Dr. Jeffrey DiScala's Dissertation in ProQuest's Top 25
Dr. Jeffrey DiScala's ('16, Information Studies) dissertation was among ProQuest's Top 25 Most-Accessed Dissertations and Theses for February 2018. Based upon total PDF downloads across all subjects, his thesis entitled School district governance and knowledge-fit in decision rights: How districts recruit and hire school librarians was one of the most-accessed of 2.1 million full-text graduate works across all subject areas for this period of time.
DiScala is an Assistant Professor of Library Science in the Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University, where he teaches courses on the foundations and research methods of library, information science, and young adult literature. His doctoral work at Maryland looked at how individuals at different levels in a school district's organization (library supervisor, HR, and principals) participate (or not) in the process of recruiting, and hiring school librarians. His research looked in-depth at these processes in five school districts across the country. DiScala found that district library supervisors, those most knowledgeable about the work of school librarians, were only minimally involved in the recruiting and hiring processes when a district had decentralized governance and principals were given the most autonomy in hiring.
In his current research, DiScala is focused on the roles, and professional development of school librarians, and school district library supervisors. This work is conducted mainly through his work on the Lilead Project, of which he is co-principal investigator with Dr. Ann Carlson Weeks, and Christie Kodama from the University of Maryland. The Lilead Project studies, and supports the work of school library leaders through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and private donors. Current endeavors of The Lilead Project involve the Fellows Program, with its second year-long cohort of district library supervisors completing intensive professional development, and the Leaders Program, which is a series of online short courses of continuing education for library leaders of all kinds.
Regarding this recent recognition from ProQuest DiScala says, "Many school librarians had spoken to me about the strange and convoluted hiring processes they had been through, and I'd been through it myself. I wanted to see if there were ways to improve things. Since there wasn’t much research on recruiting and hiring of school librarians, I decided to take a closer look at what was going on before considering how the processes might be improved, which is the next step. I am pleased that others find this research as compelling and relevant as I do."
Further information about Dr. Jeffrey DiScala can be found here.