—Get "Indexing Life Hacks" at ASI Special Event on December 5
—ASI Seeks Editor for quarterly journal in 2024
—Help keep ASI website up to date
—Take a deep dive into art indexing
—Death of Nancy Guenther
—"Getting Better" conference replays available until Dec. 2
Chapters and SIGS
—Get insights on ebook use at DPI SIG meeting
—H/A SIG will meet Dec. 1
To Your Health
—Explore insurance choices with LIG webinars
Spotlight on Joan Shapiro
Get "Indexing Life Hacks" at ASI Special Event on December 5
Indexers can get "Indexing Life Hacks" at ASI's upcoming special event on December 5. Life hacks are simple and clever tips or techniques for accomplishing a familiar task more easily and efficiently. Indexing life hacks are all about working smarter at the job of indexing. Four experts share the hacks they use to save time, minimize stress, and increase efficiency. Whether you're wrestling with PDFs or footnotes, tracking clients and projects, or searching for a more comfortable office setup, we've got you covered.
Kendra Millis reveals time-saving hacks 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.
Get more info and register for Indexing Life Hacks here.
ASI Seeks Editor for quarterly journal in 2024
The American Society for Indexing is seeking an editor for its quarterly journal, Key Words. Key Words is 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.
For more details, click here. The application deadline is 5 pm Pacific time on November 30, 2023.
Help keep ASI website up to date
Want 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.
Have questions? Theresa Duran would be happy to answer.
Take a deep dive into art indexing
Indexers of all experience levels tuned in for ASI President Theresa Duran’s three-part “Indexing Art Books” Online Learning Course in October.
In her information-packed presentations, Theresa offered an in-depth look at all aspects of art indexing: types of books and exhibition catalogs; handling locators, captions, and artist names; dealing with length restrictions; the essential questions to ask at the start of a project; and ways to break into the field. Each session was illustrated with multiple real-world examples, and detailed handouts—including an extensive list of resources—were included.
The full online course is available to rewatch for those who had registered by October. Others can still purchase the course, with access to replays and handouts. Complete details are here.
Death of Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther, a former longtime member of ASI, died on Oct. 4, 2023, after an illness.
"I remember her most as a wonderful colleague and, most importantly, as a good friend," said Potomac Indexing's Richard Shrout, for whom Nancy did indexing projects. He reflected on an ASI conference directory for which she took photos of the participants.
Nancy also published the book United States Supreme Court Decisions: An Index to Excerpts, Reprints, and Discussions, according to her obituary.
Her daughter, Katherine Guenther, now also an indexer, said her mother started as a research librarian and became an indexer in the 1980s.
"Getting Better" conference replays available until Dec. 2
Now is the time to catch replays of last December’s special event "Getting Better! Improving the indexing mind, body and business." Those who had registered last year have until December 2, 2023, to watch any or all of the sessions: an indexing demonstration with Max McMaster; a presentation by Pilar Wyman on “rookie mistakes”; a session with at-your-desk stretches and breathing with yoga instructor Anna-Marie Larsen; Stephen Ullstrom on ways to expand your business; and Connie Binder offering tips on crafting an online professional profile.
Watch the videos and download the handouts here.
Chapters and SIGS
Get insights on ebook use at DPI SIG meeting
Mary Coe will speak about her ebook research at the November 8 online meeting of the Digital Publications Indexing SIG. It will be held at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time (12:30 p.m. Pacific time).
Mary, an indexer in Australia and editor of The Indexer journal, will discuss her findings on how readers use and access ebooks and their indexes.
This SIG focuses on indexes in digital formats, including embedded-tag indexing and indexes for ebooks and the web. If you are already a member, you will receive a Zoom link. For information about joining, visit DPI or email email@example.com.
H/A SIG will meet Dec. 1
The History/Archaeology Special Interest Group will meet for a Zoom get-together on Friday, December 1, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The session gives SIG members an opportunity to get to know each other and to share indexing experiences.
To Your Health
Explore insurance choices with LIG webinars
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 about the various options for coverage, depending on your needs.
