Candidate for Director for Member Services
I attended my first ALISE conference as a doctoral student almost 30 years ago. I clearly remember how impressed and intimidated I was to see so many of the “legends” in the library and information science field—leaders I knew only through their books and articles. I also recall, perhaps incorrectly, that doctoral students were expected to be present, but not necessarily to contribute to the conference or the organization. When I returned to academia and to ALISE almost 20 years after receiving my Ph.D., I found a much different culture. Doctoral students had become integral and important participants in the organization. Collaboration was flourishing among ALISE members with backgrounds and expertise in a wide range of areas from academic librarianship to computer science to linguistics to information systems. Colleagues from Colleges that now called themselves “iSchools” were now working with and learning from others who worked in Schools of Library and Information Services. ALISE had become the interdisciplinary organization that is reflective of the information field. It is critical that ALISE continue to be the voice that represents educators who prepare individuals to work as information professionals. Its membership must be open to and reflective of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. If elected as a member of the ALISE Board, I will work with School Representatives to promote membership and to demonstrate how, through our diverse but complementary backgrounds, ALISE members are preparing professionals who are ready to address the complex information challenges of the 21st century.
Ann Carlson Weeks is Professor of the Practice and Coordinator of the School Library Media Specialization in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Her primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of school library media program development and administration. Ann is a Principal Investigator and the Director of Collection Development for the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL), a research project funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Prior to her move to academia in 2000, she was Director of Libraries and Information Services for the Chicago Public Schools. From 1982–1996, she was on the staff of the American Library Association, where she served as Executive Director of the three youth divisions and was coordinator for the National Library Power Program, $40 million initiative of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund to improve elementary school libraries around the country.
In addition to her work with the ICDL, Ann’s primary area of research focuses on the use of digital resources by children, classroom teachers, school and public librarians, and research scholars. She also is studying the issues surrounding the development of effective library and information programs and services for young people in urban areas. In 2009, she was the recipient of the ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award.