Candidate for Director, Programming:

John BurgessDr. John Burgess
Assistant Professor
The University of Alabama, USA

Candidate's Statement:
Thank you for the opportunity to run for the Director, Programming position on the ALISE Board. Innovative and engaging programming plays an important role in the long-term success of organizations, and that is particularly true for a community of educators in an intellectually diverse, interdisciplinary field. If selected for this role, I would devote my energy to help ALISE continue to flourish as the intellectual home for LIS engagement, advocacy, and research.

I first became a member of ALISE in 2010 and have continued to serve the organization ever since. My previous contributions to ALISE are broad and include: convening and co-convening the Information Ethics SIG; serving on the ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Committee; serving on the ALISE/ProQuest Methodology Paper Competition Committee; being a frequent judge for the Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition; developing and coordinating ALISE XChange Webinars; convening and aiding in developing conference panels for the Information Ethics, Information Policy, and Part-time and Adjunct Faculty special interest groups; and co-founding ALISE PIE. The latter is a lively monthly policy and ethics discussion group with a goal of generating interest in those topics and supporting the development of doctoral students and early career faculty with similar interests. In addition to these, my relevant programming experience outside of ALISE includes being elected chair of the ASIS&T Information Ethics and Policy SIG and planning programming for the SIG’s contributions to the annual meeting, which involved co-planning a pre-conference workshop with ASIS&T SIGUSE. I also previously served as Coordinator for Distance Education for the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies, planning orientations and other events with the aim of building a healthy and supportive learning culture for incoming and continuing graduate students. Lastly, in areas of budgeting and planning responsibilities, I am serving as a Co-PI on grant from the Alabama Water Institute to help preserve cultural heritage and promote food security with partners in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

These collaborative leadership experiences have given me a useful perspective on strategic planning, consensus-building, and responsible budgeting. As an ethicist I am dedicated to promoting and prioritizing the organization’s values, and through my research interests in sustainability and intergeneration justice, I am committed to offering a long-term perspective on our shared goals and mission. I hope to put these skills to use as Director, Programming for the ALISE Board.


As an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies, my primary research interests are in areas of information ethics and sustainability ethics. My work promotes virtue ethics and the development of moral reasoning skills to help LIS professionals apply values in their practice. My focus in sustainability ethics is on intergenerational justice, or the duties and obligations the present generation owes to past and future ones and the implications for LIS principles. I developed and teach courses in both of these areas along with information literacy, research and assessment, and academic librarianship, among others. Along with Dr. Emily Knox, I co-edited and contributed chapters to the book Foundations of Information Ethics for ALA Neal-Schuman Publishers. This book is designed to provide readers new to philosophical methods the skills and contexts needed to resolve ethical dilemmas in LIS practice. I frequently present at LIS and ethics conferences on sustainability and virtue ethics topics. I am past convenor or chair for both ALISE and ASIS&Ts Information Ethics SIGs, contributed to the development of IEEE guidance on the use of classical ethics in the design of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, and was a member of the editorial board for ALA’s Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.


Return to the candidates page.