Liberating the Index
2007 Annual Conference
23—26 May 2007
Planning is now under way for the celebration of ASI’s 40th anniversary at the 2007 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, where we will celebrate ASI’s history and explore the issues and technological advances that shape our profession.
Our conference theme, “Liberating the Index,” recognizes both the history of the city and the fact that our profession now expands far beyond back-of-the-book indexing, embracing formats and technologies that were unimaginable when the Society was founded in New York City in 1968.
As part of ASI’s anniversary celebration, ASI will honor its founding members and the history of our Society, recalling the days when indexes were created on cards, most ASI members lived on the Eastern Seaboard, and dedicated indexing software was the stuff of science fiction. The Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, May 26, will feature presentations by four former ASI Presidents — Alan Greengrass, Barbara Preschel, Dorothy Thomas, and Diana Witt — whose respective terms span the history of the Society from 1968 through the early 2000s, discussing the issues that shaped ASI during each decade.
Then we’ll fast-forward 40 years as we explore the tools and issues that “liberate” both the index and our professional lives, from software developments to techniques that can help us work faster and smarter.
Indexers and the publishing industry have been liberated by technology from the geographical constraints that existed 40 years ago in building a client base and producing and delivering finished indexes. At the same time, our profession was changed by that technology as we moved from index cards to dedicated software, and from printed indexes to embedded code that can be reused in a variety of formats. Plenary sessions, workshops, and breakout sessions will address the issues that can help us deal effectively with all this freedom. A program preview is now available, summarizing workshops, breakout sessions, and other events that are currently scheduled.
Jayne A Hitchcock, our Keynote Speaker, will address the topic of “The Wild, Wild Web: Staying Safe Online,” offering tips that can help liberate indexers from the dangers inherent in conducting business online. Jayne is an internationally recognized cyber-crime expert who has worked with U.S. legislators in the drafting and passing of many Internet laws. She has been featured on CNN, 48 Hours, Primetime, Good Morning America, and The Montel Williams Show and was selected by Lifetime TV as its “Champion for Change.” The author of eight books, including Net Crimes & Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering Web Spammers, Stalkers, and Con Artists, 2nd Edition (Information Today, Inc., 2006), Jayne also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Cyber Crimes and Criminal Justice and is a regular contributor to several magazines. She will be signing copies of her books following the presentation.
Jill O’Neill, Director of Planning & Communication for NFAIS, will be a featured speaker on Saturday morning, discussing “Adapting to Change; Sustaining Knowledge”. The information community is in transition. Just what our information tools, resources and practices will look like in another five years is impossible to say. Even more disconcerting, the rate of change varies according to one’s functional setting in the information landscape. Players, large and small, are seeking out those tools and technologies that provide a strategic advantage, even as they reformulate their ideas regarding the nature of content and its use. This talk will provide an overview of the current areas of volatility for the information community in supporting the needs of both digital immigrants and digital natives.
Happy Anniversary, ASI!