Incorporating Marginalized LIS Educators into LIS Programs Through Remote Work Options


  • Gary L. Shaffer University of Southern California
  • Nicole Cooke University of South Carolina
  • Africa S. Hands University at Buffalo
  • Sandra Hirsh San José State University
  • Mega Subramaniam University of Maryland



LIS education, LIS programs, Remote work, Online education, BIPOC


The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that people work and learn, and has had a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) (Marcelin, et al., 2021). Throughout the pandemic, all work (including higher education) moved to a fully remote work model. The goal of this panel is to explore the idea of remote work for library and information science (LIS) faculty in the long-term, and particularly discuss the positive implications that this work model could have for those who are BIPOC and/or otherwise marginalized. This is a critical discussion for LIS programs to engage in as the information professions currently face a moment of reckoning and they must work to bring equity for BIPOC colleagues and address the needs of LIS faculty.

Author Biographies

Gary L. Shaffer, University of Southern California

Dr. Shaffer is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He served as director of the 100% online USC Marshall Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) program and director of the USC Libraries Center for Library Leadership and Management prior to scaling back his involvement within the program.

Nicole Cooke, University of South Carolina

Dr. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior (particularly in the online context), critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship. She received the ALISE Excellence in Teaching award in 2019.

Africa S. Hands, University at Buffalo

  • Hands is Assistant Professor of Library Science at the University at Buffalo. Her current research agenda examines public libraries as an information resource for college-bound patrons and the experiences of first-generation students - both as users of academic libraries and students and professionals in the LIS field. She is past-chair of the Library Research Round Table of ALA. 

Sandra Hirsh, San José State University

Dr. Hirsh is Associate Dean for Academics at San José State University. She served as the director of the 100% online SJSU School of Information for ten years, during which time, iSchool faculty had (and continue to have) the option to live anywhere in the United States. She served as ALISE president in 2021-22 and ASIS&T president in 2015. 

Mega Subramaniam, University of Maryland

Dr. Subramaniam is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty at the University of Maryland. She also serves as co-director of the iSchool’s Youth Experience Lab. She conducts research on the use of libraries as effective learning environments for the development of digital literacies in non-dominant youth. She serves the ALISE board as Director of Programming. 


Dali, K., Caidi, N., Thompson, K.M., & Garner, J. (2021). Tales from three countries and one

academic: Academic faculty in the time of the pandemic. The Library Quarterly:

Information, Community, Policy, 91(4): 371-384.

Jackson, B.A. & Reynolds, J.R. (2013). The price of opportunity: Race, student loan debt, and

college achievement. Sociological Inquiry, 83(3), 335-368.

Krysan, M. & Farley, R. (2002). The residential preferences of Blacks: Do they explain

persistent segregation? Social forces, 80(3), 937-980.

Kurland, N. & Bailey, D. (1999). The advantages and challenges of working here, there,

anywhere, and anytime. Organizational Dynamics, 28(2), 53-68.

Macklin, K.A. (2021). The influence of code-switching on Black women leaders: A

phenomenological study [Doctoral dissertation, Creighton University].

Manduca, R. (2018). Income inequality and the persistence of racial economic disparities.

Sociological Science, 5, 182-205.

Marcelin, J.R., Swartz, T.H., Bernice, F., Berthaud, V., & Christian, R., Infectious Diseases

Society of America. (2021). Addressing and inspiring vaccine confidence in Black,

Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Open Forum

Infectious Diseases 8(9).

Pfeffer, F.T. & Killewald, A. (2015). How rigid is the wealth structure and why? Inter-and

multigenerational associations in family wealth. Population Studies Center Research Report,


Rafique, G.M., Mahmood, K., Warraich, N.F., & Rehman, S.U. (2021). Readiness for Online

Learning during COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of Pakistani LIS students. The Journal of

Academic Librarianship, 47(3), 102346.

Schur, L.A., Ameri, M., & Kruse, D. (2020). Telework after COVID: a “silver lining” for

workers with disabilities? Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 30(4), 521-536.

Subramanian, S. & Gilbert, T. (2021, March 11). A new era of workplace inclusion: Moving

from retrofit to redesign. Futureform.







Panels (Juried and SIGs)