See Also—December 2023

ASI News
—Former ASI president Kate Mertes
—Special event to focus on time-saving hacks
—Learn CINDEX tips and tricks at January webinar
—Three seats opening on ASI board
—ASI seeks editor for quarterly journal
—Webmaster team members needed
—Join Membership Committee
Chapters and SIGS
—Mid- and South- Atlantic Chapter gather online on December 14
—New leader for Chicago Great Lakes Chapter
—Joining a chapter
Associated Industry News
—Bartmess wins Purple Pen contest
—Get a look at the ANZSI conference
To Your Health
—Health care enrollment
Business and Marketing
—Take a look: Antivirus software
Spotlight on Mylinh Hamlington

ASI News

Former president Kate Mertes has died

Esteemed indexer Kate Mertes died November 28, 2023, in Alexandria, Virginia, where she lived. Kate was a two-term ASI president who shared her indexing expertise in many ways—through conferences, online learning courses, webinars and Key Words articles and columns. Her service to ASI was recognized with the Hines Award in 2014.

Kate died after suffering a devastating cardiac event two weeks after a kidney transplant last month, according to her close friend and colleague Enid Zafran. Enid reflects on Kate's life and accomplishments here.

Indexers have been reflecting on the profound loss of Kate. "Kate will be so missed—a masterful indexer, and a real boon to ASI. We can’t even begin to count the number of ways she helped out her fellow indexers through teaching, by her shining example, by serving ASI and with one-on-one advice," wrote Jan Wright on an online discussion list.

A funeral for Kate will be held on December 7, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church and Cemetery, 5612 Ox Road in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

Special event to focus on time-saving hacks

Learn tips to work smarter at ASI's "Indexing Life Hacks" special event on Tuesday, December 5. The hacks shared by four experts will focus on saving time, minimizing stress, and increasing efficiency in your indexing work.

Kendra Millis reveals time-saving measures you can use to make PDFs more indexer friendly. Marilyn Augst shares her system for project and client tracking. Ergonomic expert Dr. Lindsay McGraw teaches you the ins and outs of creating an ergonomic workspace. Fred Leise provides guidelines for indexing footnotes, as well as tips to help speed your notes indexing.

There is still time to register for the half-day event, which starts at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time; 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Complete details can be found here.


Learn CINDEX tips and tricks at January webinar

Get an introduction to little-used tools and functions in CINDEX software to help improve efficiency. CINDEX expert Maria Sullivan will lead a webinar on January 17, 2024, on ways to maximize the software.

This will include:

  • Using keystroke shortcuts.
  • Accessing extended characters.
  • Creating headnotes.
  • Reconciling headings.
  • Importing and splitting entries.

Whether you are a seasoned CINDEX user or new to the program, you can discover tips and tricks. Maria has been providing support for CINDEX users directly—first with Indexing Research, and now with Scribendi.

Full details and registration for the webinar are located here.

Three seats opening on ASI board

Consider serving on ASI's Board of Directors. There will be three available seats on the board in 2024, and the Nominating Committee welcomes your interest and input on filling the positions for:

  • President-elect
  • Two Directors-at-large

The president-elect attends all board meetings, serves as president the following year (2025-2026), and then as immediate past president, chairing the Nominating Committee—a three-year commitment in all. Directors serve a three-year term.

Responsibilities of all offices include participating in quarterly board meetings, acting as a liaison between the board and their assigned ASI committee(s), and contributing to other organizational issues and projects of interest. ASI's bylaws offer complete information on board responsibilities.

The deadline for receiving suggestions by the Nominating Committee is January 12, 2024. Please email Gina Guilinger or Shannon Li.

ASI seeks editor for quarterly journal

The American Society for Indexing is seeking an editor for its quarterly journal, Key Words—the premier resource for indexing professionals in the United States. The editor, who must be a member of ASI, will be responsible for planning the content for each issue, soliciting contributions, editing and proofreading copy, and supervising the layout production.

The editor receives an honorarium for each quarterly issue.

The application deadline is December 15, 2023. Complete details can be found here.

Webmaster team members needed

Would you like to help keep ASI's website up to date? The webmaster team is looking for volunteers. The committee usually works as a team of four, with each member being on call one week each month. The webmaster-of-the-week (WOW) responds to emails received in the webmaster mailbox, makes requested updates to the website as appropriate, and refers questions to other responsible parties, as needed. At the end of the week, a brief report is sent to the team members.

Interested or have questions? Email Jennifer Spanier.

Join Membership Committee

Welcome new ASI members by serving on the Membership Committee—which is looking for two volunteers to join the team.

In this position, you would contact new members to answer any questions they have about ASI, as well as learn how they became interested in indexing. Each volunteer does this once a year for two consecutive months. The committee's volunteers find these tasks to be enjoyable and informative, chairperson Mamta Jha said.

Email Mamta if you can help, and she will share all the details.

Chapters and SIGS


Mid- and South-Atlantic Chapter gather online on December 14

Members of the Mid- and South-Atlantic Chapter of ASI will gather on December 14 for a Zoom lunch meeting to discuss chapter finances and to plan events for 2024. The meeting will be held from noon to 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.

No registration is necessary, and members will be sent the Zoom link.

For information about the chapter, email Connie Binder.

New leader for Chicago Great Lakes Chapter

Matthew Krecic is now leading the ASI's Chicago Great Lakes Chapter.

Matthew is a veterinarian based in Chicago who works as a medical and grant writer. He has also served on the executive board of the American Association of Industry Veterinarians.

He discovered the world of indexing through a 2022 webinar and is currently taking the ASI training course. He stepped up to lead the chapter after the death of longtime chapter leader Jim Fuhr in May.

