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Meet Bruce Bachand, Fall 2012 SALALM Scholarship Winner!

Dr. Bruce Bachand, masters student of Library and Information Science at University of Kentucky.

Bruce Bachand is an anthropologist (Ph.D. University of Arizona) who is looking to apply his subject area knowledge of Mesoamerica, Spanish language ability, and love of libraries and archival research to a productive and fulfilling career as a librarian-scholar for an academic library. He is finishing his master’s degree in Library and Information science at the University of Kentucky, concentrating in academic libraries. Bruce is particularly interested in collection development, embedded or “field” librarianship, authority control, archives, digital repositories, FRBR, and the Semantic Web.  In graduate school, he has researched and written essays on authority control in archives, folksonomies, and subject specialist Ph.D.s in the profession. As an anthropologist, educator and librarian, he has a profound interest in understanding how society’s insatiable appetite for quick information is impacting scholarship and learning.

Internships with the Mountain West Digital Library and Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI) have afforded him special opportunities to learn about digital library consortia and online databases. Through these opportunities, he has grasped principles of metadata interoperability, digital asset management systems, open access, and bibliometrics. This March, Bruce will apply this knowledge in a one week internship at the Library of Congress.

His experiences as a scientist intersect with his recent training in librarianship. This complementarity surfaces in his writing. In his recent bibliometric analysis of Latin American serials for HAPI, Bruce incorporates his direct scholarly experience with four HAPI journals to make a case for developing a partly qualitative approach to assessing journal quality, excellence, and value (to be presented with Orchid Mazurkiewicz at SALALM 2013). His background also pervades a recent essay on anthropology libraries, now under review by Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian. He has written a thesaurus of terms for Zoque Indian culture that he hopes to soon publish as an illustrated dictionary, and is collaborating with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to revive the Bibliografía Mesoamericana, a free online bibliographic database for Mesoamerican research.

Bruce has published various articles on ancient Maya and Olmec society. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico during 2009-2010. In May 2010, his field team was featured in the New York Times for their discovery of the oldest tomb yet found in a Mesoamerican pyramid, a find published with Mexican colleague Lynneth Lowe in Arqueología Mexicana (2011) and in a forthcoming volume by Brigham Young University’s New World Archaeological Foundation.

Looking forward, Bruce envisions himself working with collection development and subject specialist reference for anthropology and Latin American studies. He believes, however, that academic libraries will be challenged in the coming decades as they aim to strike a sustainable balance between ownership and access of materials and provide point-of-need reference services. He sees subject knowledge of library practitioners becoming of greater value with information resources multiplying at an exponential rate. By planting a foot in both the librarian and scholarly worlds he hopes to forge more seamless collaborations between departments and libraries, especially as academic boundaries dissolve and new information needs emerge such as data curation and open access publishing.

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