Networking anxiety: a real solution

Posted on: May 21st, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

Yes, even YOU can network

I always wondered if I was the only one who hated networking events. It’s stressful trying to listen attentively to people I don’t know, while trying to think of something intelligent to say.

Ilise Benun, a self-promotion expert and consultant, wrote an article about it. She explained that at typical business-card exchanges, people’s defenses are up.

I couldn’t understand why that was, until I realized that when I’m talking to people I’ve never met before, I feel like I’m being judged.

Ms. Benun went on to say, “For more relaxed networking, find educational atmospheres, such as workshops and seminars, where the focus is on learning and where people’s defenses are lower.”

Workshops and seminars? That sounds like our conference on June 2-3 in Montreal!

Ilise Benun has the best and easiest tips on networking that I’ve ever read. You can find them here.

Point of Entry

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

By Fazeela Jiwa

Have you ever wondered, as you sip your morning coffee, “How exactly does thesaurus creation differ from back-of-the-book indexing?”

Heather Hedden is ready to enlighten us on the subtle, yet significant differences by comparing important aspects of both processes…such as multiple points of entry and hierarchical structure.

Heather is an information management professional and author of The Accidental Taxonomist.

There’s just one point of entry to her detailed and informative session: the Indexing Society of Canada’s conference, June 2-3 in Montreal.

Montreal Accommodations for the June 2-3 Conference

Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

There are several options for staying in Montreal.

Novotel Hotel Montréal Centre

We have reserved a block of rooms at the conference hotel. Call the Novotel Montréal Centre Reservations Department at 514.871.2138 or 1.866.861.6112. Mention the group name: Indexing Society of Canada 2017 conference to ensure you receive the appropriate rate and are included in the guest room block.

The rooms include a standard king bed ($10 extra for two beds) and have internet access. They are available for $189 CAD plus taxes for Thursday, June 1 and Friday, June 2, 2017. The rates may be extended to three days by adding a day before or after the event, depending on availability.

A one-night non-refundable deposit will be taken upon reservation. Check-in: 3 pm; check-out: noon.

Deadline for making a room reservation is May 2, 2017. But book early, especially if you want to spend extra time in Montreal, because the Grand Prix is the very next weekend.


One and a half blocks away from the conference hotel. Rooms start at $55. Visit YWCA

McGill Residences

McGill has a number of residences, with choice of conveniences and prices. Note that they do not have “Grand Prix price” dates listed yet. The Grand Prix starts the weekend following our conference, but the tourists start arriving earlier, so dates may include our weekend.

1. New Residence Hall, 3625 avenue du Parc

One of the more modern residences. Private bathrooms, air conditioning, etc. Many small restaurants, a bakery, coffee shops as well as an adjacent cinema and small mall.

2. La Citadel, 410 Sherbrooke West.

McGill’s newest residence, two blocks east of of its main campus. Hotel style; all the mod cons.

3. Royal Victoria College, 3425 University Street

Very basic accommodations just across the street from McGill’s downtown campus just north of Sherbrooke St.  Shared washrooms, no air conditioning (unlikely to be a problem in early June). About fifteen minute walk to conference hotel.

Public Transit from the Airport to Your Hotels

It’s convenient, relatively fast, and cheap. Download this one=page guide to get to any of the above residences from the airport.


A TV program about indexing

Posted on: March 19th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

In 2000, Kate Mertes was on Book TV, talking to producer Connie Doebele about indexes and the business of indexing.

It’s a fun 20 minutes. I thought it would be good to share with loved ones, prospective clients, and anybody you know who is curious about indexing.

Kate mentions that she is a fast indexer. She has shared her techniques with us many times. Meet Kate in person when she talks about efficient terms, at the conference in Montreal June 2-3.

Do we know what readers need?

Posted on: March 12th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

Did you read Valerie Nesset’s article in the June 2016 issue of The Indexer? It was on the findings of a study of the information search behaviors of elementary school children, and it offered new insights on index usability.

Dr. Nesset’s area of research is information-seeking behavior and information literacy. She’ll be sharing even more insights when she presents “Indexing for our users, not ourselves” at the ISC/SCI Conference June 2-3 in Montreal.


Measuring Up

Posted on: February 26th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

An index that’s too long for the book simply doesn’t measure up.

However, most of us find it’s not so simple to figure out whether the index will fit into the pages allotted.

Heather Ebbs knows how to do this. She’ll explain all about page counts and measuring index length at the ISC/SCI conference in Montreal June 2-3.

See you there!

How Charles Cutter spent his winter vacation

Posted on: February 19th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

In 1858, Charles A. Cutter was a student librarian at the Harvard Divinity School, struggling to keep the four old folio volumes of the manuscript catalog up to date. Then the school acquired a 4,000 volume collection from Professor Frederich Lücke at the University of Göttingen. To continue with the existing manuscript catalog would be impossible.

Cutter and a classmate, Charles Noyes, worked the winter vacation recataloguing the entire collection of 12,000 books. But instead of writing a new manuscript catalog, they took down the book information on slips. As he set out to arrange the slips, Cutter was facing cataloguing principles for the first time. Nevertheless, by the time he graduated in July, the whole collection was complete and integrated—in the catalogue and on the shelves.

