About Me

Deborah Hicks is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information  at San Jose State University. She earned her PhD at the University of Alberta, her MLIS at Dalhousie University, and her MA at York University. Her research has been published in Library Quarterly, Library Trends, and other LIS journals as well as in her monograph Technology and Professional Identity of Librarians: The Making of the Cybrarian (2014).

At SJSU, she is excited to teach Information Professions. She hopes to share her enthusiasm for the information professions with students and encourage them to think about what it means to be an information professional in today’s information society.

Research Interests 

The core concept that informs her research agenda is identity. Studies examining identity ultimately focus on two questions: “who am I?” and “how should I act?” Through this research, she explore how these core questions are answered at the micro level of the individual to the mezzo level of organizations to the marco level of society.

  • At the individual level, how identity informs the way we understand and function in the world is explored. At this level of analysis we can see how identity is at the core of the work people do and the relationships they build.
  • At the organizational level, the concept of identity is used to understand both how organizations function and the role of organizations in the development and maintenance of individual’s identities. Not only do organizations themselves have identities that inform their sense of collective self and provide guidance to their actions, but they also play a role in how people construct their individual identities by providing a context for their work and relationships.
  • Lastly, at the societal level, identity is used as a lens to explore how people build communities, how organizations interact with their clients and communities, and how individuals and organizations communicate in and amongst themselves.

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