—New ASI Online Learning Course—The Queen of Sciences
—Course Administrator Sought for 2022
—ASI Volunteer Opportunities Await
—News of Conference 2022
Associated Industry News
—The History of Indexing Laid Bare
—ISC/SCI Keynote Speaker Announced
Chapters and SIGS
—PNW Chapter Meeting Coming in Hot!
Business and Marketing
—CMOS for PerfectIt
—PDF Navigation Without a PFD
Spotlight on Kate Mertes
New ASI Online Learning Course—The Queen of Sciences
with Kate Mertes
Thomas Aquinas referred to theology as "The Queen of Sciences." With readership for religion-themed books running very high (one of the fastest-growing areas of the publishing industry) and with numerous presses specializing in texts on religious topics, theology is an important field for indexers to consider.
Indexers can feel uncomfortable with books on religion, spirituality, and theology. They might feel they lack expertise and qualifications. If this is a topic you think you might be interested in, this webinar series is a great way to see if you should dip your toe in the water.
Join Kate Mertes in October and November for her presentation of ASI's three-part online learning course The Queen of Sciences—Indexing Theology, Spirituality, and Religion.
For more information and a course outline, visit this page.
Course Administrator Sought for 2022
The American Society for Indexing is seeking a Course Administrator for the ASI Training Course. The Course Administrator will work in partnership with ASI to advance the association's educational mission. The Course Administrator is an independent contractor for ASI and is paid an annual honorarium. For more information read the job announcement. The deadline for application is October 15, 2021.
ASI Volunteer Opportunities Await
ASI still has two open volunteer positions:
- Chapter Coordinator. This person serves as the first point of contact for chapter leads who have questions or need assistance, and funnels information, requests, and other concerns to the ASI Board as needed. This is a great opportunity to get to know the chapter leads and gain insight into how chapters work.
- Chair for revising/revamping the Award Committee. With the Excellence in Indexing award having been retired, this committee's initial task will be to define, describe, set criteria for, and name the new annual indexing award(s) that will replace it.
If either of these opportunities sound appealing to you and you'd like to know more, please contact Michele.
News of Conference 2022
ASI President Michele Combs announced in a recent email to members that in its August meeting, the Board of Directors discussed options for ASI's 2022 Conference. Devon Thomas, the Conference Chair, prepared and presented an excellent, thoughtful, and clear-eyed summary of her recommendations, drawing in part on the results of a survey sent out in early summer. The outcome of the meeting was a unanimous vote to hold the 2022 Conference virtually. Michele had this to say of the difficult decision:
"While I know many of us will be disappointed, a virtual conference does have significant benefits for ASI members and for ASI as an organization. We serve a greater percentage of our members when we hold a virtual conference, and…more members can afford to attend because we are able to keep the registration rate very reasonable. I am confident that we will once again present an excellent and professional conference, just as we did in 2020 and 2021."
Associated Industry News
The History of Indexing Laid Bare
Index, a History of the by Dennis Duncan, a lecturer in English at University College London, has been making a stir across the pond recently. In this highly praised title, the author charts indexing's "curious path from the monasteries and universities of thirteenth-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the twenty-first... [the author] reveals how the index has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office, and made us all into the readers we are today." Sam Leith, honorary president of the Society for Indexers, has written an excellent review. The book will be available in the United States in February 2022. Visit W. W. Norton & Company for more information.
ISC/SCI Keynote Speaker Announced
The Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d'indexation (ISC/SCI) is thrilled to announce that the keynote speaker for its 2022 Annual Indexing Conference will be none other than Dennis Duncan, author of Index, A History of the, a newly released title from Penguin Random House (UK version). Visit the society's annual conference webpage for more information.
Chapters and SIGS
PNW Chapter Meeting Coming in Hot!
Best Practices: Comparing and Contrasting Across Genres, the Pacific Northwest ASI Chapter's annual meeting will take place on October 16. Ina Gravitz will present on the Best Practices of Indexing (Characteristics of Quality Indexing) and then participants, in small groups, will explore how these best practices are applied in four indexes from different genres. Finally, Ina will return to guide participants in a discussion of the findings. At the time of this writing there were still a few spots left. Act now to reserve your place. Register here for the PNW Chapter meeting with Ina Gravitz.
