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Genevieve Milliken

What attracted you to information science as a profession and field of study?
|I was attracted to information science because the field allows me to explore and understand complex topics that impact the world we live in today. Rather than being a purely abstract exploration—though those have plenty of value—I like that the profession concerns itself with producing knowledge that is actionable, consequential, and relevant.

In what area of information science do you practice, teach or do research? What about that area of practice/study made you choose it?
I am currently pursuing my MSLIS at Pratt Institute with an advanced certificate in Digital Humanities.  I am also deeply interested in Data Librarianship. Before coming to Pratt, I earned a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts and a Master’s degree in Art History. For me, the combination of the analytical tools that information science offers with the complex, untidy inquiry of the humanities is particularly intriguing.

Why did you join ASIS&T and what does your membership in ASIS&T do for you?
It was very important to me to become a member as a means of connecting with the field. My work as an officer in a student chapter (ASIST@Pratt) allows me to be part of the larger community of information science professionals. In addition to access to webinars and JASIST, the organization keeps me abreast of developments in the field and fosters professional networking through participation in regional and national chapters.

What advice would you give to young people contemplating information science as a potential profession or field of study?
From a data librarianship perspective, information science is much broader than it used to be. Potential students should be aware that the (meta)data we work with can and do, have the ability to influence policy, change and shape opinion, offer solutions to complex problems, and potentially change the world in which we live. I would remind them to have empathy for the communities and individuals who are the sources for or could be impacted by, the data we analyze. It is also important to approach each problem with as much rigor and awareness possible to prevent or minimize errors of concept, design, or analysis.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for those working in information science in the next decade?
While it is impossible to say for sure what the future will bring, I think the biggest challenge will be in understanding how big data, the Internet of Things, and the continued role of technology will impact the field in ways we can’t yet imagine. How will our future selves balance the societal urge of data-driven decision-making in the West with the need for empathetic human interrelationships?