American FactFinder Webinar


NEASIS&T is sponsoring a webinar on American FactFinder, presented by Ana Maria Garcia, a Data Dissemination Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what datasets are publicly available and how they can be used in practitioner and academic settings.
  2. Navigate American FactFinder to identify and access relevant datasets.
    It’s not too late to sign up!

Details and registration link – Free for ASIS&T members and $25 for non-members.
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 11:00am – 12:00pm EDT (UTC 15:00:00 – World Clock)

Hope to see you there!

Louisa Choy

2019 Travel Award Winner


We are pleased to announce that Rachel Williams, of Simmons University, as the recipient of this year’s NE-ASIST Annual Travel Award.

Rachel anticipates that attending the annual meeting will assist in “building my professional network, in reflecting and growing as an instructor, and in engaging the innovative approaches to answering information questions.” Her work on exploring the possible connections between social work, public librarianship, and library science education directly engages with the conference theme. Her experience and interest in forging ties between research and practice resonate with NEASIST’s work.
A special thanks goes out to the team of volunteers who read through the essays for this year’s award – Alyson Gamble, Grete Graf, Joshua Dull, Kyong Eun Oh, and Louisa Choy. Additional thanks to Rachael Juskuv for providing further guidance.

Louisa Choy

2019 Travel Award


Application Deadline: Tuesday, April 16
Notification of Award Winner: Friday, April 26

The Association for Information Science & Technology, New England Chapter (NEASIS&T) is pleased to announce a travel award to support participation in the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Our goals are to support scholarship and connect research and practice, bringing new voices to the chapter. There is one award of $1250. Both practitioners and graduate students are eligible for this award.

The award will support your year-long membership in ASIS&T as well as your conference registration and part of your travel costs for the 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting. The award will come in the form of a reimbursement after your return from the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. What does that mean for you?

  • As an ASIS&T member, you’ll receive up to $1250 for ASIS&T Annual.
  • As a student non-member, you’ll receive up to $1210 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $40 dues for your student ASIS&T membership.
  • As a non-member new information professional, you’ll receive up to $1180 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $70 dues for your transitional professional ASIS&T membership.
  • As a non-member professional, you’ll receive up to $1110 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $140 dues for your professional ASIST membership.

The ASIS&T Annual Meeting will take place in Melbourne, Australia from Saturday, October 19 – Wednesday, October 23 and will be focused on “information…anyone, anywhere, any time, any way.” For more information, you can visit the annual meeting webpage. It is still 7 months out from the annual meeting, so the programming schedule has not been fixed yet.

Benefits of ASIS&T membership include:

  • Membership in our New England regional chapter
  • Mentorship and networking with experienced NEASIS&T members
  • Opportunities to build professional skills (including project management, budgeting, marketing, etc.)
  • Discounted conference registration for ASIS&T and NEASIS&T events
  • Webinars and discounts on other publications
  • A year’s subscription to the Journal of ASIS&T and the Bulletin

Eligibility & Applications
Applicants must be either current graduate students (current students in their last semester of their program are still eligible) or practitioners in the field of information science at the time of their application and living and working in New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, or CT).

We define information science broadly: librarians, archivists, data/knowledge managers, information architects, web developers, faculty, etc., are all encouraged to apply.

Previous NEASIS&T travel award recipients are not eligible.

Applicants do not need to be current NEASIS&T members. However, the award winner is expected to participate (in person or remotely) in some NEASIS&T programming activities in 2019-20 (see Terms of Awards below).

Here is the application link:

Terms of Awards
Each award winner will be welcomed into our New England regional chapter by participating in events in person or remotely. As a travel award winner, you will:

  • Participate in one other NEASIS&T meeting or event between May 1, 2019 and October 18, 2019.
  • Share your conference experience with the NEASIS&T chapter via a blog post due December 1, 2019.
  • Share your conference experience at a NEASIS&T meeting (either in person or remotely) between November 1, 2019 and December 15, 2019
  • Review award applications for the 2020 Travel Awards. This is typically done online in a short meeting in April of the travel year.
  • Submit receipts documenting travel- and conference-related expenses, such as registration, airfare, food, and lodging, up to the value of the award.

