See Also—March 2024

ASI News
—Nominate deserving indexer for Hines Award
—ASI webinar: Understanding and indexing place-names
—Save the date for April Indexing Playground
Chapters and SIGS
—Talk taxes at chapter gathering
—Some changes in SIG leadership
—How ASI members can join a SIG
Associated Industry News
—Connection is focus of two-day ISC/SCI Conference
To Your Health
—Find the chair that is just right for you
Spotlight on Mary Stevens

ASI News

Nominate deserving indexer for Hines Award

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for dedicating their time and talents to ASI and to the indexing profession? Consider nominating them for the Hines Award—named for ASI founding member Theodore C. Hines.

Nominees should demonstrate a long-term and ongoing commitment through service as an officer, as a board member, or in other leadership roles at the national level and/or within chapters and SIGs. Other contributions worthy of note include active participation in national and regional conferences, website management, publications, committees, educational activities, etc.

Those submitting a nomination should also solicit letters of recommendation to supplement the nomination. The letters and nomination combined should demonstrate the breadth and length of a nominee's service and should detail the contributions made by the nominee to ASI. Please see full rules and procedures here.

Nominations, or any questions, can be sent to Hines Committee chairperson Fred Leise until March 24, 2024. The award, if given, will be presented at the ASI Annual Meeting.

A list of past recipients is here.

ASI webinar: Understanding and indexing place-names

Register for ASI's March 13th webinar—"Indexing Geographic Place-names"—which offers indexers a chance to deepen their understanding of place-names and how to index them. The webinar will start at 10:00 a.m. Pacific (1:00 p.m. Eastern).

Presenter Bill Wheaton, a geospatial scientist, will focus on information and tools to get place-names right, exploring:

  • The authoritative and non-authoritative place-name systems and how to use them.
  • How to handle changes in place-names in indexes.
  • Determining if a place has a new name and the major drivers behind such changes.
  • Indexing place-names, compared to indexing personal names.
  • Useful sources to qualify an obscure place-name used by an author.

To take advantage of the lowest rates and attend the live webinar as well as have long-term access, register here.

Save the date for April Indexing Playground

The next Indexing Playground—a social gathering for ASI members—will be held April 24 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time. This event provides attendees an opportunity to socialize with their indexing peers and to discuss their experiences and questions relating to particular specialties. We'll break into six playgrounds: Culinary, Digital Publications, Plants and Animals, Legal and Government, Medical/Health/Fitness/Wellness, and History/Archaeology/Biography. Watch the ASI website and this newsletter for full details.

Chapters and SIGS

Talk taxes at chapter gathering

Taxes will be the discussion topic at the Mid- and South-Atlantic Chapter monthly Zoom lunch on Thursday, March 28, from noon to 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. There will not be an expert speaker, but attendees can talk about what works for them. Chapter members and non-members are welcome to attend. Registration information will be available soon. Contact Connie Binder with questions.


Some changes in SIG leadership

Rudy Leon, a scholarly book indexer who also very much enjoys cookbook indexing, is the new leader of the Culinary Special Interest Group. This SIG is an educational and networking forum for indexers interested in culinary indexing for books, periodicals, and websites. For questions, email Rudy.

There is an opening for a leader of the Gardening/Environmental Studies SIG, for indexers with backgrounds in botany, gardening, landscape design, ecology, natural history and more. SIG activities include marketing, member networking, referrals, and continuing education.

Full information about leader responsibilities is here. Contact ASI President Theresa Duran if interested or with questions.

Click here for information about ASI's SIGs.

How ASI members can join a SIG

ASI members can join a SIG (Special Interest Group) at any time or select it at the time of your annual renewal. SIG memberships are $12 per year. Find information about all of ASI's SIGs here.

Associated Industry News

Connection is focus of two-day ISC/SCI Conference

Registration is open for the Indexing Society of Canada's virtual conference—The Art of Connection—taking place May 31 to June 1, 2024.

Full details on the presentations and how to register are here.

A pre-conference speed chat for new indexers will be held on May 30.


To Your Health

Find the chair that is just right for you

Unless you have a standing desk, chances are you sit while indexing. A lot.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers these tips on finding the best chair for you:

  • The backrest should conform to the natural curvature of your spine, and provide adequate lumbar support.
  • The seat should be comfortable and allow your feet to rest flat on the floor or footrest.
  • Armrests, if provided, should be soft, allow your shoulders to relax and your elbows to stay close to your body.
  • The chair should have a five-leg base with casters that allow easy movement along the floor.

For some recent "best office chairs"—in a range of price points—check out Good Housekeeping or The Spruce.

Spotlight on Mary Stevens

This month's Spotlight is on Mary Stevens, owner of Look Within Indexing & Editing.

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’ve been living in Hurley, New York, about an hour south of Albany, since 2000—and before that in the area from 1982–1993. In between, I lived in Boulder, Colorado—two of those years in Eldora in a small cabin with no hot water or bathroom. I would snowshoe in the national forest from just outside my front door! As beautiful as Colorado was, I couldn’t resist the pull back to the lovely Hudson Valley. I grew up in Newtown, Connecticut.

What is your educational background?

I earned my BA and MS Ed in Spanish and secondary education—both from the State University of New York at New Paltz—and an MA in English from the University of Colorado at Denver.

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

I have two great loves: dance and writing haiku. I attend the Freestyle Frolic, a drug-free/alcohol-free, barefoot, peace-love dance network, primarily in the Northeastern United States and California. (It is known in some places as the Barefoot Boogie). I also meet weekly with an all-woman subset of that group to practice Authentic Movement, a kind of expressive meditation done without music.

I am actively involved with three haiku groups. Starting during the pandemic, I was able to host monthly on Zoom the groups I normally couldn’t attend in person in Boston and New Jersey. These connections have supported my writing, and last spring I published a collection of my haiku, enough light.

I also walk three miles daily when the weather is fine. Where I live is graced with numerous trails, which also inspire my writing. Other interests include meditating, quilting, and sashiko (Japanese needlepoint).

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

Last summer, I retired from a 37-year career at my alma mater, where I primarily taught beginning Spanish. I’ve known since 2008 that I wanted to index as a second career until I am ready to retire altogether.

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

When feeling stuck, I try to draw by hand the relationships among the book’s concepts or do a long write to sort things out. Talking aloud also helps. Sleep is magic: So often an answer to a decision I’m trying to make arrives upon awakening in the morning or after a nap.

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

In 2008, I finished my training with Kari Kells, former instructor of the USDA course and co-author with Sherry Smith of Inside Indexing. I joined ASI around the time of my studies. I did one paid index in 2010, but found it difficult to market, much less work on jobs, while teaching full time. So I tabled indexing work for 13 years; then in February 2023, I reinstated my membership as I prepared to launch Look Within Indexing.

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

I adore ASI. I can ask a question on the ASI Google Groups discussion list about any aspect of the work—from indexing conventions to publisher relations to software to the business aspects of the business—and the responses are quick, abundant, respectful, and often encouraging. The exceptionally well-produced live conferences and webinars, accessible afterwards as recordings, provide timely training on a variety of relevant topics. The discussion groups, conferences, and Special Interest Groups meet my needs to socialize and network. Within four months, two clients found me through the Indexer Locator listing. The Jobs Hotline is also wonderful. I guess that’s five favorite things! But it is hard to imagine being able to do this work without ASI. I recently said to a friend that if all the organizations in the world operated with ASI’s efficacy, professionalism, and collegiality, humanity’s problems would be greatly diminished. I hope eventually to be able to give back to this organization that is clearly devoted to excellence in indexing and supportive of the success of indexers' businesses.

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

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