I am currently at the ALISE conference in Boston. This yearly event is for library school professors and doctoral students to share research and network with colleagues. The theme of this year’s conference is Radical Change, a theory coined by Dr. Eliza Dresang. Eliza was an active member of ALISE and a beloved mentor to many members of the Youth Services Special Interest Group. Most recently, Eliza was the Beverly Clearly Professor in Children and Youth Services at the University of Washington Information School, but she passed away on April 21, 2014.
The three components of radical change are interactivity, connectivity, and access. According to Dr. Annette Goldsmith, “The theory as elucidated in Eliza’s book, Radical Change, applies to books and other materials for children. It has been extended to also encompass digital media and information media.”
Interactivity, connectivity, and access are the digital age principles that Eliza drew upon. Library and Information Science is a field that tends to borrow theories, but this theory was created from within the field. Eliza was an incredible scholar, a warm and loving human being, a tremendous mentor and teacher, and a person who knew how to connect in meaningful ways with others.
While Eliza’s presence at ALISE is sorely missed, it is clear that in addition to recognizing the impact of her work, her work also continues to inspire others.