*If the winner is unable to meet all of the terms due to a relocation, NEASIS&T should be notified immediately.
**If the winner cannot attend the 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, they will forfeit the entirety of the award.

Questions? Contact Louisa Choy at

2018 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia


Greetings from your guest blogger, Alyson Gamble! I am a doctoral student in LIS at Simmons University and the research associate at the Harvard Data Science Review . I am also the grateful recipient of the 2018 student NEASIST travel award.

Thanks to the generosity of NEASIST and the Simmons University SLIS PhD program, I was able to attend this year’s ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. While there, I attended presentations, presented on an initiative I’ve worked on as part of SIG-DL, participated in two business meetings, received another award, and met with other attendees. It was a busy and delightful trip that was only possible because of funding support from NEASIST and my educational institution.

Each day of the annual meeting, I was able to attend presentations. These included the opening plenary, “Data Practices and Digital Curation,” “What Does the Future Hold for the information Professions?,” “Data Communities and Institutions,” “Open Science,” “Scholarly Practices in Biomedical Research,” “How Does Health Happen in Public Libraries? Ethical and Emerging Issues,” and the closing plenary session. Some of the panels wove together, while others found unique foci on the annual meeting theme. It was interesting to follow different ideas and learn about people’s work.

For my own efforts, together with other members of SIG-DL, I presented “ Digital Liaisons: Connecting Diverse Voices to Support an Ethical and Sustainable Information Future in Digital Libraries .” During this panel, we discussed our work during the last year hosting the Digital Liaisons chats on Twitter, including the lessons we learned from another year of offering this opportunity. The panel session was fairly well attended and inspired group discussion among the audience, which we intended. Additionally, there were poster presentations as part of this panel; we offered an award for the best poster. The winner, doctoral student Jelina Haines, was accompanied at the meeting by one of her research subjects. I was able to talk with both Jelina and her friend at the panel, with follow up conversations later in the day. It seems rare that researchers are accompanied by the people whom they are researching, which made this quite special.

As a former ASIS&T New Leader, I was able to go to the New Leader coffee and meet new colleagues while catching up with ones from previous years. I also met NEASIST members and had lunch with my advisor and two of her colleagues. Networking is not my strong suit, which makes casual, yet structured, opportunities like these valuable for building a professional network.

I have spent several years as a leader in SIG-DL. At this year’s meeting, I was acting as past chair of SIG-DL. In this role, I attended the SIG Cabinet Meeting. There, the need for SIG member engagement was discussed. Later, during the SIG-DL business meeting, we presented the Student Engagement Award to a Simmons MLIS candidate, Alessandra Seiter. At this meeting, thanks to my colleagues, I was recognized for five years of service with the Deborah Barreau Memorial Award. The rest of the business meeting dealt with the election of new officers, discussion of this past year’s work, and preparation for 2019-2020.

I am grateful to the Simmons SLIS PhD program and NEASIST for helping fund my attendance to this annual meeting. This is a lovely opportunity for practitioners, scholars, and practitioner-scholars.

UX & You: User Experience Design & Research


The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to join us at our 2016 Winter Event:

UX & You: User Experience Design & Research

Whether you are providing a service for free or for profit, in-person or virtually, your organization’s success depends on the user experience. Our speakers are experts in the field of UX Research and Design. Through them, you’ll learn about the nuts and bolts of usability and user experience while hearing practical examples of usability at work. You’ll also have a chance to experience some real-world UX techniques that you can bring back to your organization.

