Candidate for Director, Membership:

Devendra PotnisDr. Devendra Potnis
Associate Professor
University of Tennessee at Knoxville, USA

Candidate's Statement:
As the Membership Director, my vision is to make ALISE more diverse, relevant, international, valuable, and energetic (DRIVE). I would like to involve all ALISE members to explore, modify, and implement the following ideas for this DRIVE.

  1. A stronger social media presence is needed to create more value for current members and potential members of ALISE.
    1. The Social Media Director position needs to be created in the ALISE Board of Directors.
    2. ALISE needs to be where members are. For instance, ALISE can start a YouTube channel.
    3. Content of ALISE’s social media channels can be as follows.
      1. We can interview past and current ALISE leaders and upload their 5-minute videos on YouTube.
      2. ALISE can serve as a platform for scholars in our  field to offer guidance to doctoral students and junior faculty in the US and abroad.
      3. Short stories on how ALISE benefitted/benefits current members can be shared on the ALISE website and social media channels.
  2. The concept of “networking” is changing. Millennials and Gen-Z members of ALISE might not be interested in investing a significant amount of time and money to go to a physical conference. ALISE conferences need to be hybrid in the future. Such inclusive conferences can accelerate the internationalization of ALISE.
  3. Work on the branding and image of ALISE.
    1. How is ALISE different than ASIS&T and iSchools?
    2. Is that difference valuable?
    3. How can ALISE better collaborate with ALA, IFLA, ASIS&T, and iSchools?
  4. Devise strategies for changing the negative perception and attitude of some of the gatekeepers in our field (e.g., some senior scholars) toward ALISE, which can attract more doctoral students and junior scholars in the US and abroad.
  5. We can brainstorm ideas for how ALISE can contribute to the enhancement of the US News Ranking of LIS schools. ALISE can serve as a platform for showcasing and celebrating LIS schools’ accomplishments in more novel and engaging ways. This increased visibility of their accomplishments can change their image in the field.
  6. ALISE should explore new partnerships with other professional associations from allied fields like education, nonprofits, communication, information systems, public administration, and sociology.
  7. ASIS&T offers free membership to people in several developing countries. We need to brainstorm how ALISE can convert this challenge into an opportunity for attracting professionals in developing countries.
  8. Most of the standing committees and award, competition, and grant committees of ALISE work in silos. We need to brainstorm ideas for creating more interactions, synergy, and value for these committee members.

Devendra Potnis is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, United States (US). His research focuses on access to and use of (a) information tools (e.g., assistive technologies, mobile phones, personal safety wearable devices), (b) information resources (e.g., e-Books, information systems, websites, social media), and (c) information services (e.g., mobile apps, mobile banking, mobile money, IBM’s Spoken Web).

His practitioner-oriented research creates value for (1) individuals (e.g., students with disabilities, undergraduate students who rarely use the electronic resources offered by academic libraries, WhatsApp users in India, youths interested in fighting corruption in Africa), (2) communities (e.g., pregnant women in Appalachia in East Tennessee who are members of a Facebook group, clients of a microfinance institute in Bangladesh, women earning less than a dollar a day in India, people who cannot read or write but wish to make mobile payments, farmers in remote, rural parts of developing countries), and (3) organizations (e.g., small businesses in the Southeastern US, microfinance institutions in developing countries, government agencies, public libraries in rural India, urban public libraries in the US, academic libraries in public universities in the US).

He has published research in Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Government Information Quarterly, Information Development, Information Processing & Management, International Journal of Information Management, Information Technologies and Libraries, Information Technologies for Development, Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, Journal of Information Science, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Library and Information Science Research, Telematics and Informatics, The Information Society, The Library Quarterly, and other reputed journals. In addition to presenting research at over 30 domestic and international, multidisciplinary academic conferences such as ACM-IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, ACM SIG-MIS Computers and People Research, ALISE, AMCIS, Annual Social Entrepreneurship, ASIS&T, dg.O, EDULEARN, HICSS, ICEGOV, iConference, INFORMS, and World Conference on E-Learning, he has presented research at FHI360-US Agency for International Development, Indian Institute of Technology at Gandhinagar, International Telecommunication Union, Pecha-Kucha Night Knoxville, World Bank, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Knowledge Management Committee, US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin, and US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. His interdisciplinary research collaborators are from child and family studies, communication, computer science, information systems, journalism, management, and public administration. He has co-authored publications with 56 scholars from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and the US. He has received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Online Computer Library Center, and ALISE. He has been an ad-hoc member of ALISE for 11 years. He has served ASIS&T’s SIG-International Information Issues (III) in different capacities. In 2020, he received the “Member of the Year” award for his service to SIG-III and ASIS&T. Under his leadership, SIG-III won the “SIG of the Year” award in 2021.


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