Candidate for President Elect:

Gary BurnettDr. Gary Burnett
Florida State University, USA

Candidate's Statement:
Library and Information Science is, as I see it, a perpetually emergent field, always deeply engaged in the process of reconsidering its boundaries, redefining its intellectual and professional domain, and reengaging its relationship to technologies, tools, and practices, even while retaining its strong commitment to the traditions, roots, and service orientation of librarianship and the information professions.

I see ALISE as a place of opportunity, dedicated to the very idea of emergence, change, and re-invention and tied to a strong sense of history and mission. In particular, it is an organization that can and should devote itself emphatically not only to fostering and supporting educators and researchers who are either entering the field or in the early stages of their careers, but also to listening to and learning from those younger colleagues. Recent years have seen some grassroots concern within ALISE and other professional organizations about our commitment to equity and diversity across our field’s programs and activities. As one of the premier professional organizations for Library and Information Science, ALISE needs to reexamine and reinforce its commitment to both equity and diversity across a wide variety of dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexual identity, age, professional status, and others. Strong support for broad representation, inclusion, and organizational support should be an explicit emphasis for the organization, and should be reflected consistently in all of its practices. The organization’s membership (and recruitment) should reflect such a commitment to inclusion, and the organization should further commit not only to communicating this but also to creating robust mentoring practices in support of diversity and equity, in particular taking inspiration and direction from those colleagues who are making this a focus of their teaching and research.

ALISE, along with ASIS&T and the iSchools, has been increasingly exploring possible avenues for coordination across organizations. In a world defined by financial constraints and the challenges brought by a global pandemic, such coordination is essential, and shared strategies for cooperation and collaboration will require careful discussion and planning over the next several years. The field of Library and Information Science can only benefit from increased alignment of these organizations. I have been active in all three organizations and would bring an understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and potentials of this process to the office of President-Elect, with a focus on how such coordination can help us all continue to build on our strengths as a perpetually emergent discipline.

Gary Burnett ([email protected]) is a Professor at the School of Information at Florida State University. He received his PhD in English from Princeton University and his MLS from Rutgers University. His work focuses on a theoretical approach to “Information Worlds,” exploring the social, political, and economic contexts of information access and exchange within specific communities; his more recent work expands this framework into an analysis of “Information Domains,” theorizing information in terms of relationships and interactions between individuals, social information worlds, and practices of signification, representation, and interpretation. His book, Information Worlds: Social Context, Technology, & Information Behavior in the Age of the Internet, co-authored with Paul Jaeger of the University of Maryland, was published by Routledge in 2010. An earlier book, published in 1989, examined the work of the American poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). He has also published widely in journals such as Information Research, The Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Library Quarterly, The Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, First Monday, and Library and Information Science Research. Dr. Burnett has been a member of ALISE since 1999, and has been active in a number of roles, including serving on the Publications Committee, creating and chairing the Web Committee, serving on and chairing the Bohdan S. Wynar Research Paper Committee and the ALISE Research Grant Competition Committee, and serving as Conference Co-Chair for the 2019 annual conference. In fall 2016, he was Visiting Professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, and in 2016-2017, he lectured at more than 30 universities throughout Asia. Subsequently, he has delivered keynote addresses at conferences in India, South Korea, Thailand, and Cambodia.


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