Business and Marketing
CMOS for PerfectIt
PerfectIt, a Microsoft WORD editing add-on, now has the Chicago Manual of Style as one of its available style manuals. When in use, the style guide will highlight issues, provide corrections, and present the section in CMOS that applies to the issue in a separate section of the PerfectIt side panel. No need to grab the hardback or open the CMOS online window. It all happens within the PerfectIt side panel in WORD. What a time saver!
PDF Navigation Without a PFD
Are you new to working with PDF files? If so, put away your Personal Floatation Device, these tips can help you navigate with ease within a manuscript, and match the page numbering in the Acrobat page navigation field to the manuscript's pagination (the instructions are for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC):
- Before you get started on indexing, take a bit of time to go through the document chapter by chapter (and any front or back matter) and use the bookmark function to create a TOC that will be a click away at any point in the document. Bookmark sections and subsections as well, including any additional subsections that you may want for your own process. It doesn't take that long to put a TOC together this way and it will save buckets full of time:
- Position your cursor at the top of the page, or beginning of section or subsection.
- Expand the left-hand vertical menu bar (click on the little arrow).
- Click on the icon that looks like the tail of the blue ribbon your Gramma won for her strawberry rhubarb chutney at the Grange Fair. That is the Bookmark Icon.
- In the submenu, click on the + ribbon icon to add a bookmark at the cursor location. Give it a short, meaningful name.
- Child bookmarks can be created by dragging one mark onto another. It will then appear indented below the main mark.
- As you work and have a need to navigate beyond a few pages, click once to expand the vertical menu, click again to expand the bookmark menu. Et voilà!
Force Acrobat's page navigation field (in main menu bar) to match the pagination of the manuscript. By doing so, catching a page number or range will be a matter of looking straight ahead at the page navigation field rather than searching for the page numbers in the document.
- Expand the left-hand vertical menu.
- Click on the Page Thumbnails icon (first one).
- In the list of page thumbnails, select the section from page i to the page before page 1. Do this by selecting the i page and then shift-selecting the page before page 1.
- Right click on any selected page and choose Page Labels from the pop-up menu.
- In the Page Numbering window choose the Selected radio button under Pages, the Begin New Section radio button under Numbering, and then choose the style you desire for that range from the drop-down menu. Usually lowercase roman numerals for front matter.
- Now the numbering in the page number field will match the document (the actual number of pages will still play out in the parentheses).
Spotlight on Kate Mertes
If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Daniel Heila.
Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?
Other people have pets and children; I have a house. I bought it in 1993 and have lived here ever since. It is an 1892 Federal-style shotgun house in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Before that, I lived in six different places within three years, having moved from England to Pennsylvania to New Jersey and then here. Although, you could say that I originally came from Alexandria. My first American ancestors arrived here around 1637, landing in Alexandria and settling just down the road.
What is your educational background?
I have a BA in medieval history from Mount Holyoke College, a PhD in English medieval history from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a postdoctoral degree in systematic theology from Blackfriars College, Oxford, England.
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
I LOVE to travel, and it's been hard this past eighteen months to stay at home! I made a pact with myself many years ago to travel somewhere new every year. My next trip may be Sicily, Portugal, or possibly Scandinavia.
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing?
I started out planning to be an academic, but I really did not like teaching students much, and you can survive just as a researcher, so I moved into publishing.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I did my first index in 1975 when I was still an undergrad and did a couple a year after that as a way to make extra money on the side. I got my first full-time job as an indexer with Research Institute of America in New Jersey in 1991, moved to Virginia with them, and went full-time freelance in 1998. I joined ASI as soon as I returned to the USA in early 1991.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
Networking! I have made all my best job contacts at ASI meetings.
Finally, what is your best coping strategy for the pandemic?
The pandemic didn't affect me that much—I had more work than ever, so I just kept on working. The biggest effect was not being able to travel. So I would say: learning to enjoy the grocery store as a potential adventure, since that's the only place I regularly go. I try to treat it like a tourist destination.