Kathleen Burnett is F. William Summers Professor of Information (School of Information) at Florida State University (FSU). Prior to moving to Tallahassee in 1996, she was an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University. Dr. Burnett has served twice in leadership roles at the FSU School of Information, first as Associate Dean from 1998-2004, and most recently as Director from 2012-2016. Kathy completed her MLS (1979) and PhD (1989) at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research on gender, race and ethnicity in the IT workforce has received funding from the IMLS and NSF. Dr. Burnett spent the 2016-217 academic year on sabbatical, traveling to 13 countries in Asia to explore international connections in the information field.
ASIS&T provides scholars, practitioners, and students a forum for sharing ideas, gaining insights, and developing innovations in information science research and practice. If elected President I will continue the work of recent presidents, focusing on the following initiatives aligned to ASIS&T’s Strategic Plan:
- We should continue to deepen and strengthen engagement with members across borders. Under the guidance of our most recent presidents, ASIS&T has made progress in embracing its role as an international organization, enabling connections for members worldwide. Building on my experience this past year visiting universities in 13 countries in Asia, I know the challenges and benefits of establishing and maintaining member relationships in that region. Many small organizations whose missions and goals are closely aligned to those of ASIS&T connect two or three countries in the region already. Working with these organizations, we can support their development into ASIS&T regional chapters. The regional chapters can then facilitate member access to ASIS&T events across time zones and help us to adapt existing and develop new content that it is relevant to their needs. Similar plans can be developed to establish or strengthen membership in other regions where ASIS&T is less well known, such as Africa and South America.
- We need to be open to learning from our international colleagues and incorporating different ways of thinking into our planning processes, organizational structures, and strategic initiatives. During my sabbatical year I learned that information practice and research is much richer and various than I had previously assumed from my prior experience. Traditions, contexts, and politics have led to a rich and various information landscape that presents new opportunities and challenges for ASIS&T.
- We should further explore and develop collaborative relationships with other organizations that have overlapping missions, with the goal of providing leadership in our areas of strength. Through combining forces with other organizations, ASIS&T’s conferences, webinars, and publications can be leveraged to foster research capacity building and research leadership internationally across the information field. Joint conferences, co-sponsored webinars, and collaborative publications will help us to energize our membership and broaden the reach of our organization.
ASIS&T is the organization that I have turned to for research support and collaboration throughout my thirty years in the field. I value the connections I have made and the opportunities to give back through ASIS&T’s committees and events. I would be honored to contribute leadership and international experience as President of the Association over the next three years.