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Member Spotlight-Diana Colby

Diana Colby, University of North Texas

What attracted you to information science as a profession and field of study?

By practice, I am a school library/media technology specialist so information science was a natural fit as I looked at returning to school. I love that information science is so interdisciplinary because this is what attracted me to being a school librarian in the first place and now I get to study it further in depth.

In what area of information science do you practice, teach or do research? What about that area of practice/study made you choose it?

My area of focus for my doctoral studies is school library leadership. As a practicing school librarian and a school district facilitator of library services, I have found that there is a disconnect between what a school principal thinks a school librarian does and what a school librarian actually does. I know school librarians who are leaders have good working relationships with their principals. This strong relationship helps further the conversation of the importance of certified school librarians. However, with so many schools cutting school librarians, I decided to enter the field of research to understand more about the relationship between school principals and school library leaders and librarians as information scientists.

Why did you join ASIS&T?

I joined ASIS&T because of the connections and resources and because we had two excited co-presidents who encouraged us to join during our first semester, but I was so overwhelmed with being a first year doctoral student that it took me until the end of my second semester  to join.

What advice would you give to young people contemplating information science as a potential profession or field of study?

My advice would be to come and join one of the most exciting and rapidly growing fields of study. You can bring  any passion that you have and use it in the field of information science. It is deep, broad, and interdisciplinary.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for those working in information science in the next decade?

I see the biggest challenge for information science is that it is growing so fast that it is hard to focus on one area. Since information science is interdisciplinary by nature, one challenge will be to continue to develop theories and research specific to the field of information science. However this is not always a bad thing because we can work with every discipline.

Speaking specifically about those who are studying school library leadership, the challenge is researching what makes school librarians valuable to schools, sharing that literature with the education field, and then leading the next generation to develop those skills.

As a new member of ASIS&T; what do you forward to participating in the most?

As a new member I look forward to making connections with others in information science and hopefully one day to present at the ASiS&T Conference.


Return to Inside ASIS&T, June 2020