See Also—May 2024

ASI News
—Make your way to Philly for ASI conference
—Share the conference in Key Words
—Annual meeting is June 22
—Pose an indexing question, get an answer in Key Words
—Exploring indexing specialties on the Playground
Chapters and SIGS
—Digital publications SIG meets this month
Associated Industry News
—Newest Cindex version available, and free
Business and Marketing
—U.S. Book Show is May 22
Spotlight on Sunny Blake

ASI News

Make your way to Philly for ASI conference

"Spread Your Indexing Wings," ASI's 2024 in-person conference on June 5th and 6th—with a pre-conference on June 4th—is packed with workshops and presentations as well as opportunities to network and socialize. The event will be held on the campus of Bryn Mawr College, just outside Philadelphia.

Attendees don't have to worry about arranging hotel reservations, as they can stay in the campus residence halls, with the cost for lodging and some meals included in the conference fee.

The conference page has everything you need to know, from how to get there to what will be happening when you arrive. This includes a welcome reception at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4.

Preconference workshops on June 4 are:

First Flight: or, A Jam-Packed Introduction to Indexing for New Indexers, a daylong program with Fred Leise.

Marketing Flight School, with Kendra Millis.

Embedded Indexing in Microsoft Word, with Devon Thomas.

Fresh Start with Cindex 4.3, with Maria Sullivan.

Full details are here.

The 20 conference sessions on June 5-6 include:

  • Contracts: Why Your Emails Aren’t Enough, with Jolanta Komornicka
  • Flying High with Index-Manager, with Pilar Wyman
  • Black Hawk, White Bird, and Tsubasa (Wing): Dealing with Unusual Names, with Judy Staigmiller and Anna Aridome
  • Burden or Blessing? The Ups and Downs of Working with Self-Publishing Authors, with Amy Hall
  • Editing Your Index to Ensure Quality, with Joan Shapiro
  • On Beyond Indexing: Indexing-Adjacent Jobs, with Michele Combs
  • The Crystal Ball is Cloudy: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Indexing, with John Magee
  • Incidental Exercise: Fitness strategies from the laziest person in the world, with Connie Binder

Full details are here.

Registration is open through May 24, with early-bird rates until May 10.

Philadelphia Arts and Culture

Attending the conference at Bryn Mawr gives attendees a chance to explore the sights and tastes of historic Philadelphia. Sunny Blake shares things to do in her hometown.

Share the conference in Key Words

Planning to attend the conference? Key Words is looking for writers for short-form (500-800 words per event) coverage of the preconference workshops and conference presentations. We also want to hear about the opportunities an in-person event provides—networking and socializing. If you're interested, contact Key Words editor Sarahh Scher.

Annual meeting is June 22

Join the ASI Board for the Annual General Meeting, which will be held online on Saturday, June 22, 2024. It starts at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m. Eastern.

ASI President Theresa Duran will deliver the president's report and Cheryl Lenser, the treasurer's report. Shelley Quattrocchi will be seated as the president, and new board members—president-elect Jen Weers and directors Kevin Gunn and Mylinh Hamlington—will be welcomed.

Watch your inbox in June for the link.

Pose an indexing question, get an answer in Key Words

ASI's quarterly Key Words will be debuting a feature called Ask Kate—named in memory of esteemed indexer Kate Mertes, who passed away last November.

A team of longtime indexers will answer your indexing questions, including those you may be hesitant to ask. They can be asked anonymously simply by filling out this Google form.

Key Words looks forward to hearing from you.

Exploring indexing specialties on the Playground

When ASI members gathered for the Indexers Playground on April 24, participants could choose among six breakout rooms focused on indexing specialties: culinary (facilitated by Rudy Leon); digital publications (Jan Wright and Pilar Wyman); history, archaeology, and biography (Ina Gravitz); legal and government (Noelle Padilla); medical, health, fitness, and wellness (Connie Binder), and plants and animals (Matthew Krecic).

In the health group, we discussed the difference in expectations in indexing medical books for laypeople versus for medical professionals, the types of indexing for which artificial intelligence might be suitable, and how it is OK to be upfront with clients about what your limits are. The seasoned indexers shared numerous resources and agreed that government sources and medical schools are the most trustworthy. Other topics included medical journals no longer being indexed; how the books we index might spill over into our lives in the form of being able to advocate for oneself from knowing the system and in changes to diet and fitness as a result of taking a book’s advice, and going down research rabbit holes when learning something new.

—Mary Stevens

Chapters and SIGS

Digital publications SIG meets this month

Members of the Digital Publications Indexing Special Interest Group will meet for a Zoom get-together on May 15, 2024, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time/3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

The DPI SIG is a forum for indexers who are interested in all aspects of indexing and indexes for digital publications. This includes embedded indexing, website indexes, and mounting of indexes on the web.

Visit DPI's website for more information, or contact SIG manager Pilar Wyman with questions.

Information about all of ASI's SIGs is available here.

Associated Industry News

Newest Cindex version available, and free

Newly updated as open-source software with no license or serial number required, Cindex version 4.3 is now available for free download for both Windows and Mac users, and in a Publisher's Edition for Windows. This is the same classic, fully-functioning Cindex Software for Professional Indexers, according to Maria Sullivan, who has worked with others on these updates.

All Cindex users are encouraged to download and install the updated version. The process for opening indexes created in other indexing software has been streamlined; and the Mac version has resolved some previously introduced exporting and display issues stemming from macOS incompatibilities.

Business and Marketing


U.S. Book Show is May 22

If you are up for immersion in all things books—and an opportunity for networking—the U.S. Book Show takes place May 22, 2024, at New York University's Kimmel Center.

The event, organized by Publishers Weekly and the Association of American Literary Agents, is billed as a place to hear industry leaders discuss current issues in publishing—along with a peek at the future. This includes a roundtable with four publishing CEOs and a keynote by author Vivian Tu.

While last year's event was hybrid, this year it's fully in-person. The schedule and registration information can be found here.

Spotlight on Sunny Blake

This month's Spotlight is on Sunny Blake, owner of SunnySide 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 live in the Philadelphia area. I was born in Finland, spent my primary years in Europe, and was then raised in the Philadelphia suburbs. I share my home with my cat, Martin.

What is your educational background?

I have associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in psychology from Delaware County Community College and from Temple University. I also received my master’s in library and information science from Clarion University.

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

I love watching true crime documentaries and historical documentaries. This year I plan on traveling to London and Paris, and last year I went to Ireland—and it was amazing. I am interested in vintage posters, paintings, and classic movies like My Man Godfrey, Desk Set, and the Thin Man series with William Powell and Myrna Loy.

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

My first line of work was as a library assistant at the public library. Then, I became the head of Technical Services at one of the libraries in the Delaware County Library System. I switched to an academic library to become a resident librarian. I found indexing when I was researching side hustles for librarians, and one of the options was indexing.

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

My favorite strategy is to take a break and refresh my mind for a little bit. When I am in a rut, I am probably thinking about the task too much or I am being too hard on myself. It helps to take a walk and get some sunlight.

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

I joined ASI in 2022 and became an indexer in 2024 after taking the UC Berkeley Extension course. I am new to the indexing business and looking for more experience.

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

The best advantage is reading Key Words and reading about the current trends and issues indexers have. Also, having the membership gives access to connect to other indexers for advice and guidance early in my indexing career.

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

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