See Also—March 2021

ASI News
—ASI 2021 Conference—Get Your Indexing Shot in the Arm
—ASI Awards Deadline Reminder
—Ballots Coming Soon for ASI Board Positions
—President Plugs Perks of Volunteering
—Webmaster Position Still Available
—Tribute to Gale Rhoades by Janet Perlman
Associated Industry News
—Indexing Society of Canada 2021 Annual Conference
Chapters and SIGS
—Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW) Programming Committee Revs Its Engine
Business and Marketing
—Hot Job Hotline
Spotlight on John Rose

ASI News

ASI 2021 Conference—Get Your Indexing Shot in the Arm

The ASI 2021 Conference—Get Your Indexing Shot in the Arm—will be held virtually from April 30–May 1, 2021. Programming includes a pre-conference (April 29) class for new indexers by the legendary Fred Leise, six sessions on indexing practices and the business of indexing, and hour-long meetups with software vendors. Mark the dates and visit the ASI homepage for evolving details.

ASI Awards Deadline Reminder

The deadline for nominations for the Hines Award, which recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to ASI, is March 26.

The deadline for submissions for the ASI Excellence in Indexing Award, which recognizes the normally anonymous indexers and the publishers who provide high-quality indexes to serve their readers, is April 9.

Information about the nominating process and rules for the awards is available on the ASI website.

Ballots to Arrive for ASI Board Positions

The slate for upcoming elections is now available:

President-Elect: Gina Guilinger
Director-at-Large: Heather Pendley
Director-at-Large: Eileen Allen

Bios for member perusal are forthcoming, and ballots will be distributed to the membership in March.

President Plugs Perks of Volunteering

New indexers often ask for advice on getting started in indexing. There’s a lot of great information in conference presentations and webinars about marketing, website design, and other business aspects of indexing including, of course, the number one tip of attending a conference (even virtually). In addition to these excellent resources, there is one overlooked, but extremely useful, strategy: volunteering with the American Society for Indexing (ASI). Many of the ASI opportunities do not require any indexing experience and are a way for new members to showcase their other skills, get to know experienced indexers, and make connections. Many new indexers (myself included) started their careers by receiving referrals from more experienced indexers. Now, I’m in the position to make those referrals, and the first names I think of are those of members I’ve worked with on ASI business—I know their work ethic and their communication skills firsthand. Some indexers ask if volunteering to create an index—free of cost—for a potential client is a good idea; it might be, but for a guaranteed return on time invested, become an ASI volunteer.

Submitted by ASI President, Meghan Miller Brawley

Webmaster Position Still Available

The ASI Webmaster committee is still looking for a volunteer to join the team. This is an excellent opportunity for new members to get inside the organization and start to make connections within the community. Check out the original post in the December issue of See Also for more information. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please send an email detailing your interest and qualifications to Jennifer Spanier.

Tribute to Gale Rhoades by Janet Perlman

It’s hard to imagine my world without Gale Rhoades in it. She was part of my life through my entire thirty-plus years of indexing.

In the late 1980s, I chose Macrex as my indexing software. Since Gale was the North American distributor, she was the person who installed it on my computer and trained me to use it. What I didn’t know then was that I would be getting a lifetime of learning and mentoring while also adding a lifelong friend.

My life in those days as a new indexer joyfully included Gale’s annual workshops, where a day of learning at an airport hotel in San Francisco was bracketed by a group dinner the night before the workshop and a picnic or field trip for the last half-day at the end of the gathering—all arranged by and including Gale. We Macrex users played together, learned together, bonded with one another, and formed our own support group. Some of my best friends came out of those workshops.

Gale’s knowledge of computers was limitless. She didn’t limit herself to Macrex users. She was generous with her time and helped many indexers select and configure their computers and solve their computer problems. She was always a phone call away.

Gale’s mantra was “If you can’t find the answer in five minutes, call me.” Ask any indexer—they all knew she would castigate them for trying to fix a problem themselves instead of calling her for help. Her expertise was legendary. Through the years she gave workshops at ASI conferences on Macrex, Windows, and Word with an eye to increasing indexers’ productivity.

Gale could seem gruff sometimes, even bossy. She was often short with me because I resisted learning new ways of using Macrex and installing upgrades. She was impatient that I liked to stay in my comfort zone. But I knew that she had my best interests at heart, and I knew that beneath that stern exterior there was a heart of gold.

