Does it spark joy?

Folded towels and Marie Kondo's bookMarie Kondo, the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, teaches a method to help us deal with the material items in our lives. In her Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, she helps desperate unhappy people who are wallowing in clutter by showing them how to get their houses in order once and for all. Her method includes techniques, such as folding laundry, as well as approaches toward material things, like thanking an item for its service before you discard it. To decide what to keep and what to let go, you ask yourself “Does this spark joy?”

Indexers know well the joy of finishing an index. It’s an intense process that can get away on you if you’re not careful. You’re not done just because you’ve typed in all the entries. You still have the editing, and that’s where it’s easy to go over budget. You’re conscientious about your work and you’re not going to turn in an index that doesn’t spark joy for your client.

Anne Fifer has a way to make editing less grueling. She is going to give us techniques, approaches, and more when she presents “Editing without pain: Getting your index in shape from the get-go” at the conference in Ottawa, May 24-25.

Applications are Open for the Mary Newberry Mentorship Program!

Stephen Ullstrom and Linda Christian, coordinators for the program, are excited to announce that the Mary Newberry Mentorship Program is now open to receive applications.

As announced at the ISC/SCI AGM in June 2018, this is a new initiative to help both new and mature indexers develop their skills and businesses, to promote excellence in indexing, and to foster relationships within the society.

This is also our first call for applications.

A few points to note:

  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and will be treated on a first-come-first-serve basis. So get your applications in early.
  • We will do our best to find an appropriate mentor, though we cannot guarantee a match or that a mentor will be available right away. We will reply within 30 days, at the latest, about the status of your application and whether we have been able to find a mentor.
  • As this will be the first cohort, we will be capping the number of concurrent mentorships at six. This cap may change in the future as the program progresses.
  • More information about the program is available at www.indexers.ca/mentorship.
  • To apply, please fill out and submit the application form and the career development exercise to mentorship@indexers.ca. The forms are also available at www.indexers.ca/mentorship.
  • Mentees accepted into the program will pay a $100 fee. This will be due after the mentee has been matched with a mentor.

Please ask if you have any questions. We are happy to answer.

We look forward to receiving your applications, and to fruitful mentorships.

Post Conference Workshop Announced

Indexing names sounds so easy.  But names indexing is so much broader than just people—it really encompasses all proper nouns and titles and places—and it requires lots of decision-making and judgment calls on the part of the indexer.  No matter what subject area you specialize in, you encounter these name-related issues.

You face the challenges of “foreign” or “ancient” cultures, the possibility of names changing over a lifetime, and countries with former names, present names, and official names.  You encounter royals, religious figures, fictional characters, and pseudonyms.

Authors introduce their own wrinkles into our jobs, creating confusion with multiple spellings, and setting up expectations that we don’t even know about in terms of what we should include and exclude from the index.

As our presenter Enid L. Zafran says, “There is so much to talk about in terms of indexing names that we need a whole day devoted to it.”

And that is why the ISC/SCI has chosen to offer a full-day post-conference workshop on “Names” conducted by Enid.  She will tell us short-cuts and strategies for entry methods, detail what to include in a entry like parenthetical glosses, how many postings to make per “name,” explain when a name is indexable, and discuss the sorting requirements.  Practical advice about dealing with clients and pricing the indexing are interspersed throughout.

To solidify your learning, the workshop includes two hands-on exercises where you’ll practice your new knowledge in expertly navigating names issues.

Please note that this is also the last event of Enid’s public-speaking career—she is hanging up her “presenter” hat, and you won’t want to miss out on this final chance to hear one of the most popular U.S. indexing experts. She has given talks at past ISC/SCI conferences as well as numerous chapter and national conferences in the United States.  Her books and articles have offered guidance to many of us for the past few decades.  We are honored that Enid has chosen to end this part of her career by coming to Ottawa and spending the day with us!

The ISC/SCI conference is in Ottawa on May 24 – 25, and the “Names” workshop will be held May 26. Registration for both will be on the conference page in a few weeks.

Library Archives Canada: a national, accessible treasure

Credit: Library Archives Canada

One thing that we love about indexing is the opportunity to read books that we might not discover on our own.

There is another other group that encounters interesting books on the job—the people at Library Archives Canada. This government organization is responsible for preserving Canada’s documentary heritage in all its mediums and formats.

“Preserved heritage” might conjure up the image of books and documents locked away in dark, dry vaults, accessible only with permission granted by secretive bureaucrats. It turns out that the vaults are real, but the access is generous and the “secrecy” is untrue.

In the spirit of the concept that heritage belongs to the people of Canada, LAC puts content online for the public. Besides providing searchable databases, they produce podcasts on the collections and accompany them with Flickr albums. They have a YouTube channel with archival videos and recordings. One initiative still going strong is “Project Naming”, in which they “digitize and identify, through Facebook and Twitter, the Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples and communities seen in historical photos from our collection.”

Credit: Library Archives Canada

About the vaults, LAC offers a guided tour of their state-of-the-art Preservation Centre. It’s in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the river from downtown Ottawa, which is where we’re having our annual conference May 24-25. You can view the photos of the facility on their Flickr album here, and visit our conference page here.