Last updated October 7, 2018
I strongly believe that, alongside research and teaching, professional service to one’s institution, the local library and information science (LIS) community, and the LIS field is an important part of being a faculty member in the field. Such service helps promote the development of the field and its research, teaching, and professional activities, and my involvement in it ensures that I am an active participant in this process. Such service also informs my research and teaching activities as I progress in my career. While faculty at the University of Alberta (U of A) and a student at Florida State University (FSU) I have engaged in service to the university, the local and regional LIS community associated with the university, and the LIS profession and academic field. This statement details my service philosophy and my current and future service activities and goals in each area.
Service to the Institution
Service to one’s home institution is both a necessary condition of employment for faculty and a responsibility one should fulfill, to help in the running of one’s program, department, school, and university. Service often includes serving on committees. I have chaired the Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries Committee at the U of A School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) since July 2016, working to adjudicate existing scholarships and awards for students; propose changes to existing and brand-new scholarships and awards that support students' scholarship, education, and careers; and provide help to students looking for or applying for funding from external agencies and organizations. I have also served on the Curriculum Committee and Admissions Committees while at U of A SLIS, in addition to selection committees for an assistant professor hire and a postdoctoral scholar. Outside of SLIS, I served on the Faculty of Education's HT Coutts Library Advisory Committee during my first two years at the U of A, and also served a role on the Faculty's Technology Advisory Board.
While at FSU, for a little under two years I served as one of 3-4 doctoral student representatives to the Doctoral Program Committee of the FSU School of Information (then known as the School of Library and Information Studies). Through expressing concerns and opinions of other students and providing valuable input, I helped update the guidelines for the doctoral degree to reflect current practices and provided advice and guidance to first-year doctoral students as they prepared for their first-year exam. Also as a student, between September 2009 and July 2011 I was one of four representatives for my college in FSU’s Congress of Graduate Students (COGS), which serves as student government for graduate students at FSU. I was a member of the COGS Academics and Student Life Committee and was elected and served as Vice Chair of this committee for my last seven months in COGS.
Service might involve participating in public talks, colloquia, and workshops, such as five sessions I helped present and facilitate as part of the FSU School of Information’s Research and Teaching Proseminar and colloquia series. These sessions were well received and helped integrate and explicate research, teaching, and service for doctoral students as they progressed in their program and careers. At the U of A I presented a public talk on my ongoing research in March 2016 and continue to attend those offered at SLIS by other guests and faculty, along with the occasional talk elsewhere on campus.
Service could incorporate facilitating a group of faculty and students with common interests or needs. In this vein, I facilitated the FSU School of Information’s student-run Agraphia writing support group from August 2011 to March 2014. We met once a week during semesters to discuss writing and career progress and goals, supporting each other’s activities and keeping motivations high. Our group was also facilitated by Dr. Gary Burnett, who I worked with in mentoring newer students as they completed their coursework and faced becoming part of the world of academic writing.
Service to the Community
Service to one’s community is also important. During my doctoral program at FSU, my efforts here focused on serving as Secretary of the Gamma Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, the local FSU-based chapter of the international LIS honor society, for the 2010 and 2011 calendar years. Through my service activities and the efforts of other officers, we renewed the chapter’s commitment to providing value to our members, executed two successful annual meetings and guest speaker events, and recognized the efforts of our members as they began and continued their careers as LIS professionals, leaders in the field, and FSU alumni. I have shifted my service focus to other avenues, particularly with my move to the U of A, but believe service to the local, regional, and professional community remains a vital role for a faculty member.
Service to the Profession and Field
To remain visible, faculty members must provide service to their profession and academic field. A prominent way to do so is to peer review for research conferences and journals. I took part in a FSU School of Information seminar in Summer 2010 in critiquing and improving research, which provided substantial practical experience in the peer review process. Since then, I have reviewed prospective articles for a wide variety of journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science (CJILS), the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS), Library and Information Research, Journal of Information Science, New Media and Society, and Library Hi Tech. I am also an editorial board member and Review Editor for JASIST since mid-2017. I have reviewed conference papers, posters, and panels for seven Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meetings and eight iConferences, in addition to peer review for the Social Media and Society (SMSociety) and Canadian Association for Information Science (CAIS) conferences, and for mini-tracks at the Hawaii Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). I am serving on the program committee for SMSociety 2019, my second year in a row in such a role. My reviews and comments on revised submissions have been well received and appreciated by journal editors, manuscript authors, and program and track chairs. When it is possible given my other research, teaching, and service obligations, I continue to welcome and seek out peer reviewing opportunities, as peer review is a vital part of the LIS research field.
Faculty should maintain memberships in and be active in professional organizations. I am a current member of the American Library Association (ALA; since September 2008), the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T, since February 2010), the Canadian Association for Information Science (CAIS, since May 2016), and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE; since December 2010). As an active member of ASIS&T, I served for multiple years as the Communications Officer for the ASIST Special Interest Group for Social Informatics (SIG SI), managing the SIG’s social media and communications venues including a Facebook group, Twitter account, Web site (http://asistsigsi.wordpress.com), and listserv. I previously served as SIG SI’s Secretary for a year, taking notes at SIG meetings and helping to organize SIG events and activities, served to facilitate two SIG elections, and now serve as the SIG's Social Chair, a lower-key role that helps organize social events for SIG members at major information science conferences. My service to ASIS&T also included serving on the Task Force on ASIS&T’s Web Presence for its entire existence (2013 - 2014) and as part of the awards juries for SIG SI’s Social Informatics Best Paper awards, ASIS&T’s Cretsos Leadership Award, and SIG USE's (Information Seeking, Needs, and Use) travel awards. I also served as a Social Media Contributor for ASIS&T, assisting through contributions to the organization’s blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts and working with SIGs and Chapters on social media engagement. (This position included a small stipend).
Finally, students and faculty should remain visible at conferences and workshops. I have attended or will attend ASIS&T Annual Meetings (2010-2018), CAIS Annual Conferences (2016-2018), the ALISE Annual Conference (2012, 2014, 2015), the iSchools-organized iConference (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016), Social Media and Society (2017, 2019), the ACM / IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL; 2013), and the Association of Internet Researchers conference (AoIR; 2013), presenting at many of these events. By invitation I have also attended three events of the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST; 2014 as part of an infrastructure team; 2016 as an invited junior scholar "camper"; 2018 for the Decennial Sociotech Futures symposium). I always look out for other conference and workshop opportunities to ensure I remain visible in the field as a researcher, educator, and active contributor.