See Also—September 2022

ASI News
—Learn about abstracting at Sept. 28 webinar
—Erika Millen joins board
From ASI President
—Annual conference in 2023 will be virtual
Chapters and SIGS
—Wyman new leader of Digital Publications SIG
Business and Marketing
—Optimize security of passwords and password managers
Spotlight on Kevin Gunn

ASI News

Learn about abstracting at Sept. 28 ASI webinar

Registration is open for ASI's webinar, "An Introduction to Abstracting: A Way to Enhance Your Indexing." It will be held live Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022 (10 a.m. Pacific; 11 a.m. Mountain; 12 p.m. Central; 1 p.m. Eastern).

Lisa Ryan, founder and developer of Stellar Searches LLC, is the presenter. She has 24 years of searching, writing, indexing, and abstracting experience.

Abstracts are formal summaries, giving an objective summary of the essential content of a book, article, speech, report, dissertation, or other work—and help readers to decide whether to read the full text.

Webinar attendees will:

  • discover what abstracting is
  • review the skills needed to compose abstracts
  • understand how to add bibliographic detail
  • learn how to write abstracts
  • explore abstracting opportunities

The webinar is $19 for ASI members ($59 for non-members), and you will have long-term access to the replay following the event. After September 28, ASI members can purchase the replay for $29 ($69 for non-members). Get more info and register here.

Erika Millen joins board

ASI thanks resigning board member Eileen Allen for her service as Director-at-Large and welcomes Erika Millen, who has been appointed to take her place. Erika has been indexing since 1996, when she started as an indexer with Macmillan Computer Publishing, which was acquired by Simon & Schuster and ultimately by Pearson. She has been an individual member of ASI since she went freelance in 2016.

Welcome to the ASI board, Erika!

From ASI President

Annual conference in 2023 will be virtual

We sent a survey to the membership this summer to gauge interest in attending an in-person conference in 2023. We received a large number of responses and learned that concerns about COVID and travel expenses remain forefront in many members' minds.

Therefore, after careful consideration and meetings with past and current conference chairs and with the board, we have made the difficult decision to postpone meeting in person and to have a virtual conference for 2023.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey. Your input is invaluable.

The conference is a great opportunity to volunteer, either as a presenter or as a member of the 2023 Conference Planning Committee, and Chairperson Amanda Wilson welcomes your support. Email Amanda if you would like to help.

—Gina Guilinger

Chapters and SIGS

Wyman new leader of Digital Publications SIG

Pilar Wyman has taken over leadership of the Digital Publications Indexing Special Interest Group, as Jan Wright steps down. The DPI SIG provides resources, education and discussion on indexing for digital publications. It's open to ASI members and to members of ASI's affiliated organizations internationally.

In addition, Ælfwine Mischler will now be the SIG membership coordinator. Sam Arnold-Boyd continues as co-webmaster, and she is looking for another volunteer to serve as co-webmaster—as Fiona Firth ends her time working on the website.

The SIG thanks Jan and Fiona for their service. For more details on the group visit the SIG website or email.

Business and Marketing

Optimize security of passwords and password managers

Creating and managing all the passwords needed for our businesses and our lives is quite a task—and crucial to do with care to protect your professional and personal information.

For a secure password, length is more important than complexity. That is the advice from the Federal Trade Commission and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The FTC guidelines include:

  • Create passwords with at least 12 characters each, or as long as allowed by the company or service.
  • Use a passphrase of random words so your password is more memorable but harder to crack. A passphrase is a sequence of words, with or without spaces. Avoid using common words or phrases when creating these.
  • Don't use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Use multi-factor authentication when possible. In addition to a password, access to your account could require a face or fingerprint scan or having a code sent via email address or text message.
  • Use a password manager. To find a reputable password manager, search independent review sites, and talk to other professionals or friends about the ones they use. Most important: Be sure to use a strong password/passphrase to sign in to the password manager—where all your information will be stored. Recent reviews of password managers include PC Magazine and Wired. PC Magazine also looks at proper use of password managers.

Health Tip—Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is coming soon! Visit the Health Insurance Benefits page for more information on ASI's membership health insurance benefit that can help keep you and your family cost-effectively covered and healthy.

Spotlight on Kevin Gunn

This month's Spotlight is on Kevin Gunn, owner of Pegasus 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 Columbia, Maryland, southwest of Baltimore. I am originally from Winnipeg, Canada. My American wife and I met at library school in Montreal, Quebec. We have a 12-year-old son who is into Boy Scouts, Python coding, Pokémon Go, and gaming. Needless to say, so am I. I became a US citizen in 2007.

What is your educational background?

I have a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and a master's degree in library and information studies from McGill University in Montreal. I have a certificate in computer information systems from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC (my current employer). Over the years, I have taken many courses, including digital humanities, copyright, and data science.

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

Playing Pokémon Go with my son and studying JavaScript.

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

I have been a librarian for more than 26 years at The Catholic University of America, where I have held a variety of positions, including Coordinator of Religious Studies and Humanities Services. I am currently Coordinator of Digital Scholarship. My intention is to be a full-time indexer.

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

I try to move on to something else within the project if I get stuck and then circle back to the problem later. Sometimes I temporarily shelve the project and work on something else. I tend to be a bumblebee, moving from task to task.

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

I took an indexing course in library school and indexed my first book, on theater, in 2009. The scholar received tenure based on this monograph, so I like to think I contributed to his success. My second index was for a book on research sources and strategies in medieval English literature, which I co-authored in 2019. I joined ASI in 2021.

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

Meeting with other indexers, especially at the conference in April, underscored the importance of networking with other professionals. I anticipate becoming more involved in ASI as I gain experience and build my network. The continuing education workshops are useful. Last, I enjoy reading the problems posted on the ASI Discussion List and thinking of possible solutions before reading the responses written by the veteran indexers.

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