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Member Spotlight

Michelle Mussuto
McGill University, Faculty of Arts
School of Information Studies

What skills does one need to understand and study Information Science?
Organization, Customer relations, multi-disciplinary science (social & natural sciences) so flexibility

What skills and knowledge are over emphasized and are not necessary while working within the discipline? 
High level mathematics, detailed computer knowledge especially coding

In your eyes, what are the major hurdles that inhibit people from pursuing the study of Information Science?
They don’t have a clear definition of what it is. They think they have to be computer wizards. I think for the social science disciplines the word science can be, unfortunately, intimidating.

How can these hurdles be rectified and or dismantled?
Continued outreach by ASIS&T to underscore the diversity of the disciplines and people who are involved in Information Science. Making Information Science more mainstream through collaboration especially with other social science disciplines.

What parts of Information Science give you the most joy and enable you to continue this work?
I love the multi-disciplinary nature of the work. There’s always something new happening and the work is innovative.

How has the pandemic of COVID-19 informed your work?
Currently working on a study that is looking at information seeking in online only learning in a university setting that until COVID-19 was an on-campus only environment.

Has it changed how you interpret and see your work?
My work has focused on particular aspects of climate change, so one could say that COVID-19 fits into my work.

Have you witnessed any noticeable shifts within the greater Information Science community at this time?
Definitely lots of work around how people as both individuals and as parts of groups are responding to the pandemic and consequently what changes may be necessary going forward. For instance, privacy issues, larger emphasis on health information research.

As we continue to witness social disparities and the rise of social justice movements across the globe how does your work inform these movements?
At this time my work doesn’t inform these movements specifically, although there are social disparities when it comes to communities that live in areas prone to natural disasters.