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ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

From Vision to Reality: The Emerging Information Professional
Michele Cloonan, Gary Marchionini, Allen Tien, Nathan Andrews, Helen Keil Losch, Sandra Hirsh, Marcia Bates and Prudence Dalrymple

Monday, 1:30pm


Increasingly, it is evident that there are many information professions, not just one or two, including LIS, knowledge management, archival science, information systems, data science, informatics (medical, legal, educational, etc.), records management, and museum studies, among others. What will it mean to be an information professional in coming decades? How can we shape the public perception of our slice of the economy? How will job opportunities change? 

This panel session will begin with an introduction from Dr. Sandra Hirsh, Chair of the Information Professionals Task Force, who will also be moderating the session. The session will continue with insights shared from two recent conferences that brought together thought leaders from around the country to envision the future of information professionals – the Information Professional 2050 Conference held at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in June 2012 (organized by Dr. Gary Marchionini) and the Futures Panel held at Simmons College in January 2012 (organized by Dr. Michele Cloonan). Dr. Marchionini and Dr. Cloonan will set the stage for the panel discussion by each summarizing and sharing key takeaways from their respective conferences. 

Following these brief presentations, three speakers who are on the front lines of recruitment and who hire information professionals indifferent environments -- biomedical, industry, and government -- will share their perspectives about information professionals. Some of the topics theywill be asked to address include: What is the nature of the work that information professionals do in their workplace environment? What can information professionals do to better represent their knowledge and skills to others? What are the expected needs for information professionals in their sector? What is missing from information professional skill sets/knowledge base? What aspects of information professionals do they most value? The attendees and other speakers will pose questions to the panelists in an interactive discussion. 

By bringing in Dr. Marchionini and Dr. Cloonan to set the stage about information professionals and then by holding a facilitated, interactive panel discussion among employers of information professionals, attendees will gain a broad view of the information professions and how to move toward realizing this vision.