Cutter went on to a distinguished career as head librarian at the Boston Aethenaeum Library and eventually as consultant to the United States Bureau of Education. He was driven to helping libraries everywhere bring order out of chaos. In 1880, he introduced a novel system he called the Cutter Expansive Classification, which laid the foundation for the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

His book, “Rules for a Dictionary Catalog” can be viewed here at the University of North Texas Library.

You’ll hear more about Cutter and others when Alan Walker presents “Seven types of specificity: the history of alphabetico-specific indexing” at the conference in Montreal June 2-3.

The Joy of Cooking

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

I love to cook. So naturally, my dream project would be to write the index for an edition of a legendary cookbook, such as…oh, let’s say The Joy of Cooking.

According to an article in The Indexer (April 2007), by Deborah Patton, who was citing a book called Standing Facing the Stove (Anne Mendelson), almost every edition of The Joy of Cooking was fraught with problems.

“For instance, the 1951 edition had an ‘ongoing index-revision squabble’ that lasted well into 1952. The index to the 1962 edition was a typographical disaster, with misspellings, lost indents, and tiny type.”

Then she comes to the 1975 version:
“[It] has a page-long  preface to provide guidance on finding anything either in the index or in the book. The writers must have known their explanation did not help much, because it ends with: ‘Meanwhile, happy hunting.’”

Are you interested in writing cookbook indexes that you can be proud of? Then you’ll want to attend Gillian Watt’s session at the conference in Montreal on June 2-3.

Conference Venue Confirmed

Posted on: January 29th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

The ISC Conference Committee is thrilled to announce that the conference will be held in the Novotel hotel in the centre of Montreal. Recently renovated, it’s a gem of a hotel.
Located on Rue de la Montagne, the hotel is easy walking distance to the shops on Ste-Catherine street (Ogilvy Store & Holt Renfrew), the bars and restaurants on Crescent Street, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
You can check it out here.

When you’re in Montreal

Posted on: January 22nd, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

If you’re coming to the ISC/SCI conference on June 2-3, bring your smartphone and headphones with you so that you can take in “one of the largest video projection experiences in the world.”

Cité Mémoire is occurring every evening at dusk in Old Montreal. As you walk the area you’ll discover “a host of characters who’ve witnessed the city’s evolution first-hand.”

Before you go, download the app so that you can enjoy the words and music that go with it.


A fresh look at your 2017 goals

Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

Some questions to ask yourself as you make your plans this year:

How can you get the type of indexing projects you love most coming to you? What if you carved out a niche, by building up your expertise in a subject area or a skill?

If you are a full time freelancer, how are you going to maintain or grow your pool of clients?
Besides your “Find an Indexer” profile, your website, and LinkedIn, what else can you do to market yourself this year?

Are you going to read more widely than before? Explore books and materials that you wouldn’t normally look at?

Is this the year that you get more balance in your life? Work shorter days and take more breaks with minimal reduction in income?

Are you going to work smarter than last year? Learn what other indexers are doing and adopt some shortcuts and time savers into your own practice?

I’m wishing you all the greatest success in 2017.

And if you want to cover huge ground on all these points, put the 2017 Conference into your plan. It will be June 2-3 in Montreal.

The Affiliation

Posted on: January 15th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

The Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation got its start in 1977. It arose out of an Open Forum at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Library Association on June 12 of that year, in Montreal.

The Society of Indexers (SI) in the UK, the American Society of Indexers, and the Australian Society of Indexers had already been formed. An affiliation was in place to strengthen their efforts towards the advancement of indexing.

When the SI held its first international conference in 1978, Canadian indexers Peter Grieg and Mary Dykstra attended and discussed with SI officers the affiliation of IASC (as we were then called). The terms were agreed and the affiliation was formalized in 1979.

The secretary of the SI commented on the 1978 conference: “It was Canada’s bilingualism, reinforced by the influence of a strong contingent of delegates from France, that stimulated consideration—for the first time—of the possibility of moving out of the English-speaking limitations within which we have hitherto operated. Even before the formalities of affiliation are completed, the youngest member of the family is already making its influence felt.”

One of the benefits of being in the family is that we can attend each other society’s conferences as though we are members. At every conference, we have visitors from Australia/New Zealand, Europe, United Kingdom, and United States, and sometimes also China and Africa.

This year will be no different. Be sure to introduce and welcome our visiting members when you come to this year’s conference in Montreal, June 2-3.

The perfect accounting world is perfect for clients

Posted on: January 7th, 2017 by JoAnne Burek

One of the challenges faced by new freelance indexers is setting up the business to handle cash flows and deal with taxes. This is especially true for former “employees” who only ever had to collect paycheques.

If that’s you, you’ll be interested in this article in the Bulletin of Winter 2002. Jean Sinclair gave us straightforward advice on registering your business, managing day to day tasks, keeping books, and getting through the tax season.

You can read the article here

And you can get more help with your business questions when you come to this year’s conference on June 2-3 in Montreal.