International keynote speaker: Naresh Agarwal is an Associate Professor at the School of Library & Information Science at Simmons University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Naresh’s research area is information behavior and knowledge management. His recent book ‘Exploring Context in Information Behavior: Seeker, situation, surroundings, and shared identities’ was published by Morgan & Claypool. Naresh looks at the way people look for information and the contextual factors that impact their choice of information sources. He seeks to understand and synthesize the apparent contradictions in this phenomenon and tries to reconcile multiple perspectives. Naresh also studies serendipitous information encountering and the causes and effects — both on the recipient and the sender — of information avoidance behaviors, especially by people who call and text using smartphones and social media. He has been a keynote/invited speaker at workshops and conferences in different countries, including in the U.S., Japan, France, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Naresh has held various leadership positions at the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). He was a member of its Board of Directors, Co-Chaired its Annual Meeting in 2017, and was awarded the ASIS&T James M. Cretsos Leadership Award in 2012.
International keynote speaker: Associate Professor Lynn Westbrook recently retired from the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. She has been awarded two Fulbrights, at the National Library of Bahrain and at the Sturt University in Australia. She has presented research and taught research methods in conferences and classrooms in Germany, Japan, South Africa, Bahrain, Canada, China, and several of the north American states. Her first book on women’s studies scholars earned the Women and Gender Studies Section’s first Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. Her articles are cited in medical, gender studies, public health, family violence, and social work research journals, as well as in information studies. Lynn’s research centers on the information contexts of women in crisis situations including cancers and sexual human trafficking, with intimate partner violence as her primary focus.
Local keynote speaker: Professor Archie L Dick is Head of the Department of Information Science, and Chairperson of the School of Information Technology at the University of Pretoria. He is an internationally acclaimed researcher, and was a visiting professor at Wayne State University, the George A. Miller Endowment Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Centre for the History of Print and Digital Culture. He was a Deputy Chairperson of the IFLA committee of Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression, and Chairperson of the National Council of Library and Information Services in South Africa. His articles have been translated into Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Archie’s path-breaking book The Hidden History of South Africa’s Book and Reading Cultures was published by the University of Toronto Press and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press, and placed on the long list for the Alan Paton literary award for non-fiction. The British Academy funds his most recent research, and a forthcoming book will be published by Cambridge University Press.