How can a 30-year long relationship end? It's unimaginable to think that I will never hear her voice again. Gale was so much more than my software guru and my technical advisor. She was my dear friend. Nobody can replace her. Her passing leaves a deep void.

Associated Industry News

Indexing Society of Canada Announces 2021 Annual Conference—Indexing Unlimited

The Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) is pleased to announce that this year’s annual conference is taking place from the comfort of home from May 27–29, 2021. The theme is “Indexing Unlimited.”

The conference sessions will cover a variety of topics to help indexers improve their indexing practice and make their businesses thrive. Please visit the ISC/SCI website for more information.

Chapters and SIGS

Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW) Programming Committee Revs Its Engine

Please welcome Mara Mauch to the PNW chapter. Mara is a student at the UC Berkeley Indexing: Theory and Application course and has joined ASI and the PNW chapter. She has much experience organizing large and small events in her previous career capacity and will be bringing those skills to the chapter programming committee where she has volunteered to collaborate. The PNW programming committee is getting into gear with an upcoming meet and greet between committee members and then on to outlining activities and planning for the fall conference. Keep an eye on the chapter’s webpage for future details.

Business and Marketing

Hot Job Hotline

Did you know the American Society for Indexing has an Indexer Jobs Hotline? Are you an ASI member? Great! This service is free of charge for members. This is how it works:

Publishers who need indexers provide job information to ASI, and job postings are sent by email to indexers who have signed up for the Jobs Hotline Service. Once indexers receive the postings, they read through the jobs to see if there are any they are interested in learning more about in their field of indexing. Indexers respond directly to the publisher if they wish to apply for the job.

Please visit the ASI website for more information on the Jobs Hotline Service and how to join.

Spotlight on John Rose

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

ASI member John Rose recently completed the ASI Training in Indexing Course as mentioned in the February issue of See Also. We prodded him with some questions so we can get to know him. Here is his response.

Where have you lived, and where do you live now?

I was born in Colorado and lived there through college, moved to New Haven and then to Tucson for graduate schooling, next to San Francisco, and finally to New York City where I still live.

What is your educational background?

BA in music from the University of Denver, MM in bass trombone from Yale, MM in voice from the University of Arizona. I started college in science, nearly had an accidental double minor as a result of my voracious consumption of literature courses, and took up French at Yale. I've continued my study of languages, and possibly needless to say, I'm still an incurable bibliophile.

What work did you do before finding indexing? What led you to indexing?

My work history is checkered: my father's renovation company, writing for the campus newspaper, projectionist of art movies, maintenance man and construction supervisor for 17 art movie houses, singer and actor in tours and regional productions of musicals and experimental theater, proofreading and word processing for New York law firms. For the last decade, I’ve had a freelance business writing and editing. What could be more natural than indexing after all that? It may also help that two of my family members have been librarians, three have been in the used book trade, my sister is a writer, and my incredibly supportive girlfriend is an outstanding editor.

How did you choose the ASI course?

I was torn about which course to take, but I've always had good success as an autodidact, and I thought the ASI course would allow more freedom, perhaps, than Berkeley in terms of pacing. I'm happy with my choice.

Do you have areas of specialization?

While I hope and expect to exploit my knowledge of the arts, the building trades, and the outdoors, I also see the wisdom of this joke: if you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Let's just say I'm eager to find out what my specialties are going to be.

Any hobbies, volunteer work, travels, or interests you'd like to share?

I have an obscure hobby: analyzing the symbolism in the madhouse poems of Christopher Smart. My first essay (on A Song to David) was published in the Philological Quarterly, and since then, I've worked mainly on the Jubilate Agno, which might be a lifelong project. Working in music and theater has sent me on many wonderful free vacations, including to Brazil; Denmark and Sweden; Scotland; Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria; southern France; Israel; and every corner of the contiguous United States.

Any advice for other wannabe or newbie indexers?

I'm such a novice that I hesitate to pose as someone with advice to give, but the ASI course has taught me this: be patient. Humility is a much better learning tool than arrogance. On the other hand, the satisfaction of having written a good index (and being able to see that it's good) is enormous, so as far as I'm concerned, the rewards far exceed the effort.

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