ALISE2015 has ended
Wednesday, January 28 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Opening Plenary Session: The Space Between Us: A Conversation with Association Leadership About the Future of LIS Education

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This session brings together the leaders of key information associations in order to explore new ways of working together, thinking out of the box and into the future, and advancing the field of information through collaboration, identification of shared goals and values, and an increased public support and understanding of the field.  By the end of the panel, we hope to offer practical recommendations on moving forward and next steps. 

Information science as a discipline is foundational to a diverse group of information fields and professions. As it continues to experience dramatic transformation in close alignment with the digital revolution, we now find our discipline at the heart of innovation and creativity across all disciplines, from the arts and humanities, science and medicine, to the full range of the information professions. Yet, while we are cognizant of the key role we play, the expertise we bring, and the contributions we make to the information society, we have not been as successful in communicating what we do and its value, for want of a connected information community that is broadly representative and comprehensible.

The panel is tasked with reflecting on a series of questions dealing with the future of LIS and LIS education. Below are guiding questions, which will be examined by our panelists and attendees. We count on diverse perspectives and viewpoints to enrich the dialogue:

  • How can we move beyond siloization of the field/profession and shape our future in a way that expresses our professional, scholarly and educational commonalities?
  • How can accreditation better present and serve this broad community?
  • How can our information associations better reflect how our discipline(s) is/are changing? Could there be a more appropriate and collaborative model, and what would it look like?   
  • How can we best raise our presence, and highlight our value to academe and to society at large? 
  • What concrete measures could your organization commit to undertake, in the spirit of community-building, collaboration, public engagement, and a more democratic representation?

In sum, it is in the spirit of constructive and collaborative problem-solving, that we invite leaders from key organizations representing a broad spectrum of information-related fields and associations and that also concern themselves with the education of the next generations of information professionals and scholars to speak to key challenges before us, which we identify as those of communication, collaboration and identifying shared goals as we leverage today’s digital convergence across disciplines. With this panel, it is our hope that we will take the first steps toward establishing a sustainable model of collaboration to the benefit of the information communities represented by our associations. We look forward to the panel’s perspectives and to audience participation. 

The session will be advertised in advance through social media as a means to engage the widest possible audience. The questions and suggestions collected will be summarized and presented for discussion during the panel session. We endeavour to come out of the session with a set of concrete measures and actions that will be followed up on in different formats and channels after the day’s proceedings.  Tell us what you think, using: #ALISE2015speakup 

Organizers: Dr. Nadia Caidi (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Dr. Tula Giannini (SLIS, Pratt Institute)

Moderator: Dr. Tula Giannini (SLIS, Pratt Institute)


  • Sandy Hirsh (Professor and Dean, San Jose State University; ASIS&T President)
  • Clara M. Chu (Professor, UNC Greensboro; ALISE President)
  • Ronald Larsen (Professor and Dean, Pittsburgh) iSchool Caucus Representative)
  • Barbara Di Eugenio (Acting Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Computer, University of Illinois, Chicago)
  • Courtney Young (Head Librarian and Professor, Penn State Univ.; ALA President)
  • Amy Cooper Cary (Marquette University; Society of American Archivists)
  • Diane Rasmussen Pennington* (Ashford University, CAIS Vice-President)



avatar for Nadia Caidi

Nadia Caidi

University of Toronto

avatar for Clara M. Chu

Clara M. Chu

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2014-15 ALISE President
avatar for Sandra Hirsh

Sandra Hirsh

Associate Dean for Academics, San Jose State University
Dr. Sandra Hirsh is Associate Dean for Academics in the College of Professional and Global Education at San José State University. She previously served as Professor and Director of the School of Information at San José State University for ten years from 2010-2020. Prior to joining... Read More →
avatar for Courtney Young

Courtney Young

Courtney L. Young is the 2014-2015 American Library Association (ALA) President. She is currently the Head Librarian and Professor of Women’s Studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny. As an active leader in ALA, she has served on the Executive Board (2009-2012), Council (2005-present... Read More →

Wednesday January 28, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm CST
Renaissance Ballroom, Floor 5

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