Your Professional Development is Your Responsibility

 by Lori Lathrop, 1998 Conference Organizer
As Alvin Toffler once said,

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."

That's the challenge facing all of us, whether we are professional indexers, editors, writers, or publishers. We must take our own professional development into our own hands. If we don't "keep up" with our peers, we will soon find ourselves in "catch up" mode, trying desperately to keep our clients and peers from discovering our shortcomings.

Are you on a first name basis with your fellow professionals? If you need help with a project, do you know who to call? Have you been investing in your own professional development? Are your skills current? Or are you hoping that you can just continue doing things the way you've always done them?

Do you have expertise that you want to share with other professional indexers, editors, writers, and publishers? Do you want to learn how to market your services more effectively? Would you like to know how to apply your skills in new ways? Are you interested in becoming more active in your professional organization?

New Frontiers in Indexing. You have an opportunity this year to take your own professional development into your own hands by attending the 30th ASI Annual Conference, which ASI is celebrating with the Indexing and Abstracting Society of Canada/Societe canadienne pour l'analyse de documents (IASC/SCAD) at Cavanaugh's Inn in Seattle, May 13-16, 1998. It will include a day and a half of General Session Presentations (May 15 & 16), two days of pre-conference workshops (May 13 & 14), and a half-day of post-conference workshops (May 16).

Strategic Planning Input. As you may know, ASI is in the beginning stages of strategic planning, and we want you to be a part of it. Throughout the conference, you will have opportunities to talk with ASI Board members about your concerns, your views, and your vision of where ASI should be as we head into the 21st century.

Global Perspectives. This year's conference will have an international flavor. At the same time, it will be something of a "Who's Who" of professional indexing organizations. Noeline Bridge (President of IASC), Allan Walker (President of the Australian Society of Indexers - AusSI), Jill Halliday (President of the Society of Indexers in the U.K.), and our own Alexandra Nickerson will give us updates on their organizations' activities.

Keynote Speaker.  John Hedtke, our keynote speaker, is an award-winning author of many articles and computer books (which he indexes himself). His tips on Freelance Success are both enlightening and entertaining. Also, insightful speakers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia will introduce you to hot topics that help you stay current and competitive, keys to your success and to building your business for tomorrow.

General Session Presentations
Highlights of the General Session (9 AM - 4 PM on May 15 and 9 AM - Noon on May 16) will include:

  • Annapolis Middle School Project. - Session Manager: Janet Perlman / Presenters: Maria Coughlin and Nadalina Dineva on their innovative program.
  • Certification Issues - a panel discussion. Learn what the issues are, question the panelists, and form your own educated opinion about certification issues. Moderator: Betty Moys, S.I. / Presenters: Elinor Lindheimer (ASI), Bob Richardson (ASI), Enid Zafran (ASI) and Max McMaster (AusSI).
  • The Effect of a Book Index on Re-publication as a CD-ROM - Session Manager: Peg Mauer / Presenter: Betty Moys, S.I.
  • Indexing as a Career: Development Issues - Session Manager: Carolyn Weaver / Presenter: Jill Halliday, President of the Society of Indexers.
  • Indexing in Multilingual & Multicultural Environments - Session Manager: Lori Lathrop / Presenter: Michele Huron, IASC.
  • Indexing Single Source Documents and Productivity Tips & Tricks - Session Manager: Jan Wright / Presenter: Fred Brown, IASC.
  • Internet Searches: Cyber Indexes and Cyber Reality - presentation by David Billick, Microsoft Corporation.
  • Scandals Missing Persons, & Murders: An Indexer's Dream - presentation on newspaper indexing by Margean Gladys (Kalamazoo Public Library).

NOTE: The above list may not be complete. A more complete Preliminary Program and Registration Form will soon be on its way to ASI members.

Pre-conference Workshops
Workshops on May 13 and 14 are designed to meet the needs of both new indexers and more seasoned professionals; they include:

  • Basic Indexing Techniques - Presenters: Joanne Clendenen and Kay Kutscha Schlemback (a mentor/mentee team that often collaborates on projects) - South Central Chapter
  • Bidding & Winning: Writing Successful Proposals - Presenters: Janet Perlman - ASI Arizona Chapter, and Noeline Bridge - IASC.
  • Editing Indexes - Presenters: Allan Walker, AusSI, and Pilar Wyman, ASI - DC Metro Chapter
  • Facing the Text: Content Analysis and Entry Selection in Social Services and Humanities Indexing - Do Mi Stauber
  • Hiring and Training Legal Indexers - Presenters: Mary An Chulick (Westgroup, Cleveland, OH) and Kim Hunter (BNA, Washington, DC)
  • Medical Indexing: Coming to Terms with Tradition and Technology - Presenters: Cynthia Bertelsen - ASI DC Metro Chapter, Carolyn Weaver - ASI Puget Sound Chapter, and Pilar Wyman - ASI DC Metro Chapter
  • Pageless Indexing or Indexing Electronic Media - Presenter: Seth Maislin, ASI - Massachusetts Chapter
  • Understanding Indexing with PageMaker - Presenter: Jan Wright, ASI - Puget Sound Chapter

Post-conference Workshops
The following post-conference workshops are designed for indexers with a desire to apply their skills in new ways:

  • Creating Keywords for Online Help - Presenter: Jan Wright
  • Indexing Images: New Contexts, New Frontiers - Presenters: Christine Jacobs - IASC, and James Turner - IASC
  • Pageless Indexing or Indexing Electronic Media - a repeat performance by Seth Maislin
  • What's in a Name?: Beyond Webster's Biographical Dictionary - Presenter: Jean A. Thompson