Conference 2011 :: Congrès 2011 – Vancouver, BC

Our 2011 conference was held at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC.

A full description of the conference can be found in the 2011 Summer/Fall Bulletin

Speaker and Session Notes

Do Mi Stauber (keynote)

Title: Tapping Into the Universe

Description:  Indexers have wide-ranging, curious, scanner minds. The wide deep huge diverse universe of the internet is an ideal fit for us.

Biographical notes: Do Mi Stauber has been indexing social science and humanities books since 1986. She is the 2007 winner of the Wilson Award for Excellence in Indexing, the author of Facing the Text: Content and Structure in Book Indexing, and presenter of the popular Facing the Text workshops. She is also an artist and a musician, and is currently developing a program to help people learn to teach what they know.  Do Mi’s indexing services and book can be found on the web at Her blog is at

Enid Zafran

Title: Polishing the Index

Description: This three hour workshop details the steps involved in editing and polishing an index. The final edit is an essential step and requires its own skills and checklist. Tips will include “editing-as-you-go” and various checks to make indexing easier and more accurate. This workshop is for newer as well as more experienced indexers and editors.

From the Denver Chapter, American Society for Indexing: “The many useful nuggets Enid packed into her presentation made it more than worth the price of admission, but it was her snappy style and knack for reinforcing practical information with useful handouts and examples that made this workshop a real standout.”

Biographical notes: Enid L. Zafran has been indexing since 1975. For 12 years she was Director of Indexing Services at the Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, D.C. where she oversaw one of the largest in-house indexing operations in the U.S.  In her own business, Indexing Partners, she works with and trains other freelance indexers. She is a past president of ASI, a recipient of the Hines Award for her contributions to the profession of indexing, and a well-known speaker and writer.  She is a founding member of the Institute of Certified Indexers (

Kari Kells

Title: Indexing as Tapestry Weaving: Patterns Created by Our Decisions

Description: Kari Kells will be facilitating this Intermediate/Advanced Indexing seminar, which includes a pre-seminar exercise. (Exercise details will be sent to registrants.) During our timetogether, we’ll explore our approaches to difficult indexing issues presented in the text and discuss how these decisions impact index user experience. This session is also intended for new and less experienced indexers, who will find it both informative and exciting.

Biographical notes: Kari Kells is the co-author of Inside Indexing with Sherry Smith. An instructor at heart, Kari teaches indexing through her own business (Index West) to students around the world, through the Graduate School, and through universities throughout Oregon and Washington State. She was a founding member of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the American Society of Indexers (ASI), and has served the chapter through the years as Webmaster, Vice-President, President, Newsletter Coordinator, and Directory Coordinator. She was thrilled to act as one of the original co-authors of the ASI national website and serve on its Web committee during its fledgling years. In her spare time, Kari creates altered books and caters to her cats (who all have special needs).

Frances S. Lennie

Title: The Visual Appeal of Indexes – An Exploration

Description: After concentrating on content and accuracy, the visual impact of an index is often overlooked in the rush to meet the deadline. How can the indexer influence certain elements of visual style? In this interactive session, we will examine factors that indexers can and cannot control, and with the use of examples explore the visual merits of different layouts. Although concentrating on indexes destined for the print medium, we will also look briefly at electronic indexes.

Biographical notes: Frances began her indexing career while still living in the United Kingdom from whence she hails. She established her company, Indexing Research, after her move to the United States in 1982. In addition to indexing in a wide variety of subject areas and media she is also the developer of CINDEX™ indexing software which had it debut in 1986, and for which she continues to provide training and support.A frequent speaker at indexing and library meetings in North America and overseas, Frances is currently serving a second term as president of the American Society for Indexing (2010-2011), has served several times as a juror for the ASI/H.W. Wilson Award for Excellence in Indexing, and is honored to be a recipient of the Theodore C. Hines Award for exceptional service to ASI.

Max McMaster

Title: Preparing the Indexing Quote

Description: Preparing an indexing quote for an editor or a publisher is one of the most difficult tasks of freelancing. You don’t want to overquote, because you might not get the job, but you don’t want to underquote either, as you do have to make a living. This session will consider the three quoting methods – per page rate, per locator rate and hourly rate, and compare them using a practical indexing example, and so determine which of the three methods is best.