There are live webinars as well as on-demand programs. A full list and registration information is available here.
The enrollment periods for insurance are:
- Medicare Annual Enrollment:Started October 15 and ends December 7, 2023.
- Under 65 Open Enrollment: November 1 through 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.
More information is available here.
Spotlight on Joan Shapiro
This month's Spotlight is on Joan Shapiro, the owner of Shapiro Indexing Services
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 grew up in Orange County, New York—90 minutes north of New York City. I’ve been living in Connecticut since 1998, when we moved here for my husband’s job.
My husband and I have been married for 37 years. We have two adult sons whom we visit as often as possible.
We are animal lovers and enjoyed sharing our home with various pets for many years. After our last cat died, we made the decision to stay pet-free. We now support a local no-kill shelter and hope that our donations have provided some cats and dogs with forever homes.
What is your educational background?
My undergraduate degree is in mass communication from Boston University. The coursework included a lot of writing and editing, which helped prepare me well for indexing.
In my early 50s, I went back to school for a master’s in library science. I had been indexing for more than a decade at that point and expected it would give me a broader view of the library and information field. The MLS has really enhanced my perspective as I index.
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
I spent many hours volunteering for the local organizations my children were involved in as they grew up. I was also involved in the New England ASI chapter in the early 2000s, first as vice president, then as president. The ASI conference was held in Boston during this period, and chapter board members were honored to contribute to the national office’s planning for that 2001 conference.
Once my children were grown, I devoted time to volunteering for the national ASI by serving on committees and on the board. I have also been involved in a couple of webinars (most recently “Using Tablets for Marking Up,” in February 2022).
I am also the current list owner of the Indexers Discussion Group (IDG), which is not affiliated with any professional indexing associations. This is a wonderful forum for new and experienced indexers to share information, and it has a team of very professional and dedicated moderators.
Travel is one of my greatest joys, but I haven’t done nearly enough of it since the pandemic began. One of the things I especially like about indexing is the portability of the work; I take my laptop with me and work from the road.
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
In my 20s and early 30s, I produced corporate training and marketing videos for a telecommunications research company in New Jersey. When my children were young, the video career was hard to work around, as it was not a 9-to-5 day. Working as an indexer allowed me to do intellectually stimulating work while also being available for my children.
Video producing was an enjoyable career for me, but indexing is better suited to my skills and lifestyle. Both jobs involve managing information and making that information accessible to an audience (whether viewers or readers). I always try to represent the author’s “voice” while providing readers with multiple access points via synonyms and commonly used language.
What is a favorite strategy to help motivate or inspire when you are feeling stuck during a work project?
Even after 23 years of indexing, there are still occasions when I hit roadblocks. To head off problems, I go through several steps at the start of each project: I vet the book and mark up a printout of the table of contents with page ranges, etc. Similarly, I follow a sequence of steps to edit the index. Having a “checklist” of sorts helps to keep me moving through the process. If I feel “stuck” midway, I use placeholder terms in the index with question marks and rewrite those entries later.
If motivation to read the book is a problem I find that a walk outside or physical exercise usually helps to clear my head. I also “power nap.” After 20 to 30 minutes of rest, I’m usually refreshed and ready to get back to work.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I joined ASI in the late 1990s when I first learned about indexing through a now infamous article in Money magazine about ways to make money from home with a computer. The article ran at a time when people were just starting to have computers at home, and the internet was very young. Of course, the article was an oversimplification of working from home, but the indexing description intrigued me. I took a course that was offered at the time through the USDA and attended my local ASI chapter meetings to learn more about the work.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
ASI’s professional development and networking are invaluable. Over the years, I have attended many conferences, training sessions, and webinars, and I believe these have made me a better indexer. On a personal level, I enjoy networking, whether it is in person or through online platforms. Indexing can be a very solitary business, so it’s wonderful to connect to people doing similar work. I have developed many meaningful friendships this way.
Items to be considered for the See Also newsletter should be submitted by the 15th of the month before publication. For December 2023 issue, please email SeeAlsoEditor@asindexing.org by November 15. Thank you.