakistan Journal of Information Management & Libraries (PJIM&L). He did his PhD on ‘Prospects of Digitization in University Libraries of Pakistan’ from University of the Punjab, Lahore. His recent research project of Post-Doc as a Fulbright Scholar at SUNY-Buffalo, USA was on Research Data Management and Services. Dr. Rafiq published a number of research papers on digitization, digital libraries, scientometrics, open source software, etc. He is also serving the community as a resource person in professional workshops and seminars. Most recently he delivered a webinar for South Asia Chapter of ASIS&T on 'Research Data Management and Role of Libraries'. His research interests are Research Data Management, Social Media, ICTs Applications in Information Settings, and Digital Libraries.
Your SIG Social Media!
JASIST VOLUME 70 ISSUE 6 IS NOW AVAILABLE
To access the ASIS&T Digital Library, you must be a current individual ASIS&T member or represent an organization with a site license (provided by Wiley). In the online library, you can browse all content by issue and table of contents, view abstracts and full text, and perform complex, full-text searches. Click this link and log on to the digital library to access JASIST.
We have several webinars coming up in the next two months. Check the website regularly as new webinars are being added weekly. Please visit our webinar events page to see the details. we encourage you to participate, as well as consider submitting a proposal for a webinar.
- UX Research Showdown: Remote Moderated Versus Remote Unmoderated User Research. Thursday, July 11, 2019
- 19-23 October 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting
- "Research Applications, Information and Library Studies (RAILS)”Conference
- Information Science and Technology Calendar
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