Inside ASIS&T, May 2018
Lisa M. Given, PhD
In early June, the ASIS&T Board will be meeting in person in Vancouver, Canada, the host city for this year’s Annual Meeting. It is hard to believe that we are less than six months away from the conference – where does the time go? By now, many of you will have received acceptance notices for your conference submissions, while others may still be waiting to hear back from the committee on a decision. For those of you who were not successful, I hope that the reviewers’ comments will guide you in strengthening your work – and I encourage you to submit again next year, for the 2019 conference, which will be held here in Melbourne, Australia.
In my speech at the Annual General Meeting last year I noted that the Board would be “taking stock” of our committee structure. I have been working with the President’s Advisory Working Group to explore some ideas about how our committees might evolve and I will be discussing these ideas with the Board at our upcoming meeting. In our busy lives it is easy and comfortable to continue on as we have in the past. For volunteer organisations, in particular, we may take our structures and ways of working as givens, rather than devoting time and energy to review and refresh how we work.
Yet, this type of renewal is critical to ensuring that our approach to guiding our practices and supporting our membership is meeting our needs. As an expat Canadian (who is preparing for the cold of winter here in Australia), I feel as though I am channelling spring as I work with the group. It is as though we are clearing out the cobwebs of a long winter and preparing for what lies ahead in the coming months, with a renewed energy and spark that can only come from bringing people together with a shared vision. When the strategic plan was first developed, the Board at the time noted that the committee structure needed some attention – so the time is right to step back and think about our needs for the rest of 2018 and beyond. I look forward to sharing more about these ideas with you all in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the Board is also turning attention to planning ahead for the 2019 Annual Meeting, given that we will be hosting the conference in the southern hemisphere for the first time. As with our successful conference in Copenhagen, moving the conference offshore from North America requires some additional planning and earlier timelines to ensure that the word gets out across the membership. The dates for this conference, as well as details about the conference theme, planning committee, venue, etc., will be shared with you in the coming months, ahead of the 2018 Annual Meeting. We will also be launching a marketing campaign to recruit new attendees from across the Asia-Pacific region and from other locales, world-wide. If Australia has been on your “bucket list” of lifetime travel destinations, now is the time to start planning that trip!
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN
Lydia S. Middleton, MBA, CAE
Lisa’s column this month, in which she discusses the importance of not taking our processes and systems for granted but always thinking about how we can do things better, is very timely and resonates with me as I think about how we can continue to improve upon what and how we do things – all with a view to enhancing the member experience.
As I’ve told you before, one of the key areas of priority that the Board and I are focused on is to increase the value of membership in ASIS&T. We can accomplish this in two different ways. One way is to give you more for your dues dollar. And we are striving to do just that. The new community platform will soon be an invaluable resource that you will turn to when you have a question, need a resource, or want to find a colleague. This takes some time to build and we appreciate your patience along the way. Another way we give you more for your dues dollar is through increasing the number of webinars you may access at no cost each month. The staff is working hard to build a calendar that will provide at least two webinars each month on topics relevant to both research and practice. And we are investigating other products and services that would benefit you as members of ASIS&T.
There is a second way that we drive value into membership. That is by providing benefits to ASIS&T members that are unavailable or only available at a cost to non-members. Again, webinars are a good example of this. Webinars are free to members and cost $25 to non-members to attend or download. Access to the membership directory and the online community are member-only benefits that are not available to non-members at any cost. The more benefits that are not available to non-members, the more value you will realize in your membership.
This has recently become an issue as it relates to the ASIS&T Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The bylaws define Special Interest Groups as follows: “A Special Interest Group (SIG) consists of a group of Members concerned with a particular field of interest in documentation or information science and is chartered by the Board of Directors. Groups shall retain their charters at the discretion of the Board of Directors.” A key component of this definition is that a SIG is made up of Members of the Association. Our bylaws require membership in ASIS&T in order to be a member of a SIG. And one of the key benefits of SIG membership is to be a part of the conversation about the topic of the SIG and the activities of the SIG. Until now these conversations have taken place primarily on the ASIS&T listserves, and for many years now there has been no restriction to who could join a SIG listserv nor were people removed from a listserv when they ceased being members of ASIS&T.
With this notion of member value in mind, ASIS&T staff, with the counsel of the Board, decided that moving the activities of the SIGs to the new Community Platform would allow enhanced communication between SIG members, the ability to share documents and files, and an improved networking ability. This was communicated at the SIG Cabinet meeting at the Annual Meeting. The tradeoff for this move to the community platform, however, is that only members of ASIS&T have access to the new community platform. This will leave those individuals who are either lapsed ASIS&T members or were never members at all without a vehicle to connect with the SIG. In order to create a means for them to remain engaged without purchasing a Professional Membership in ASIS&T, we created the Community Only membership which allows an individual to be a member of one or more SIGs as well as their local chapter if one exists without accessing or paying for all of the benefits of ASIS&T membership.
