We are pleased to announce that the Keynote Speaker for RAILS 2016 will be Associate Professor Nadia Caidi, from the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Trained in Linguistics and Communication from Lyon and Grenoble (France), Nadia then obtained an MLIS and Ph.D. in LIS from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Nadia’s research interests focus on human information behaviour and information policy. She has been awarded grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in Canada for her research on information control and the public’s right to know in times of crisis (and in the context of national security). She also received several research grants for her work on the information practices of vulnerable communities, including newcomers and Aboriginal communities in remote and isolated communities in Ontario. She has published extensively on these topics in top refereed journals. Her current research is situated in the context of global migration and the role that information resources, institutions, and technologies play in the everyday lives of migrant and refugee communities. Nadia received the James M. Cretsos Leadership Award from ASIS&T in 2006. She was the President of the Canadian Association for Information Science (2010-11) and is the 2016 President of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).
Diversity by Design: The Way Forward
In this talk, Prof. Caidi looks back at a decade of research on ‘diversity’ broadly construed, and its implications for teaching and practice. She will first discuss some key ideas that she and her research collaborators examined, including the idea of social inclusion being framed as an information problem; the attractiveness of LIS careers to students and alumni stemming from diverse backgrounds; the diversity of LIS professions, and the significant disconnect that persists in how the goals of LIS education are seen by certain groups of practitioners, students, and faculty members. She will also share some recent research on the tactics used by marginalized youth to create opportunities for engagement, community building and identity formation in the context of their everyday life. The talk will take up several related concepts and the relationships among them to expand on the meanings and values of diversity, with an eye toward reconceptualizing it as a powerful force for advancing and reshaping the information professions.