Meet the Author Series

ASIS&T’s new Meet the Authors Series aims to connect people with ideas, and connect us with each other. We have gathered inspiring speakers working on a range of topics and areas both within and beyond the information fields. The speakers get a chance to present their ideas in a Webinar format, and then engage in lively discussions with the audience during the Q/A session. These events are free for ASIST members. Everyone is welcome. Let the conversation begin!

Upcoming Event


wayne_wiegand_headshotNovember 4

Wayne Wiegand

Falling Short of Their Profession’s Needs: Education and Research in Library & Information Studies

wiegand-part-of-our-livesIn a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, Professor Wiegand provides an analysis based on his recent book, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library, on how we fail to consider all the various assets public libraries provide.

As a primer to the Meet the Author’s presentation on November 4th, this fascinating article will get you thinking about the salient attributes public libraries provide, not only for information studies, but sociologically and politically as well [more].

In Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library (2015), I discovered people loved their public libraries for three main reasons: access to practical information; the library as a place; and the transformative potential commonplace stories had for library readers. Because conventional LIS research and education mostly focus on the first, and largely overlook and undervalue the last two, I argue that by not having core courses in “reading and libraries” and “library as place” in American Library Association-accredited programs, and by not conducting much more research on the effects of both, LIS research and education fall short of the profession’s needs.

Wayne A. Wiegand is F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus at Florida State University. Wiegand was cofounding Director of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (est. 1992), and co-founder and first Director of the Florida Book Awards (est. 2006), now the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program.  He taught in library schools at the University of Kentucky (1976-86), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-2002), and Florida State University (2003-2010). [more]

Past Events



James Cortada

All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States Since 1870

In this discussion, James W. Cortada will introduce a framework for studying information history that can be applied at the national level. He will also review the role of information in the private and public sectors, how people used information in their public and private lives, and conclude with an argument in favor of understanding the role of information as a central theme in American History.

Dr. James W. Cortada is a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of over two dozen books on the history and management of information technologies and the role of information in society. His most recent books include All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States Since 1870 (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Information and the Modern Corporation (MIT Press, 2011). [more]


Christopher Yoo & Jean-François Blanchette

Regulating the Cloud: Policy for Computing Infrastructure

What is the Cloud?  Who controls it?

Does it change the rules of the game with respect to copyright, privacy, consumer protection, and security?

Find out why you should care about the Cloud and how it functions as a critical infrastructure in our connected society. [more]

ChristopherYooChristopher S. Yoo

Christopher S. Yoo is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science and the Founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. His major research initiatives include innovative approaches to connecting more of the world’s citizens to the Internet. Professor Yoo is an influential scholar in the realm of technology and law having written over 70 articles and frequently testifying before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and foreign regulatory authorities.

JeanFrancoisBlanchetteJean-François Blanchette

Jean-François Blanchette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. His research focuses on the issues of electronic authenticity, computerization of bureaucracies, and the evolution of the computing infrastructure for the past 15 years. He is the author of Burdens of Proof: Cryptographic Culture and Evidence Law in the Age of Electronic Documents (MIT Press, 2012), and he is currently completing a manuscript on the evolutionary dynamics of the computing infrastructure entitled: Running on Bare Metal: A Material History of Bits.

This Meet the Author Series event was held on September 14, 2016.


Robert Epstein

Surprising Ways in Which the Internet Can Be Used to Alter People’s Beliefs, Opinions and Attitudes – Even Our Votes

Somewhat accidentally, the Internet has given rise to new techniques for influencing people on a massive scale that have no precedent in human history. When search engines show results that favor one perspective or another, that can easily change the attitudes or preferences of people who are undecided on an issue. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows, for example, that search rankings favoring one political candidate can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more – by up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.

Robert Epstein is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, as well as the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. A Ph.D. of Harvard University, he has published 15 books on artificial intelligence, creativity, stress management, and other topics, as well as more than 250 scientific and popular articles, including a recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled “The Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and Its Possible Impact on Elections” ( [more]

This Meet the Author Series event was held on July 21, 2016.

If you would like to be a part of this series or would like to send suggestions for future speakers, please contact