iSchool Attends ALISE Virtual Conference

Members of FSU’s School of Information are attending the ALISE 2020 virtual conference from October 13 to 26, presenting their impactful research in the fields of information and library science.

ALISE, the Association for Library and Information Science Education, presents its annual conference as an opportunity for attendees to network with professionals in fields such as library and information sciences, computer sciences, and communications. The conference consists of a series of meetings and panels featuring new research conducted over the previous year.

Originally, attendees were set to travel to Pittsburgh, PA for the conference; however, due to COVID-19, ALISE has adopted a virtual format for this year.

CCI spoke with this year’s attendees who shared about the exciting presentations they have prepared, as well as their hopes for the 2020 virtual conference.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students, Muhamad Wibowo, Juan Muhamad, Maedeh Agharazidermani, and Fatih Gunaydin, will present two papers during the ALISE conference this year. Their work contributes to an ongoing project about social media communication during COVID-19 happening in FSU School of Communication’s PEAKs Lab (Participatory, Experientially-based Applied Knowledge for Social Change). Researchers in PEAKs examine how governments, health organizations, news outlets, and civilians communicate on social media about COVID-19.

“Research has shown that many individuals use social media as their primary news source, and that social media acts as a virtual space for public discourse,” Laura-Kate Huse, a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication, explained further. “By examining the emerging themes of these social media posts, we can better examine how COVID-19 news was framed and understand the division in regard to perceptions about COVID-19 both nationally and internationally.”

Professors Don Latham and Melissa Gross

Dr. Latham and Dr. GrossProfessor Don Latham will present a paper at ALISE titled “Information Literacy in Transition: Self-Perceptions of Community College Students.” His paper features interviews conducted with community college students in Florida and New York to determine self-perceptions of information literacy needs.

Additionally, Professor Melissa Gross will present a paper at ALISE titled “In the Shadow of the ACRL Framework: Current Instructional Practices of Community College Librarians.” Her paper features results of a survey conducted among instructional librarians in Florida and New York who work at community colleges.

Drs. Latham and Gross have not had to make any major adjustments to their presentations due to the conference being virtual, crediting their years of teaching classes online for their adaptability.

“We’re old hands at presenting online,” said Dr. Gross. “I’m curious about the platform ALISE will use as that is new. Otherwise, I’m just looking forward to catching up with colleagues and students.”

Adjunct Instructor Kristie Escobar

Kristie Escobar HeadshotAdjunct Instructor and Information Ph.D. alumna, Kristie Escobar, will present a poster during the conference as part of the ALISE Jean Tague Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition. Her poster is titled “The Library is a Place You Can Lose Your Innocence Without Losing Your Virginity: LGBTQAI+ Young Adult Literature as Sexual Health Information Resources.”

She will also present at the Youth Services Special Interest Group panel titled “What Do Youth Service Librarians Need? Reassessing Goals and Curricula in the Context of Changing Information Needs and Behaviors of Youth.”

In light of ALISE’s new virtual format, Dr. Escobar and her team adopted a new online presentation platform to share their research with a larger audience. While she is sad about not being able to see her colleagues in person this year, Dr. Escobar is motivated by the newfound accessibility in presenting her team’s papers/panels/posters online.

“Traveling to conferences can be expensive so I think that having a virtual one may allow some folks to attend who otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” she said.

Professor and Associate Dean for Research Marcia Mardis

Marcia MardisProfessor and CCI Associate Dean for Research, Marcia Mardis, will present a paper that was selected for the ALISE Best 2020 Conference Paper award. “Librarians as Natural Disaster Stress Response Facilitators:  Building Trauma-Informed Library  Education and Practice” is a project that represents a collaboration between researchers across FSU iSchool and FSU College of Medicine, which includes Scott Pickett (College of Medicine faculty), Faye Jones (iSchool faculty), Curtis Tenney (iSchool Ph.D. student), Zoe Leonarczyk (iSchool Ph.D. student), Denise Gomez (iSchool Specialist student), and Samantha Nagy (College of Medicine researcher).

Dr. Mardis said she did not have to make many adjustments to her presentation to accommodate ALISE’s virtual setting, but is focused on fostering audience engagement during and after the presentation. “Audience engagement is so important,” she said.

Assistant Professor Margaret Zimmerman

Margaret Zimmerman HeadshotAssistant Professor, Margaret Zimmerman, will participate as a panelist during ALISE that discusses the collaboration of scholars and practitioners from domains outside of Library Information Studies (LIS) in research. This panel, convened by Dr. Zimmerman herself, consists of LIS Scholars from five different universities, all working in completely different areas of the field.

With ALISE being virtual this year, Dr. Zimmerman and her team adjusted their presentation from being audience-participation-based to a traditional presentation with polling. While this change of plans is a little disappointing to her, Dr. Zimmerman is still looking forward to working with her friends and participating in the conference that she holds near to her heart.

Other Attendees

In addition to those presenting, other iSchool faculty will attend the ALISE virtual conference, eager to collaborate and seek out ways to improve the iSchool program at FSU. School of Information Director Kathleen Burnett will chair the Council of Deans, Chairs, and Directors. Michelle Kazmer, iSchool faculty and CCI Associate Dean, will participate in two panels: one on Racism and Bias in Student Evaluations of Teaching, and another on Working Toward an ALISE Position Statement on Learning Analytics in Higher Education.

Linda Swaine, the Director of Articulation and Assessment at the School of Information, will attend the ALISE conference for the first time. “I am looking forward to learning what other educators are doing, trends in LIS education, and what strategies might work for implementation at  the iSchool,” said Linda.


Learn more about the ALISE virtual conference and view the full program here.