25:1 (2010:03) President’s Corner

March 29, 2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in President's Corner | Leave a comment

President’s Corner
Rick Anderson, NASIG President

Thinking Warm Thoughts of Palm Springs

For many of us, it’s probably hard to believe that spring is really around the corner.  As I write this, the northeastern corner of the United States is bracing for another pair of massive snowstorms, just as it’s finishing digging out from the blizzards that came two weeks ago.  And it’s not just New England, either: there’s been snow in Texas, snow in Mississippi, and I have it on good authority that there was frost under the palm trees in Gainesville, Florida last week—it’s been a crazy, crazy late winter all around the country.

However, as your president, I’m prepared to make you a promise: if you come to the 25th anniversary NASIG conference in Palm Springs from June 3 through 6, there will be no snow.  In fact, I’ll stick my neck out even further: if it snows anywhere in or near Palm Springs during our conference, I will personally serenade everyone at the business meeting with a show tune of the membership’s choice.  And I hate show tunes.

Even without show tunes—especially without show tunes—our anniversary conference is shaping up to be a wonderful event and I look forward to seeing all of you there.  Be on the lookout for more details about the program and special events soon.

Congratulations to Our Award Winners

One of the exciting items in this month’s Newsletter is the announcement of our new crop of award winners—and a mighty impressive group they are.  You can find the complete list here (https://nasignews.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/2010-award-winners-announced/).  It almost feels wrong to single any of them out for particular mention, but from a programmatic standpoint it’s especially exciting to have Selden Lamoureux (North Carolina State University) as the first winner of the John Merriman Award, a travel grant jointly funded by NASIG and our sister organization, the United Kingdom Serials Group.  This recently-instituted award makes it possible for one member of each organization to attend the other’s annual conference, and I can hardly imagine a better international ambassador for NASIG than Selden.  She and I will both eat some haggis for you in Edinburgh.  Or maybe not.

Election Slate

Speaking of impressive NASIG members (including Selden again), I just voted the other day and have to say that I’m awfully impressed by the quality of our slate this year and deeply appreciative of all the candidates’ willingness to dedicate an extra measure of their already-packed schedules to NASIG service.  It was hard to choose—I kind of wish I could have voted for all of them.

Organizational Membership

And speaking of voting, by now everyone will have heard that our most recent bylaws amendment, establishing the membership category of “organizational member,” passed overwhelmingly by a yes-to-no ratio of nearly ten to one.  This means that an organization of any type—library, publisher, scholarly society, subscription agent, etc.—will now have the option of joining NASIG as a unit and giving full membership benefits to three of its individual members.  The hope is that this will make involvement with NASIG more attractive to the organizations (of all types) that make up such a large and important part of the serials environment.

Scenario Planning

As you all know, the Executive Board hired a consultant to help us put together a three-year strategic plan for NASIG in 2007.  With the end of that period now in sight, and both the information environment and the economy in radical flux, we’ve decided to follow up not with another strategic plan, but rather with some scenario or contingency planning.  Since it seems very unlikely that strategies we conceive based on today’s realities are likely to make as much sense in three or five years as they might seem to today, we’re instead going to work with another consultant (the deeply experienced and highly recommended Mark Lane) to come up with a variety of possible scenarios for the future, and prepare strategic responses that we might implement in each case.  We’ll be spending the day with Mark just prior to the beginning of the conference in Palm Springs, and will have some documents to share afterwards—as always, everyone’s input will be welcome.

See You in Palm Springs!

The closer the conference gets, the better it’s looking.  But don’t take my word for it—check out the great programs by an international assortment of presenters listed at http://www.nasig.org/conference_program.cfm.  And this is only the preliminary program; it doesn’t even mention all the great activities or the brand-new vendor showcase.  More details will be coming soon, but in the meantime, register now and buy that fancy pair of sunglasses you’ve been saving up for.

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