When Wednesday, January 6, 2016, from 8 am to 3pm
Where Simmons College Linda K. Paresky Center, 3rd Floor, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA
RSVP Eventbrite


8:00-8:45am Registration
Coffee & tea provided
8:45-9:00am Welcome & Introductions
9:00-10:00am Rong Tang, Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Science — Simmons College
In this talk, Rong will first present an overview of UX research in terms of its essential characteristics and processes. She will then provide insights into challenges that UX researchers face when carrying out a user study as either a scholarly endeavor or practical project. Following that, Rong will discuss some of key questions and noteworthy trends in UX research. Finally, Rong will pose her own thoughts on a possible paradigmatic shift in user research when UX is embedded in new information environments where user experiences are constantly instantiated and reshaped by the interactive and ubiquitous access, through embodied and collective minds, and surrounded with large scale boundary-less cyber entities or objects.
10:00-11:00am Steven Anderson, Digital Repository Developer — Digital Commonwealth

Eben English, Web Services Developer — Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library (BPL) recently conducted a usability test of online book-reader interfaces to inform the development of Digital Commonwealth (, a digital repository featuring collections from a state-wide consortium of Massachusetts cultural heritage institutions. In the study, which was conducted at the Simmons Usability Lab, participants were asked to take several open-source book-viewing applications for a “test drive,” performing basic tasks related to searching and reading digitized book content. This talk will discuss the development and execution of the study, which was undertaken to inform the BPL’s implementation of an open-source e-reading application to provide access to historically significant materials such as manuscripts, town records, legislation, and yearbooks. Topics of particular focus will include: the evolution of the study design, lessons learned from the study process, and how the study ultimately influenced our work at the BPL.

11:00am-12:00pm Kate Lawrence, Vice President, User Research — EBSCO Information Services

Today’s students employ diverse search strategies to discover content in support of their studies. With search results serving as the staple of the digital ecosystem, creating that experience hinges on a deep understanding of user needs at that critical juncture. While usage metrics may reveal the user’s clicks, the story behind those choices may remain untold. And as usability testing proves useful in identifying areas for improvement, going off-script to capture user pain points is not always sanctioned. Looking outside the confines of traditional research methods allows capturing the “free-range” insights of today’s researchers. This presentation will feature the experiences of the User Research Team at EBSCO Information Services as they set out to illuminate the true user journey of scholarly research. Attendees will learn what what page designs elicit smiles, smirks, confusion or delight. Learnings from ethnographic studies will be shared, with insights about the complex feelings students have about searching for information and their diverse strategies for evaluating search results.

12:00-12:45pm Lunch
Please notify us of any dietary restrictions.
12:30-1:45pm UX Demonstrations
Visit exhibits to learn UX activities and techniques that you can apply in your own setting.
1:45-2:45pm UX Case Studies Lightning Round
Graduate students from Rong Tang’s Usability and User Experience Research course will be presenting three case studies from their own research.
2:45-3:00pm Closing remarks

Getting There

Simmons College is easily accessed from the MFA stop on the MBTA E Line of the Green Line. Additionally, several MBTA bus routes stop near Simmons, including numbers 8, 19, 39, 47, 60, 65, CT2, and CT3.

Contact the event organizer at if you need special accommodations.

We hope to see you there!

Join us on June 25th


You are invited to NEASIST’s June Meetup, Meet and greet and eat (nachos), happening next Wednesday, June 25th, at 6pm at Champion’s in Kendall Square.

Join members of the Program Committee as we brainstorm topics, speakers,
activities and events for the coming year.  We’ll buy the nachos, you bring
the bright ideas!  Are you wondering what we have in mind?  Take a look at our recent brainstorm.  Which of these topics would you like to see
hosted as NEASIST events?  What ideas do you have that we have missed?  We
welcome your suggestions.

This event is open to all–you don’t need to be a member of ASIS&T to join
us. The only requirement is that you be excited about connecting with
others in the local information science community!

We hope to see you there!

Beata Panagopoulos wins this year’s Watson-Davis Award


Beata Panagopoulos, NEASIST Program Committee member, has won the 2013 ASIS&T Watson-Davis Award.  The award, commemorating the founder of the Society, recognizes an individual member of the Society who has shown continuous dedicated service to the membership through active participation in and support of ASIS&T programs, chapters, SIGs, committees, and publications.

Congratulations, Beata!