To some this change may seem dramatic and exclusionary. However, this has been carefully thought out and planned by ASIS&T leadership and discussed with the Board. Input has been sought via the SIG Cabinet Director who has been in touch with individual SIG leadership. Many SIGs are eager to launch their new platform sites and start engaging in that way. But others are concerned about losing members of their community. And while I share this concern, I also know that we cannot continue to try to be all things to all people at the expense of member value. If we allow non-members of ASIS&T to access what should be an ASIS&T member-only benefit, why would those who see their SIG membership as the most important part of being a member of ASIS&T continue to pay dues when they can get what they want for free?
The SIGs have always enjoyed a high level of autonomy in ASIS&T which has traditionally been a very decentralized organization. That culture is changing at the urging of the Board and based on my own knowledge of association management best practice. That does not mean that SIGs will not continue to be able to operate independently, manage their own budgets, and create their own programming. In fact, we encourage that. However, ASIS&T HQ must put into place some systems and processes that will allow us to have an enhanced ability to drive quality improvement in SIG performance and productivity while ensuring that the product of that performance and productivity benefits ASIS&T members exclusively.
I was accused recently of taking a business approach in an organization that has traditionally been about people. I thought about that a lot and decided that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. ASIS&T is still about people. However, if we fail to look out for the ASIS&T bottom line, it won’t be long before we will be closing our doors altogether. There’s an old saying in the non-profit world…”No Margin, No Mission.” We have to make pragmatic decisions that will secure our future financial position by strengthening our appeal to members and those that spend their money with us. If we don’t do this then we will be failing our fiduciary responsibilities to the organization and our members. And while these decisions may cause short-term pain, they are designed to deliver long-term gain for ASIS&T and the profession.
I’m happy to discuss these issues with anyone who has thoughts and questions about this complex topic.
All the best,
The ASIS&T Board of Directors will be meeting June 4-5 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver Hotel in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As always, any ASIS&T member is invited to attend. The meeting agenda is as follows:
- Review of Minutes
- President’s Report
- President-Elect Report
- Executive Director’s Report
- Budget and Finance Committee Report
a. YTD Financial Statement
b. 2019 Draft Budget
c. 2017 Draft Audited Financial Statement
d. 2017 Draft 990 Form
- Committee Reports
- Nominations Committee Report
- 2018 Annual Meeting
- SIG Manual Updates
- Committee Structure & Succession
- Committee Revision Proposals
- ALISE RFP & Joint Meeting Proposal
- Office Space Proposal
- 2019 Meeting Risk Analysis
- Membership Update
- Membership Dues Revision
- Chapter Revitalization
- History Award Criteria
- Strategic Partnerships & Liaisons
- ASIS&T Code of Ethics / Conduct
In addition to the current Board of Directors and select ASIS&T Staff, invited guests include Brenda Woods, CPA, Dembo Jones (Auditor); Luanne Freund, PhD (Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair); Sarah Buchannan, PhD (SIG Cabinet Deputy Director); Timothy Dickey, PhD (Chapter Assembly Deputy Director)
1--What attracted you to information science as a profession and field of study?
After a decade of working in different capacities with library-related technology and content publishers and vendors, I realized information science really was a passion that went beyond the job description in my daily professional life. I decided to pursue an MLIS so I could more formally explore different areas of information science and librarianship. Once I began to understand the wide scope of the profession and the applicability of its methods and processes to research and practice across disciplines, I was hooked.
2--In what area of information science do you practice, teach or do research? What about that area of practice/study made you choose it?
With a soft spot for bibliographic data analysis and an empirical focus on research outputs and workflows in the arts and humanities, my research interests lay primarily in two areas of information science: research assessment and impact studies (bibliometrics, altmetrics, the development of quality indicators), and, scholarly communications or scientific processes (eScience, Open Access and scholarly publishing, research data, researcher profiling and evaluation). The term I have adopted for my research focus is “the sociology of scholarly capital.” To me, this idea includes the social impact of the communication changes inherent in the digital transmission of scholarly ideas (or content) and the underlying social forces that shape concepts of academic value for individuals and institutions. The sociology of scholarly capital pervades why academics do research and how they find information. It influences what and where they publish and how their ideas are assessed and declared “valuable” by the community.
3--Why did you join ASIS&T and what does your membership in ASIS&T do for you?
