—ASI award submission deadline approaches
—Supporter and friend of the Indexing community, Gale Rhoades has passed away
—Newbies Abound! Indexers Complete ASI Training in Indexing Course
Associated Industry News
—Please participate in a survey about online educational events
—The Society of Canadian Indexers’ (ISC/SCI) Ewart Daveluy Award
—Book Publishers Take Cues from COVID
Business and Marketing
—Brush Up on Indexing Best Practices
Spotlight Heidi Winston
ASI award submission deadline approaches
Deadline: March 26, 2021
The Theodore C. Hines Award was established in 1993 to honor those members who have provided exceptional service to ASI. The award is ASI's highest honor to its own and was named for Ted Hines, who played a large part in the establishment of the Society. Information about the nominating process and rules for the award.
Supporter and friend of the Indexing community, Gale Rhoades has passed away
The indexing community has suffered the loss of a staunch supporter and friend. Gale Rhoades, the North American publisher and distributor of the Macrex Indexing Program, passed away on January 31, 2021, after a brief illness. Gale’s generosity, wisdom, and humor will be missed immensely by the many indexers whose lives she affected.
For updates and a place to share memories, photographs, and well wishes, please go to her CaringBridge site.
The North American Macrex community will continue informal support for the present. Please contact Do Mi Stauber for more information. Support is also available via the Macrex users email list.
Newbies Abound! Indexers Complete ASI Training in Indexing Course
The ASI Training in Indexing course is a self-study program of four modules, adapted under license from the British Society of Indexers. Completion of the course leads to a Certificate of Completion in Indexing Training. Potential students of the training include: people seeking a career change, beginning indexers, people with marginal indexing experience (who want to validate, broaden, or update skills), information industry professionals, editors, and writers.
The course is pay-as-you-go, so students don't have a large initial outlay. It’s a self-study/learn-on-your-own program, which leaves it up to the student to set the pace and to determine how quickly to proceed through the modules. Eight ASI members are currently serving as graders for the course exams. In 2020, they handled sixty-eight exams.
Recent graduates include Heidi Martin Winston (who is featured in this issue’s Spotlight), John Rose (who will be presented in the March issue’s Spotlight), and Laurel Rush (Laurel, a 2019 graduate of the course, was featured in the See Also January issue Spotlight). Congratulations to all of them!
Submitted by Becky Hornyak, Training Course Administrator
The ASI 2021 member logo is available for download here (members only). Incorporate this icon into your email signature and post it on your website.
Associated Industry News
Please participate in a survey about online educational events
Ann Kingdom (Society of Indexers) is preparing an article for The Indexer on how Covid-19 has pushed us all towards embracing online professional development–from conferences and webinars to more informal, locally-based events. The aim is to share best practice among the indexing societies. She is gathering the views of three different groups: organizers, presenters and participants. How do such events differ from face-to-face ones? What are the particular problems and the advantages? Are online events going to become the norm? To find out about the views and experiences of participants, an online survey has been set up here.
She would be really grateful if anyone who has "attended" any kind of online event run by an indexing society could complete the survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes. The survey will remain open until February 14. Any queries or problems, contact Ann by email.
The Society of Canadian Indexers’ (ISC/SCI) Ewart Daveluy Award
The Society of Canadian Indexers’ (ISC/SCI) Ewart Daveluy Award, inaugurated in 2015, is presented each year to an individual who has created an index that demonstrates outstanding expertise through a combination of skills, such as the ability to
- analyze complex text,
- design an index that significantly enhances reader use of the text,
- overcome challenges in creative and useful ways,
- and demonstrate insight in addressing the needs of the audience.
The next deadline for nominations is February 22, 2021, and the award will be presented at the annual ISC/SCI conference.
Book Publishers Take Cues from COVID
COVID-19 and Book Publishing: Impacts and Insights for 2021 by Cliff Guren, Thad McIlroy, Steve Sieck
There have been many interesting developments in the world of publishing in response to COVID-19, many of them involving associated industries and author/reader interfaces. This report looks at these developments and projects their impact on the publishing world in 2021. It is free to download.
Business and Marketing
Brush Up on Indexing Best Practices
Any time is a good time for professionals to review best practices for their field. ASI has excellent resources that spell out indexing best practices in concise list form and in detailed long-form articles and books. Some of the resources are free to download and distribute to publishing clients:
- ASI publication Best Practices for Indexing. This document is free for members to download and permission is given to share with publishing clients.
- Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award-Winning Indexer by Margie Towery, 2016. Margie Towery’s name is synonymous with index quality, and in this guide, the master indexer distills more than two decades of experience for the benefit of her fellow indexers. Towery defines and explores the characteristics of quality indexes: audiences and accessibility, metatopics and index structure, accuracy, comprehensiveness, conciseness, consistency, clarity, reflexivity, readability, and common sense.
- The ASI Award for Excellence in Indexing rules for evaluation is available to members in a single page PDF on the website. (The descriptive categories included in the document are freely adapted from Carolyn McGovern's "How to Evaluate Indexes." KEY WORDS 1, no. 9 (Nov/Dec 1993) pp. 1,21.)
Spotlight: Heidi Winston
If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Daniel Heila.
Heidi is a recent graduate of the ASI Training in Indexing course.
I have lived in New York City since graduating from Columbia University’s School of Library Service. Although no longer in existence, the school paved the way for my employment in some wonderful libraries including Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library’s Art and Architecture Division, and Barnard College Library. I worked in a multiplicity of departments and positions: cataloging, reference, research and instruction, archives and exhibitions. I also spent seven years with H. W. Wilson’s Art Index, where I initially encountered and honed many indexing skills. In addition to putting to use my undergraduate art history degree in several jobs, I gained an invaluable liberal arts education working as a generalist in public and academic libraries. For this reason, I have the confidence to take on indexes in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
Along the way, I updated my MLS with a Post-Masters Certificate in Digital Librarianship (Drexel University), got married, and raised a daughter, who is now all grown and living nearby in lower Manhattan. My husband and I have been married for over thirty years, and we share our apartment on the Upper West Side with two very pampered dogs. I’ve been in the same book club for sixteen years—where I am the official archivist—and have been practicing yoga and meditation, as well as doing some knitting (socks and dog sweaters) and urban gardening.
As my full-time career started winding down toward part-time employment (by choice), I started to explore freelance editorial work, and because of my background, I decided to focus on indexing. I joined ASI and was led to its training course. I appreciated the freedom of completing it online within a flexible time frame. The course was invaluable for giving me the skills and confidence to launch this phase of my career, and I was actually a bit humbled by the breadth and scope of knowledge to be absorbed. I would advise any aspiring indexer to take advantage of the many webinars and other resources that are available through ASI and to read as many indexes as possible. Although, emulate only those—less than one would expect as I have been discovering—that follow a fair degree of indexing standards and best practices.