Biographical notes: Max McMaster has been a full-time freelance indexer for the past 18 years working across a range of subjects with emphasis on the sciences, but covering environment, business, social sciences and general trade titles as well. Max lectures on indexing to editing and publishing students at a number of Australian universities and is an instructor for the University of California, Berkeley indexing course. He also runs indexing training courses for ANZSI and other organizations throughout Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Max has been awarded the AusSI Medal (now ANZSI Medal) for book indexing on three occasions. He is a Life Member of ANZSI, and is currently a member of ANZSI Council.

Kate Mertes

Title: Indexing Historical Documents

Description: A good index mediates between the languages of the author and the reader, providing a common ground on which different terms for the same concept can be coordinated and relevant relationships are revealed. But an index to a historical document must also mediate across time and space, countries and cultures, uniting author, translator, editor, and reader, all of whom may come from separate centuries. In this session we will look at the challenges of indexing materials written between the classical period and the early twentieth century, balancing the need to remain true to the usage of the original text with the importance of serving modern readers.

Biographical notes: Kate Mertes is sole proprietor of Mertes Editorial Services, providing indexing, information retrieval, and editorial expertise for complex, challenging projects in law and the humanities. With doctoral and post-doctoral degrees in medieval history and theology, Kate has taught at university level, and worked in publishing at Oxford English Dictionaries. She was a managing editor of indexing with Research Institute of America, a legal publishing company for nine years. Kate served on the Board of the American Society for Indexing (ASI) from 1998 to 2004, and has been president of ASI twice; she is currently serving as immediate past president. She was also president of the Mid and South Atlantic chapter of ASI. Kate periodically teaches a course on indexing for the Library School of the Catholic University of America. She is a founding member of the Institute of Certified Indexers. Kate is also the author of Good Governance and Politic Rule: The English Noble Household, 1250-1550, and chapters in many of ASI’s publications on the indexing of legal, historical, and theological materials. She

is a co-author, with Fred Leise and Nan Badgett, of Indexing for Editors and Authors.

Gale Rhoades

Biographical notes: Gale Rhoades, the North American publisher of the Macrex Indexing Program, is a consultant specializing in making the use of computers more like toasting bread than rocket science. For ten years she was the Executive Director of the nonprofit Fog International Computer Users Group. In addition to coordinating the activities of volunteers and employees there, she was often the teacher who managed to stay just one step ahead of the students. Since 1991 she has been self-employed and she now has an extensive client base of individuals, small businesses, and municipalities. Indexers, and especially Macrex users, often benefit from her in-depth knowledge of hardware, software, and peripherals. She offers four principles for successful computer usage: Try before you buy; a current backup will prevent disaster; if you can’t solve a problem in five minutes, seek assistance; and the only “dumb” question is the one not asked.

Macrex to the Rescue by Gale Rhoades

Macrex version 8 offers more power, control, and flexibility than ever before. From the Unicode roster of diacritics and symbols to word processor files generated by a single keystroke, from Keyboard Macros to Keywords, from Autocomplete to Table of Authority, from Change Headings to Block Delete, the list of features is nearly endless. An indexer, whether working on a book, a journal, an encyclopedia, a century’s worth of newspapers, or a museum collection is empowered, able to work in a manner best suited to temperament and project needs without the constraints of imposed procedures. Macrex continues to enhance the experience of writing an index, allowing an index to be finished more quickly with fewer keystrokes. Because it is impossible to experience the power of Macrex in a demonstration, each CD distributed at the conference contains the full program (limited to 300 entries per index with no limit on the number of indexes), tutorials, and PowerPoint presentations showing Macrex at work. Additionally, each copy includes 90 days of free technical support via email and a toll-free phone number.

Alan Walker

Title: Politicians’ Memoirs: the Indexer’s Role in the Publishing Process

Description: In 2010, the former political leaders of three countries published their memoirs: George W. Bush (USA), Tony Blair (UK) and John Howard (Australia). The index to the Blair autobiography, in particular, became a hot topic on indexers’ discussion lists, raising questions about differences between UK and US editions, and about indexer neutrality. Alan Walker, who indexed the Howard autobiography, will survey this discussion, as well as dealing with the whole process of indexing politicians’ memoirs, including the technical challenges of indexing the subject of a biography and managing strings of undifferentiated locators, and the relationship between indexers and editors.

Biographical notes: Alan Walker has been a professional indexer for 28 years, after a 20-year career as a librarian. He is a Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers, of which he was President for five years. He has twice been awarded the Medal of the Society for an outstanding index. Over a number of years he has taught both basic and specialist courses on indexing, including indexing legal materials. Indexing biographical texts is one of his special interests.