Candidate for President-Elect


Seamus Ross, Ph.D.

Dean and Professor

Faculty of Information

University of Toronto




Candidate’s Statement

We all know that this is an exciting, but risky time for libraries, and library and information science education. It is exciting because the changing information landscape offers us a wide range of new educational and research opportunities to develop and new kinds of employment possibilities for our graduates are constantly emerging. At the same time it is also risky as other disciplines are completing for the educational and research space we have historically occupied, and funding for education, libraries and information services is under threat at national, regional and institutional levels. The role of Alise has never been more important than it is now and it will become even more critical in the coming decade. We need to ensure that we act together to provide the support and advocacy that our members and our member institutions need now. Alise's current strategic plan clearly identifies initiatives to strengthen and broaden our membership, to engage a wider range of disciplines in our activities, to engage our members more actively, and to promote research and pedagogy. We need to continue to make progress on achieving these goals.

Over the last nearly 100 years Alise has built a solid foundation of member organizations and individuals. In response to the changes in the information landscape and our key role in researching and supporting education, there is more that we can do. We need to become more international. We need to become more vocal about the contributions our professions make (and can make in the future) to the social well-being and economic prosperity of contemporary society. We need to do more as an organization and through our members to shape funding priorities of relevant funding agencies. We need to do more to share information among ourselves and to build an increasingly relevant and evolving shared vision of library and information education. We need to engage more centrally in the public debates around information in society, the role of libraries, public information policy, and the shaping of information education at all levels. In sum, Alise must be more visible and active, including in promoting a broader public appreciation of the critical role of library and information science education in our contemporary world. These are the areas that I would most actively foster if elected.



Since January 2009 Seamus Ross has been Dean and Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Formerly, he was Professor of Humanities Informatics and Digital Curation and Founding Director of HATII (Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute) ( (1997-2009) at the University of Glasgow (UK). He served as an Associate Director of the Digital Curation Centre (2004-9) in the UK (  He has held substantial research grants from the European Commission and was Principal Director of ERPANET ( and DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE (, a co-principal investigator on such research projects as the (Digital Library Interoperability, Best Practices and Modelling Foundations,, DELOS Digital Libraries Network of Excellence (, Planets (, and SHAMAN (  His research has focused on the areas of cultural heritage informatics,  digital preservation, automated metadata extraction and genre classification, and risk management for digital repositories. Many of his publications are online and he recommends Digital Preservation and Nuclear Disaster: An Animation,

He has led the development of new undergraduate and master's programs and courses. Over the years he has taught in such areas as digitisation for cultural heritage informatics, digital curation and preservation, design and development of multimedia systems, and anthropology of cyberspace.  A graduate of Vassar College he earned his MA at the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate from the University of Oxford.

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