We are pleased to announce the 2020 ASIS&T SIG Award Winners:
SIG of the Year -- SIG III
The SIG III has been active and highly effective all year. Their officers have engaged with their students/colleagues in recruiting/retaining members. The officers were successful in getting new members to join and communicating to others on the benefits of ASIST. The SIG-III Chair (Ashraf) distributed the InfoShare Award Certificates to Pakistani and Kenyan winners. One of the certificates was given at Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya. Ashraf also introduced ASIS&T to some 20 librarians in this internationally-known park. The SIG sponsored the Pakistan Library Club Annual Convention in Karachi, Pakistan.
The plan included SIG-III Chair’s presentation on ASIS&T and its benefit to the professional community. They were expecting to recruit new members during the event, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. SIG III was very active at the AM in Melbourne, Australia, and has maintained frequent communication and news shring using iConnect, Facebook, Twitter and the ASIS&T/SIG-III website.
SIG Member of the Year -- Devendra Potnis – SIG III
Devendra Potnis has chaired the International Paper Contest (IPC) for three consecutive years. He invited and formed a jury of eight researchers and practitioners from China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, and Zimbabwe to work on the IPC committee which approved the review criteria, ethical guidelines, and overall review process for the competition developed by Devendra. In the spirit of recognizing and awarding researchers in developing countries, Devendra also proposed a new criterion of limiting the paper contest to the researchers and practitioners living and working in developing countries alone, which also was approved by the IPC committee. He developed a new mechanism of information sharing on Google Spreadsheets, wherein all members of the IPC recorded the venues (e.g., professional listservs, websites, personal emails) where the call for IPC was advertised, which avoided the replication of outreach efforts and would inform the future paper contests.
For the last three years, he individually communicated the qualitative feedback provided by the IPC jury to over 30 authors of paper contest submissions so that they can improve their work. Thus, the IPC served as a way of receiving feedback on research for several researchers and practitioners in developing countries. Devendra also coordinated email communications with the ASIS&T office for seeking certificates for the winners. He has documented the best practices for conducting IPC, which can be used in the future.
SIG Publication of the Year -- SIG-III Newsletter, March 2020
The newsletter has a vibrant layout and new design, interesting content and a comprehensive coverage of SIG III activities. The marketing strategy of sharing the newsletter with a larger audience was adopted, and most importantly the newsletter was published at a time when the whole world was facing COVID-19.
In March 2020 there was uncertainty, fear and anxiety around the globe, still SIG III officer motivated the community with a timely publication, furthermore the note from the newsletter officer encouraged the audience particularly LIS professionals to play their role during this uncertain time.