Bulletin, August/September 2013


Inside ASIS&T

An Asian-Pacific ASIS&T Chapter?

by Emil Levine

Twenty-two participants attended a roundtable discussion explaining the Association for Information Science and Technology and considering the formation of an Asian-Pacific ASIS&T chapter. The session was held at the 5th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Library and Information Education and Practice (http://aliep2013.com) July 10-12, 2013, in Khon Kaen City, Thailand.

Emil Levine, right, former chair of the European Chapter of ASIS&T, meets Hao-ren 
Ke, current chair of Taipei Chapter. Emil Levine, right, former chair of the European Chapter of ASIS&T, meets Hao-ren Ke, current chair of Taipei Chapter.

Dr. Yin Leng Theng, associate professor, Division of Information Studies, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, chaired the roundtable. She was joined by former ASIS&T president Candy Schwartz, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, and a keynote speaker at the conference, and Emil Levine, former chair and advisor of the European Chapter, who made the presentation. ASIS&T promoted the roundtable by sponsoring a “light buffet” for the attendees. Dr. Kulthida Tuamsuk, dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kahn University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, graduate of Simmons College and chair of the organizing committee for the conference, also assisted with the coordination of the roundtable.

The event was an outgrowth of the ASIS&T European Chapter’s 2012 annual meeting held in conjunction with the Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) conference in Zadar, Croatia, in June 2012. At this meeting, attended by Levine, Dr. Theng and Dr. Makiko Miwa, The Open University of Japan, a discussion began on creation of an Asian-Pacific Chapter (see http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Aug-12/AugSep12_Levine.html). 

Left to right, Kulthida Tuamsuk, Emil Levine and Yin Leng Theng. Left to right, Kulthida Tuamsuk, Emil Levine and Yin Leng Theng.

Levine outlined the structure and program of ASIS&T, how to create a chapter and student chapter, ASIS&T publications and activities, and costs of membership. 

Dr. Songphan Choemprayong, a graduate of the School of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and lecturer in the Department of Library Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, agreed to serve as a coordinator for creation of an Asian-Pacific Chapter.

Left to right, Christopher Khoo Soo Guan, Kulthida Tuamsuk, Chommanad Boonaree and Songphan Choemprayong at ASIS&T roundtable session. Left to right, Christopher Khoo Soo Guan, Kulthida Tuamsuk, Chommanad Boonaree and Songphan Choemprayong at ASIS&T roundtable session.

Christopher Khoo Soo Guan, also from Wee Kim Wee School, Singapore, and Hao-ren Ke, chair of the ASIS&T Taipei Chapter, also attended the roundtable and contributed to the discussion. 

See Attendee Comments for more from the roundtable. Additional photos of the roundtable and information on A-LIEP 2013 are posted at http://aliep2013.com/

Attendee Comments
Yin Leng Theng interacted with the attendees to determine their ideas of the opportunities and challenges in creating an ASIS&T Asian Pacific Chapter. This interaction elicited the following brief discussions, conclusions and actions:

  • Although JASIST is the top journal in the field, it may be too “technical” and “difficult” for many potential members. There is a need for a mid-range journal.
  • The Taipei Chapter has not been so active but will increase its activity.
  • Through ASIS&T, students can take advantage of the networks, meet famous people and start student chapters.
  • Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore will promote student chapters.
  • Former president Schwartz stated that capacity building and relevant formulation of information policies are essential.
  • Indonesia noted their attendees needed to know more and that there is a lack of awareness about ASIS&T. 
  • Malaysia considered that one might increase awareness through academic staff and LIS schools.
  • Social media should be exploited in the creation of an Asian-Pacific Chapter.
Yin Leng Theng, far right, moderates ASIS&T roundtable session, with Candy Schwartz to her right. Yin Leng Theng, far right, moderates ASIS&T roundtable session, with Candy Schwartz to her right.