Look for an announcement in the first quarter of 2024 about chapter activity. Questions? Email Matthew.

Joining a chapter

ASI members can join a chapter at any time, but your first chapter is free with membership. Select it at the time of your annual renewal, by selecting "Click to choose as first Chapter" in the shopping cart. Additional chapter membership is $14 per year.

Information about all of ASI's chapters can be found here.

Associated Industry News

Bartmess wins Purple Pen contest

ASI member Elizabeth Bartmess earned the 2023 Purple Pen prize for the index she wrote for Immanent Critiques: The Frankfurt School Under Pressure, by Martin Jay and published by Verso Books. The Institute of Certified Indexers (ICI) awards the prize.

Elizabeth, who is also a member of the Indexing Society of Canada, is a San Francisco Bay Area indexer with a background in the social and information sciences. She has been indexing since 2022 and is also active in ASI's Pacific Northwest Chapter.

The ICI judges praised Elizabeth for setting up a solid structure to her index, explaining she linked the various discussions of the main themes through a network of cross-references. They praised the thoroughness and accuracy of the index for this collection of essays.

This was the tenth and final year of ICI's contest.

Get a look at the ANZSI conference

Frances Lennie, owner of Indexing Research, attended the annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI), held October 19-20, 2023, in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Here is an excerpt from her report:

Not only was it a great pleasure to reconnect, personally and professionally, with my Antipodean colleagues who I had not seen in person during the Covid pandemic, the featured speakers provided insight into related areas of indexing activity (database and thesaurus construction; contributing to the user experience through linked data), as well as issues that confront our profession today (e-indexes, author-produced indexes, and the rise of artificial intelligence), along with methods and techniques on how best to produce, maintain, and promote quality indexing.

For more details on the speakers and presentations, see Fran's full report in the upcoming winter issue of Key Words.

To Your Health

Health care enrollment

LIG Solutions, a benefit of ASI membership, offers help evaluating health insurance options to find the best and most affordable coverage for individuals. New this year, LIG is holding a webinar series and on-demand programs to learn more about coverage options.

Insurance enrollment periods are:

  • Medicare Annual Enrollment: Ends December 7, 2023.
  • Under 65 Open Enrollment: Ends December 15, 2023 (for coverage effective January 1, 2024).
  • Under 65 Open Enrollment: December 16, 2023, through January 15, 2024 (for coverage effective February 1).
  • Employer Coverage: Can typically be done at any time of the year.

General information about the LIG program through ASI is available here.

Business and Marketing

Take a look: Antivirus software

Antivirus software is crucial to help prevent hacking from compromising your business and personal information. PC Magazine and Forbes Advisor have recently updated their “Best Antivirus Software for 2023” lists.

Spotlight on Mylinh Hamlington

This month's Spotlight is on Mylinh Hamlington, owner of Mountain to See Indexing.

If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Laurie Hlavaty.

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?

I currently live in Altadena, California, which is near Los Angeles, just north of Pasadena. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and have also lived in St. Louis, Missouri, and Norfolk, Virginia.

I live with my husband, our 8- and 10-year-old daughters, and our two dogs.

What is your educational background?

I have an undergraduate degree in Educational Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Denver. I completed the UC Berkeley indexing course in April 2023.

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?

I spend my free time playing video games on the Nintendo Switch, watching trashy reality TV shows, and crafting. I love crafts of all kinds and enjoy learning new ones. In the past year or so, I've been working on paint-by-numbers, 3-D wooden puzzles, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knitting, crocheting, and sewing clothes. I also enjoy traveling with my family. We visited Tokyo this past summer and are hoping to travel to Europe next summer.

As far as volunteering, I started a discussion group for BIPOC indexers and indexers who are from other historically marginalized groups. Called "Indexers of Diversity," it is a subgroup of the Indexers Discussion Group (IDG). My hope is that this group will support and build a community for diverse indexers, with a longer-term goal of helping to further diversify the profession.

I've also volunteered to help index the ASI journal Key Words and am contemplating running for a director-at-large position with ASI.

What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?

I am currently indexing full time. Before coming to indexing, I had primarily worked with children and teens since being a counselor in training at a summer camp at age 14. After college, I spent a year volunteering with AmeriCorps as a reading tutor in St. Louis, Missouri, public schools. I've worked as a daycare provider for infants, a preschool teacher, and a paraprofessional support staff member in an elementary school. After receiving my MLIS, I was a children's librarian in various public libraries for more than fourteen years. My most recent position before indexing was as the manager of Youth and Family Services in a local library district.

What is a favorite strategy to help motivate or inspire when you are feeling stuck during a work project?

When I'm feeling unmotivated, I prepare for work by lighting a candle, making some tea, and starting a good playlist of music. If I get stuck on something, I find that stepping away for a few hours or half a day can work wonders.

When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?

I'm approaching the one-year anniversary of my indexing career! I started the Berkeley course in January 2023 and started indexing full time and joined ASI in May 2023.

For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?

There are so many advantages of an ASI membership it's hard to choose just one. The networking opportunities and support of other ASI members have been instrumental in getting my indexing career up and running. I've already booked two jobs from my listing on the Indexer Locator. I've also furthered my indexing education through the webinars provided by ASI.

If I had to pick just one advantage, I would probably have to go with the Indexer Locator. Finding new clients and booking jobs is currently the biggest and most stressful part of the job for me, and having a passive tool that allows clients to find me is so helpful.

Items to be considered for the See Also newsletter should be submitted by the 15th of the month before publication. For January 2024 issue, please email by December 15. Thank you.

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