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Alma Dawson

Alma Dawson

Russell B. Long Professor
School of Library & Information Science
College of Human Sciences & Education

What was your previous position and where?

Prior to coming to LSU, I held the position of head of the serials department and instructor in the Department of Educational Technology at Prairie View A&M University Library in Prairie View, Texas. I also assisted the library director in special projects. I came to LSU in October 1982 as a member of the LSU Libraries faculty and was promoted from assistant librarian to associate librarian in 1987. From 1994 to 1996, I taught for the School of Library and Information Science as an instructor until I received my Ph.D. in library science and higher education from Texas Woman’s University. It was therefore in fall semester 1996 that I started my career over in an academic department. By 2006, I had worked my way through the ranks to full professor in the LSU School of Library and Information Science.

What brought you to LSU?

I am originally from Louisiana. I completed my B.S. degree from Grambling State University and taught in the Natchitoches Parish School System for five years. While at Prairie A&M University, I also completed my master's degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan. In October 1982, LSU Libraries had two positions for which I qualified. So I applied and was accepted for the library and information science librarian position.

What is your research interest?

My research interest includes academic library finance, diversity issues in library and information science, information literacy instruction, and collection development and management.

What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

I hope to continue working on diversity issues through the partnership that I helped to establish in 1990 between the LSU School of Library and Information Science and the Louisiana Library Association. The goal of the partnership has been to focus on recruitment of students of color in library and information science, and to expand the scholarship already established by that organization. As principal investigator and project manager for Project Recovery, I have continuing responsibilities toward the participants and the selected libraries identified in this grant.

What do you enjoy most about LSU?

I enjoy the freedom to teach in the areas that I enjoy and to include exponential learning opportunities for current students. I enjoy the freedom to do research in the areas that I value most and to involve my Project Recovery students and those taking academic libraries specialization in the process.

What are your major accomplishments?

I think that my major accomplishment at LSU has been securing the Project Recovery Grant in 2009 from the Institute of Museum of and Library Services in the amount of $763,901, to educate 30 students in library and information science to work in academic, public and school libraries in those communities continuing to experience staffing shortages as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I am pleased that I have had the opportunity to work on diversity issues at the national, state and local levels, and to be involved in research activities at those levels at well. In 2005, I received the American Library Association Equality Award. In 2012, I also received the Meritorious Service Award from the Louisiana Library Association.


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