I was fortunate to join the San Jose State University ASIS&T Student Chapter in my first semester in the MLIS program. Amidst the numerous emails new students receive, I remember the invitation to join the Student Chapter because it was specifically focused on information technology and building community within the larger iSchool experience (which seemed very overwhelming). I jumped in head first and have been actively involved in ASIS&T over the past 4 years because of the community and the ability to feel connected to like-minded peers with similar interests, even while experiencing the benefits of a large, international Association. Members can get involved in a number of ways that help them meet their current and future needs for personal or professional development and find their “people” in ASIS&T and the larger profession. Members can join Chapters and SIGs that help them focus on particular areas of interest or build regional networks with peers; they can expand their leadership experience by volunteering with Committees; and, they can explore research interests and professional development by presenting a Webinar or other event, and at the Annual Meeting by presenting papers, taking part in a Panel, presenting posters, and, of course, by staying up-to-date through JASIST. The ability to stay generally connected through a large Association while tailoring my specific involvement based on changing professional or personal needs has been the key to finding, maintaining, and continually expanding the value of my membership within ASIS&T.
4--What advice would you give to young people contemplating information science as a potential profession or field of study?
Regardless of your particular interests, the information science community means that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to find your way or to be successful. Do not be shy about speaking up or asking for advice or help, take on leadership roles when you can, and definitely don’t be shy about making sure that your experiences meet your personal and professional needs. Reach out to faculty and other students, invite “research celebrities” or luminaries to present a webinar on a topic you are interested in, and never be afraid to ask. Whether within ASIS&T or the larger profession, our peers and colleagues in the information science field are a welcoming and friendly bunch. Tap into that expertise in the ways that make sense for you and build from it….even on day one you don’t have to start at square one!
5--What do you think will be the biggest challenge for those working in information science in the next decade?
Fake news and information literacy in a Google-ized world will continue to be important topics in the next decade. As we move into the post-Information Age, one of the biggest challenges facing all information scientists will be to continually make connections between the day-to-day information needs of an increasingly online/wired public and the expertise of our profession. As demands and expectations around information change, we can expect more attacks on Libraries and “traditional” sources of information. In the face of change and challenges, it is increasingly important that the value of information and information professionals be expanded and reflected in new ways. Information science should adopt and adapt as a mantra the famous words of Linton Weeks and remind policymakers and the public that within the nonstop tidal wave of global information, information science not only helps fuel the wave but it also provides us with the floaties and teaches us to swim.
Make the Most Out of Your ASIS&T Membership in 2018!
May is wrapping up, and it's got us thinking: professional associations are essential resources to the individuals that belong to them and the industries they serve. That said, how can you make sure you're getting the most out of your ASIS&T membership? Since our goal here at ASIS&T is to support both academics and practitioners in the information sciences, we asked our own, for two tips on fully realizing the benefits of membership.
Take advantage of professional development opportunities
- Whether you work at a university, a tech company, in the medical community or elsewhere, there is much to be gained through ASIS&T Membership.
- ASIS&T provides you with important research regarding new trends and provides forums to develop best practices within the field.
- As a member, you can take advantage of free and discounted professional development opportunities that can help you excel at your job.
Network with your peers
- We all know professional networking can be a chore but getting to know like-minded peers can be a great way to expand your network, learn more about your industry, and even make your next job search easier.
- From our engaging on message threads, to lunches to annual meetings, ASIS&T provides many opportunities to meet people with similar professional interests and goals.
Gain leadership experience
By joining ASIS&T, you’ve increased the range of leadership opportunities that you might otherwise miss out on. Though board-level positions are generally earned through years of participation and service, you can join growing number of volunteers in Chapters, Special Interest Groups and other volunteer opportunities that can help you grow in the field.
We hope this guide inspired you to dive into your ASIS&T this year.
CHAPTER & SIG NEWS
NEW ENGLAND CHAPTER
NE-ASIS&T Annual Travel Award 2018 Winners!
In the category of Student, we would like to congratulate Alyson Gamble, Ph.D. student at Simmons College’s School of Library and Information Science! Gamble’s research is focused on biomedical informatics and UX testing, with the goal of improving access to medical information. At this year’s ASIS&T, Gamble looks forward to learning more about ethical issues in the field, meeting others who are working on related initiatives, and continuing to serve in leadership roles within the organization.
In the category of Professional, we would like to congratulate Tina McAndrew of the Westborough Public Library! Tina is the Technology and Technical Services Librarian for the Westborough Public Library. In this position, Tina hopes to identify new trends in technology that she can offer to the people she serves. At the conference, Tina’s goal is to meet and create partnerships with other information professionals to learn more about how new technologies will provide equitable access to information.
RDAP Happy Hour
On Tuesday, March 20th, data professionals from around North America gathered in an Irish pub in Chicago to get warmed up for the annual Research Data Access & Preservation Summit (RDAP). NEASIS&T was there with drinks (and fried food) in hand to welcome folks as they arrived for RDAP with a special pre-conference Happy Hour.
