About the SIG/CON Web Site
Why Did I Do It?
At the 1994 Annual Meeting of the (then) American Society for Information Science, in Alexandria, Virginia, it was suggested that the time was long overdue for a(nother) Proceedings of SIG/CON. Here, after all, was the one ASIS forum at which attendees (and participants) were consistently intellectually challenged, the one annual session which is a "must" on everyone's conference program. As a duty to the profession, therefore, I took it upon myself (having tried to take it upon a few colleagues) to attempt an historical record of SIG/CON since its conception.
I researched my collection of conference programs and daily conference newsletters. I gathered audiotapes from ASIS headquarters and from the ASIS Archives and took notes on the actual recorded presentations. These were, as might be expected, often startlingly at variance with the conference programme listings. Even more startling, events sometimes did actually occur as advertised (but these few occasions may be regarded as aberrations). I found my typewritten notes on SIG/CON from 1975 and 1976 prepared as part of conference reports to Concordia University. From a source which may not be revealed, I came by copies of handwritten and typewritten speaker notes, and an early collection of SIG/CON proceedings. I also enlisted the moral support and assistance of Joseph Janes, who prepared a thinkpiece on future research directions.
As the volume developed, it became clear that this could not be simply a collection of the more scholarly SIG/CON papers. To include only these would be to ignore the achievements of those presenters who spoke ex tempore, those who held forth in the true spirit of collegial information sharing, without regard for personal dignity. In order to provide for the most complete collective memory, therefore, I provided a history, background materials, a list of Program Chairs, information on our founder, Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III, a list of sessions with descriptions where possible, and a selection of papers. This was published as the Journal of the American Society for Information Science, v. 46, no. 0. In 1999, Don Kraft, Editor of JASIS[T], suggested that I might consider creating a Web site for SIG/CON, and since I had most of the aforementioned materials in machine-readable form, I agreed. I expect that I have agreed to maintain the site as well - oh well.
Unlike certain of my colleagues, I do not pretend to be closely acquainted with the esteemed doctor, but I do believe that his guiding light has been in my eyes during this venture. I would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Lidia Ventola (Faculty Assistant, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College), Joseph Janes (School of Information and Library Studies, University of Michigan), David Batty (CDB Enterprises, Inc.), James D. Fox (Assistant Head and Curator, Special Collections Library, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan), Donald H. Kraft (Editor, Journal of ASIS), Dick Hill (Executive Director, ASIS), and Diane Cerra (John Wiley & Sons). Typographical (and most other) errors are solely my responsibility.
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