Our modern reliance on information technology - in business, industry, and other sectors - itself relies on professionals who understand information systems and who are skilled in retrieving and organizing actionable information. Many of these individuals work in corporate and academic settings. Those who prefer to work in an entrepreneurial fashion are the independent information professionals.
The Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) was formed on June 6, 1987, to serve this type of entrepreneur. Dr. Marilyn Levine, a professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin and the owner of Information Express, was joined by 26 other founding members in creating AIIP. AIIP's members are owners of firms providing such information-related services as online and manual research, document delivery, database design, library support, consulting, writing, and publishing. AIIP is recognized within the information industry as the unifying voice for the independent information profession.
The Association works closely with database vendors and producers, and other information providers, to ensure that the needs of its members are considered.
The objectives of the Association are to:
Advance the knowledge and understanding of the information profession;
Promote and maintain high professional and ethical standards among its members;
Encourage independent information professionals to assemble to discuss common issues;
Promote the interchange of information among independent information professionals and various organizations;
- Keep the public informed of the profession and of the responsibilities of the information professional.
AIIP now has more than 500 active, associate, retired, and student members.
The Association publishes a newsletter and an annual membership directory, sponsors a private electronic discussion list for networking and AIIP business, exhibits at trade shows, acts on behalf of members in negotiating special discount programs with vendors of information products and services, and holds a conference and annual meeting each spring. AIIP's Industry Relations Program was established in 1990 with an agreement with Mead Data Central (now LexisNexis). More than 20 other vendors also have recognized the growing role of the independent information professional by negotiating special programs with AIIP. They include Thomson Scientific, Chemical Abstracts Service, Burrelle's Information Services, ECNext, and many others. Industry Relations Program arrangements include features such as training and special pricing designed to meet the operational needs of the Association and its members.