Biblionews-participant-mary-thomason

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Mary Thomason
Doctoral Student
School of Library and Information Studies
Texas Women's University
Denton, TX

I have many research interests, including information literacy; factors impacting library use; information seeking behavior for specific populations; factors affecting women becoming leaders in library management; influence of Title IX on the coaching profession, particularly female coaches, and the community; Student Learning Outcome assessment for information literacy; functions and activities of serving the communities and preservation of library resources; perceptions of computer skills related to patron interest, age, and library use; analysis of Outcomes Based Evaluation as Action Research; factors that impact library use of computers, the Internet or web in coursework by women student athletes; and perspectives of female coaches as leaders.

These research interests involve libraries and the community as they relate to the issues of information seeking and information literacy. I am particularly concerned with how the past has contributed to present and the need for awareness of new directions that can insure open information access. I also urge the combining of librarians and journalists as well as educators to promote open information access. I see open information access as one safeguard toward insuring that citizens become and remain alert to the vital issues of our times so that they may act to improve our world and livelihood.

Oftentimes we write and speak in generalities. However, being aware of how library patrons find information, how computer skills are related to patron interest, age, and library use; and other factors that impact library use include some significant areas ^S that play a role in determining open information access to our citizens.

I retired as a school librarian in 2007, after beginning work on my doctorate in 2005. As a doctoral student at Texas Woman's University, I have developed many research interests, several of which are centered within information seeking and open information access. Having open information access may be irrelevant when our citizens have few skills or interest in seeking information in the creditable sources where it may be found today. Having open information access requires that our citizens have the knowledge to seek out and recognize creditable resources.

These last six years I have devoted to doctoral studies at Texas Woman^Ys University. At TWU, I have worked as a graduate assistant and researched several individual topics. I also served on the Faculty Planning Committee. I earned my MLS from TWU in 1976 and a BA from Texas Wesleyan University in 1970. I have also been a member of the Texas Library Association and Retired Teachers Association.

Before retiring, I worked for the Fort Worth Independent School District as a middle school librarian (25 years), elementary school librarian (2 years), and high school math teacher (1 year). I also worked at other school districts as a high school librarian (Bridgeport), elementary librarian (Post and Lake Worth), and math teacher (Northside High School, Northside ISD). In 1976-77, I served as the director of the Maffett Memorial Public Library in Groesbeck, Tx, organizing it from scratch. I also helped organize the Azle Public Library in its beginning year.