Incoming President’s Comments, May 2012


Breakfast Business

Thank you.

It has been a pleasure to serve under now Immediate-Past President Richard Shrout, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him. These are exciting times. As we all know and are experiencing, our work is constantly changing. Whether you are tagging or writing back-of-the-book indexes 'old style,' I'm looking forward to working with you.

It has also been a pleasure to work with the Board this week. I am proud to announce our new vision and mission statements:

  • The Voice of Excellence in Indexing
  • We advocate, educate, and provide the central resource for indexing.

However you may be indexing, you are helping others access information. Indexing allows others to see the gold, to see the data, to see the information.

When I was first tasked with setting the theme for this conference, I wanted to find a way to bring in the bling. I even went so far as to consider requesting a disco ball for this gathering. But considering the many crystals of the chandeliers above us, the bright  light shining off them, I don't think that would have been necessary.

As we write our indexes we analyze and consider all sides and faces of subjects. We see and understand all the ways one might look or come to information, and even better, we know how to shed light on all its different aspects.

Many of us employ facet analysis. Some database folk may even call it dimensional modeling.

And that's what's really making me happy these days: We are not alone. Through the efforts of the Digital Trends Task Force (DTTF), ePub standards include indexes.

The list of ASI members and others who have volunteered and supported the DTTF is long, I am delighted to report. Please take a moment to review the list of DTTF volunteers and thank them in person next time you see them. You can learn more at the DTTF Resources page of the ASI web site.

Through the efforts of the DTTF, and with thanks to Paul Sweum, we are talking with Jeff Bezos and Amazon - hopefully, keep your fingers crossed - for improved functionality of the Kindle X-Ray feature, for the inclusion of indexes in free sample materials, and for overall improved functionality of indexes in. People are listening and responding. Indeed, we are not alone.

So I ask you, if you are not already involved, come and join us. You can do so shyly! If you're not sure where to start, join the ASI Digital Trends Task Force LinkedIn group online. (And if you're not already a member, you may also want to join the main ASI LinkedIn group.)

If you experience a bad index or an index that doesn't work as it should - in a book, ebook, whatever medium or platform - all you need to do is post some comments online at the bookseller's page. Include  a plug for yourself as a professional indexer, and for ASI as a source for quality indexing, and you too are spreading education and awareness  of quality indexing.

Tools are multiplying. Technology is advancing. And indexing is always needed. It is up to us to ensure quality indexing whatever the  medium or the platform.

Many thanks to Galen Schroeder for his continuing efforts for peer review and other ways to recognize quality index work. Content must always be king. Many thanks too to Margie Towery and the rest of the Wilson Award Committee for their work this year. It's too bad there's no Wilson Award winner I can point you all to. All the more reason for my work, for your work, for our work, to be of utmost quality.

(See also Wilson Award Committee Chair Margie Towery's comments on this year's Wilson Award experience.)

Here's to a Wilson Award-winning future for ASI and all our      members, and to an increasing supply of quality indexes and indexing in all our fields of vision.

Questions and comments? Contact me directly, at

Pilar Wyman

President, ASI

May 2, 2012


American Society for Indexing

phone: (480) 245-6750