The RDAP Summit explores themes such as open data, data infrastructure, metadata, and data preservation. The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.
Since ASIS&T supports many diverse communities, NEASIS&T thought it would be a great opportunity to connect with the RDAP attendees, and encourage them to become involved in the ASIS&T community. The Happy Hour was not just for New Englanders, as the goal was to facilitate and build regional connections to the larger association!
NEASIS&T Board Members Joshua and Julie, as well as new ASIS&T Executive Director Lydia Middleton, were on hand to talk about benefits of local chapter communities, and to “cheers” the start of RDAP 2018!
MIT Media Lab
On Tuesday April 17, NEASIST members, along with students at Simmons College’s School of Library Information Science, had the rare opportunity to receive a private tour of the MIT Media Lab with Williams Powers, a research scientist at the Lab’s Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM) and a plenary speaker at the 2017 ASIST Annual Meeting. The MIT Media lab consists of over two dozen labs devoted to a variety of interdisciplinary projects that converge on themes of people, media, and society and their intersections with technology and machines. As part of the tour, we also learned about the LSM’s work, especially the Electome Project, which mapped Twitter conversations about the 2016 US Presidential Election, leading to some fascinating revelations. We followed up with a post-event happy hour to debrief and network.
CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER
CO-ASIS&T successfully hosted a discussion on the Ohio Digital Network, a newly up-and-running service hub for the Digital Public Library of America, on April 19th. Speakers included Missy Lodge, Jen Johnson, Peter Kukla, and CO-ASIS&T Penelope Shumaker, all from the State Library of Ohio. The event was attended by over 30 people at the State Library and 15 people online via GoToMeeting.
Following up on their 2017 Chapter Event of the Year, CO-ASIS&T is planning the 2018 edition of the Summer of Tours. The first event will take place May 19th at the Library at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, featuring zoo librarian Sheila Campbell. The Zoo Library has been a popular tour in past for CO-ASIS&T, and this year is no exception with the event already sold out. Other events planned for the Summer of Tours include Delaware County District Library, Ohio State's Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Grant Morrow, III MD Medical Library at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio State's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, and Chemical Abstracts Service.
EUROPEAN STUDENT CHAPTER
Lydia Middleton, ASIS&T Executive Director, recently had the opportunity to visit with several of the leaders of the European Student Chapter of ASIS&T at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf where they were hosting a guest lecture by Dr. Wassim Ahmed on his social media research on infectious disease outbreaks.
2018 ANNUAL MEETING UPDATES
ASIS&T ANNUAL MEETING AND REGISTRATION OPENS
CELEBRATE OUR 81st ANNIVERSARY
Registration is now open for the 2018 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, November 10-14, 2018. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and will include education sessions by well-known speakers and performers. As usual, the Annual Meetings features committee meetings, receptions, and numerous networking opportunities, and much more.
Make sure you have a valid passport, and if you need a visa invitation letter, please contact DeVonne Parks as soon as possible.
2018 ANNUAL MEETING SPONSORS:
University of Illinois
Department of Library and Information Science, University at Buffalo
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, practitioners, engineering, education, linguistics, librarianship, chemistry, law, healthcare management, students, and professors in the field of information science and technology from 50 countries around the world. Sponsorship opportunities include:
- Opening Plenary
- Closing Plenary
- Welcome Reception
- Student Reception
- Coffee Breaks
- Hotel Key Cards
- Conference Bags
- Charging Station
- Conference Wifi
- Video / Recorded Sessions
- Mobile App
- Sponsor A Student
There are plenty of options to choose from to make you stand out. Details of all sponsorships and other opportunities are on the ASIS&T AM18 website, and we would love the opportunity to speak with you about how your organization/university could best benefit from being a sponsor at this exciting event. 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 Sponsorships noted in the subject line.
ASIS&T puts the security of our members at a high priority. We’ve spent the last few months working to make sure our systems are compliant with General Data Protection Regulation. Although this is a regulation specific to those residing in the European Union ASIS&T is committed to delivering protections to all members.
Why is this important? It will allow you (our members) to have more control over your data and how your data is used. Please take a few minutes to review our enhanced Disclaimer, Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions.
- June 14, 2018 -- "Introduction to Metadata Application Profiles" with Karen Coyle
- Save the Date: July 5, 2018 -- The Role of Dublin Core Metadata in the Expanding Digital and Analytical Skill Set Required by Data-Driven Organizations
- Save the Date: July 19, 2018 -- The Current State of Automated Content Tagging: Dangers and Opportunities
- November 10-14, 2018 -- 2018 ASIS&T Annual Meeting - Vancouver, BC