2015 Candidate for Director-at-Large
Kathryn La Barre is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an MLS and PhD from Indiana University. Her research on historical and contemporary knowledge organization systems focuses upon cultural heritage materials. She is co-PI of the Comic Book Readership Archive [CoBRA] project to build a digital archive of materials related to comic book readership and fandom. An active, long-standing member of ASIST, La Barre has served in many capacities since joining in 1998 as a masters student, including terms as chair of SIG History and Foundations (HFIS) and Classification Research (CR), SIG Cabinet Director, 75th Anniversary Task Force member, planning and programme committees for SIG CR workshops, and presenter at the annual conference. She serves on the international editorial boards of Knowledge Organization, the Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library and Information Science, Journal of Information Management, and BRAJIS – Brazilian Journal of Information Science.
Our venerable history includes vibrant involvement and impact across disciplinary boundaries. Not so long ago, the annual conference attracted attendees from industry, government, and the academy with thorny information problems. They arrived seeking solutions through fellowship provided by conversation, presentations, and vendor demonstrations. As an international society, ASIST is on the cusp of the next big breakthrough. Yet we face a number of challenges, including proliferating competition for members and a race to maintain relevance. We’ve begun to solve these with our newly revitalized website and ongoing strategic planning. We have miles to go to meet the challenges posed by Marge Hlava in her 2014 Award of Merit Speech. If elected as Director-at-Large I will work assiduously to help strengthen ASIST in the following ways:
Education: Online continuing education provided via ASIST webinars is an increasingly important membership benefit. We need a strategic plan for meeting the educational needs of our members.
Outreach: We must broaden the focus of our conference, and reach those who were once our partners. We can leverage our revitalized social media presence to do better, more targeted outreach.
Inclusion: We must find ways to attract members who are different. This means asking ourselves hard questions. Does our community value the varied perspectives of diverse global communities? Do we respect differing worldviews and cultural knowledge that span race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, economic class, religion, and their intersections?
Working together ASIST can again become the go-to association for the information professions, bursting with energy and innovation.