Joan Shapiro


I am half way through the master’s of library and information sciences program, having completed 18 credits.  I am on the special libraries track and just completed an internship in a special library in NYC.  My internship was with the Information Center of Catalyst, a non-profit organization on Wall Street, that is dedicated to helping women succeed in business.  I had an opportunity to do research on women’s economic issues, prepare ready reference documents (available on their web site:, do original cataloging, help them with a move that relocated a small physical book collection (most of the library is digital), and I also assisted with their 50th anniversary Catalyst Awards conference.

I have been a professional back-of-the-book indexer for over 12 years, preparing indexes for trade, scholarly, and reference books about subjects ranging from culinary arts, biographies, social sciences, and law.  My business, Shapiro Indexing Services, is  usually contracted directly by publishing companies and occasionally contracted directly by authors.  I am active in the American Society for Indexing and have served as the New England chapter president (2002) and co-edited their book,Starting an Indexing Business, 4th ed., published by Information Today.  I am currently on the ASI Digital Trends Task Force, which is researching and promoting the use of active indexes in e-books.

As an indexer, I use Cindex, a dedicated indexing software program, and Microsoft Office products.  I have not had exposure to many other software programs, but am eager to learn.

Before indexing I worked as a video producer in a corporate setting, producing videos about telecommunications research, marketing, and employee communication issues for Telcordia (owned by the regional telephone operating companies when I was there).  My undergraduate degree is in mass communication from Boston University.

On a personal note, I have been married for 25 years, my husband is a journalist.  We have two young adult sons and live in Cheshire, Connecticut.

I am looking forward to taking ILS 652 with all of you and learning more about the Voices of September 11 project, specifically, and archiving, in general.


2012-07-26 20:39:09 joan

Today was the last class and I just have to say I really enjoyed the experience.  It is great to have something tangible (by cyberspace standards, anyway) to demonstrate what my classmates and I learned from Nancy –and, also from each other — during these five weeks.  I am very proud of our accomplishments as a group!  I wish Robert much success upon his graduation and hope to see some of you in future classes!

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Audio archiving

2012-07-21 20:55:43 joan

I enjoyed the presentation by Chris Brown during Thursday’s class.  My undergraduate degree is in Mass Communication, so I’ve certainly had classes about and exposure to different formats of audio formats.  And, I worked as a video producer for over a decade. But, I don’t think anybody has ever explained the digitizing process so clearly to me before, I found his illustration of the sampling process to be very clear.

I have so many cassettes of my children when they were young; my younger son, in particular, would sit outside with a tape recorder and talk about anything and everything and amuse himself for long periods of time that way.  It would be great to preserve those family memories.

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Musings about audio archives

2012-07-12 00:37:41 joan

In preparation for tomorrow’s class I’ve been reading up about the Kitchen Sisters and the archive being created by the Pop Up Archive team.  Together with the Hughes reading for this week, my head is just swimming with all of the possible forms of media that are being lost because they can no longer be played – either because the recordings are degraded or the machines to play the media are no longer available.

In my first career as a corporate video producer (for Telcordia) we ran in to this problem all of the time.  People would come to my department with Betamax tapes and ask how can they watch this? (We kept an old Betamax machine and converted the tapes to VHS in those days!)  It is mind boggling to think about all of the forms of media that have come and gone — and, about the media we use RIGHT NOW that will be obsolete in just a few years.

With this in mind, I’d like to share a link with the class from Syracuse University’s Belfer Audio Archives.  I was very fortunate to visit the collection about six years ago, when my family looked at Syracuse as a possible college for my older son (he ended up going to another school).  The collection includes some of the earliest recordings on cylinders, dating back to the nineteenth century.  You can search on their collection and listen to recordings (fair warning — this can be addictive!):


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