FIMS Profile

Ajit Pyati
Associate Professor

FIMS & Nursing Building Room 4079
Phone: 519-661-2111 x85616

University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7
Fax: 519-661-3506
  • About Me

  • Teaching

  • Research

  • Publications

  • Courses Taught

  • Theses Supervised

"You don't need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough." - Joanna Macy

On Sabbatical from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

I am currently on sabbatical, during which time I am a Visiting Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, as well as a Visiting Researcher at the Vancouver School of Theology.

Guiding Philosophy

My work (teaching, scholarship, and service) is guided by this overarching question: How can we live freer and more conscious lives, while also working to build a more just and humane world?

I feel my task as an academic and more importantly as a human is to live this question, and allow it to work upon my being. The poet and writer Rainier Maria Rilke states this sentiment eloquently: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”


For the 2020-21 academic year, I am on sabbatical and therefore not teaching courses.

My usual teaching assignments are in the LIS program, namely LIS 9001: Perspectives on Library and Information Science and LIS 9136: Information Equity: Social Justice in a Network Society.

My teaching at Western has spanned a wide variety of formats, from large undergraduate lectures (200 students), LIS core courses (around 40 students), LIS electives (15-20 students), and smaller graduate seminars at both FIMS and the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism. My teaching efforts have been awarded with a FIMS Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, an honor that I am very proud of: In July 2014, I was also placed on the FIMS Dean's Honour Roll for Excellence in Teaching, and in Fall 2017 I was once again a finalist for the FIMS Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching.


A major theme in my research agenda over the last few years has been information equity. Namely, I have been concerned with power imbalances and dynamics in the “information society.” This concern has led me to do research and publish on topics such as open source software, open access publishing, international library development, immigrant information behavior, and critical social theory’s intersection with the field of information studies.

Currently, I am becoming more interested in the field of contemplative studies. As a certified yoga and meditation teacher myself, I am interested in the role of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness-centered practices in the academy. In the past I have given free yoga and meditation classes to the FIMS and wider Western community. Since Fall 2016, I have been teaching an 8-week course at Western's Wellness Education Centre, entitled Yoga for Stress Relief. These classes form part of my vision of a university education that focuses on the “head, hearts, and hands” of students, addressing their needs as “whole persons” rather than merely as “heads on bodies” that need to be filled with information/knowledge. In honor of this work, I was named one of the inaugural recipients of the Western Wellness Award of Recognition in October 2017:

Some Recent Publications

Pyati, A. (May 24, 2020). What Michael Jordan's documentary 'The Last Dance' tells us about beating the coronavirus pandemic. The Conversation.


 Pyati, A.K. (2019). Public Libraries as Contemplative Spaces: A Framework for Action and Research. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association 68(4): 356-370. 

Pyati, A. (December 16, 2018). The importance of thoughtful resistance in the age of Trump. The Conversation.

Pyati, A.K. (2017). Contemplation as Educational Activism within Communication Studies. Canadian Journal of Communication 42(1): 67-80.

Pyati, A.K. (2017). Interrogating the nature of identity in an age of rising nationalism. The Arrow: A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics. Available:

FIMS 9605 Special Topic: Contemplation and Mindfulness in the Information Age 2016 Summer LIS 503 Information Sources and Services 2007 Fall (3 sections) LIS 9001 Perspectives on Library and Information Science 2020 Winter , 2019 Summer , 2018 Fall (2 sections) , 2018 Summer , 2017 Fall (2 sections) , 2017 Summer , 2016 Fall , 2016 Summer , 2014 Summer , 2012 Summer , 2011 Summer , 2009 Summer LIS 9003 Information Sources and Services 2008 Summer LIS 9130 Information Policy 2014 Fall , 2012 Fall , 2009 Fall , 2008 Fall LIS 9133 Information Equity 2012 Summer , 2011 Summer , 2009 Summer , 2008 Summer LIS 9136 Information Equity: Social Justice in a Network Society 2020 Winter , 2019 Summer , 2018 Summer , 2017 Summer , 2014 Summer LIS 9811 Information Policy 2014 Fall , 2012 Fall , 2008 Fall LIS 9833 Information Equity: Social Justice in a Network Society 2020 Winter , 2019 Summer , 2018 Summer , 2017 Summer , 2014 Summer , 2012 Summer , 2011 Summer , 2009 Summer MIT 1700 FYI: Information & Its Contexts 2014 Fall , 2012 Fall , 2011 Fall , 2010 Fall , 2009 Fall , 2008 Fall MIT 3902 Alternative Media 2010 Fall MS 9316 Special Topic: Information Societies and Their Promises of 'Development' 2011 Fall

Chabot (Kelsang Legden), Roger. The Information Practices of New Kadampa Buddhists: From "Dharma of Scripture" to "Dharma of Insight"
Phd in Library and Information Science, April 2019
Supervisor: Ajit Pyati
Kamal, Ahmad M. Contentious information: Accounts of knowledge production, circulation and consumption in transitional Egypt
Phd in Library and Information Science, April 2015
Supervisor: Ajit Pyati
McNally, Michael. Intellectual Property and Its Alternatives: Incentives, Innovation and Ideology
Phd in Library and Information Science, April 2012
Supervisors: Ajit Pyati and Samuel E. Trosow