Candidate for Director of Special Interest Groups

Mega Subramaniam
Associate Professor
University of Maryland

Candidate's Statement:
I began attending ALISE conferences in 2003 as a doctoral student and have never missed a single conference since. Over the years of my membership, I have served on various ALISE committees and special interest groups. Special interest groups are where I found my mentors, including many of the “legends” in the library and information science field—scholars I knew only through their publications. I am who I am now because of these friendly and nurturing interactions in the special interest groups. ALISE special interest groups have a unique role to play in enhancing the prominence and visibility of the field as these groups allow ALISE members to connect with colleagues that have similar interests, encourage intimate academic interactions, foster collaboration and exchange of ideas, and also provide the strongest network of mentoring to young and growing scholars. Special interest groups in ALISE are the heart and soul of the association. If elected as the Director of the ALISE Special Interest Groups, my primary goal will be to promote crossfertilization of ideas and viewpoints between special interest groups within ALISE that will embrace and enhance the interdisciplinary nature of our field and stimulate innovations and out-of-the-box thinking. I will do this by inspiring conversations between special interest groups to facilitate and develop joint activities, programs, awards, initiatives, and meet-ups. My secondary goal will be for these special interest groups to develop programs and activities that can bring ALISE members’ research and teaching accomplishments to scholars and educators outside of the field and through connections to our sister fields, and other national and international associations.

It is a privilege to be able to run for the position of Director of Special Interest Groups, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the association in this capacity.

Mega Subramaniam is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Youth Experience (YX) specialization at the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland. She is the Associate Director for the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland and serves as the co-editor of School Library Research journal. Her research focuses on enhancing the role of school and public libraries in fostering the mastery of information and new media literacies that are essential to STEM learning among underserved young people. Mega is the lead PI for the IMLS-funded Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Youth Experience (YX), co-leads two IMLS-funded projects, ConnectedLib and Safe Data Safe Families, and recently received a grant from Google for Libraries Ready to Code Phase 2 project - all intended to bring research and practice together to enhance the skills of in-service and pre-service librarians. She has won several best paper awards for her research including the 2015 ALISE-LMC Best Paper Award, 2014 ALA LRRT-Beta Phi Mu Research Award, and 2012 ASIS&T SIG-USE Best Paper Award. Her primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of youth experience (a specialization that she developed) and school libraries. She has received recognition for her teaching through the 2017 ALISE Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award.

Mega has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (Computing) from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, a Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University (Bloomington), and Ph.D in Information Studies from Florida State University.

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