Joy M. Doan has joined the School of Information Sciences this spring as an assistant professor of practice for the master’s program, and brings with her a wealth of experience as an administrator, practitioner, special subject librarian, and as an instructor.
Her most recent position was as head of the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library at the University of Miami, which she said challenged her to tap into many areas of library and information sciences.
“Music librarianship touches so many areas, including special collections, archives, metadata, music information retrieval, academic librarianship, public services, cataloging, collection development. Because it is a specialized subject, you have to have pointed knowledge in all those areas, you must have the skillset to do it all,” she said.
Despite her love of music – and a master’s of arts in music history from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio – Doan said she’s made it a point to work in areas outside of that niche, such as when she was an instruction, research and outreach librarian at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles.
“I was very strategic in taking that role because I wanted to see what librarianship looked like from a different perspective. That gave me a wider scope of thought around academic librarianship,” she said.
Doan said she was thrilled to take a position that allows her to mold the next generation of information professionals. She believes teaching in the MSIS program is an opportunity to both maintain the excellent working parts of librarianship and information sciences, but to also challenge students to shake things up and think outside of the box.
“When graduates bring new ideas into the field, it can enhance the environment and quality of resources an organization puts out for patrons or clients. It is very important for students to have a knowledge of where they want to lead change, whatever that means to them, even if it is just for themselves,” she said. “I want students to think, ‘I can be the change I would like to see.’ Cliché? Yes, but true.”
Doan also plans to contribute to SIS diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, which is a focus she’s also had in past positions, such as her last one at the Marta & Austin Weeks Music Library. There, she started an endeavor to add more diversity to the collection by bringing in more materials created by black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC), and women, with a focus on works published after 1960. She presented a case study on this work in a keynote address at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the South East Chapter of the Music Library Association (SEMLA),“Equitable Collections Should be the Norm: Considerations for Music Library Professionals.”
Another goal Doan has is to join the ongoing collaboration between SIS and the librarians at Hodges Library; she was excited to see the school has an existing relationship with the library, and hopes to create projects and research that will benefit both institutions and MSIS students.
Besides getting to know SIS students, faculty, and staff, Doan said she is looking forward to learning more about the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the town in which it resides. So far, she’s only heard great things about both, she said.
“I’m just really excited to be in this place that everyone only has fabulous things to say about it,” she said.
She’s also an avid jogger and hiker, and like many who move to the East Tennessee region, is thrilled to see the abundance of easily accessible trails and greenways.
“I have already been looking at some of the trails and saying, oh, that’s going to be a lovely run!” she said.