Agents of Influence: Academic Librarians -- Fostering partnerships at the forefront of research

Pioneering Digital Humanities at Stanford

January 6, 2020

In this multipart series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is the fifth story in the series. Quinn Dombrowski, academic technology specialist at Stanford’s Division of Literatures, … Continue reading Pioneering Digital Humanities at Stanford


Beth M. Lander, college librarian at the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, poses with a human skull set on green velvet. (Photo: Kriston Bethel)

Bookend: Medical Marvels

January 2, 2020

“That’s an excellent example of what it is like to work here,” she says. “You never know what might happen next.” The college shares its library with the Mütter Museum, an institution known for its macabre medical materials, which span centuries. Sometimes those artifacts find their way into the hands of playful coworkers, so keeping … Continue reading Bookend: Medical Marvels


2019 I Love My Librarian Award winners

Meet the I Love My Librarian Award Winners

December 10, 2019

“Our nation’s librarians serve the needs and aspirations of their communities by promoting education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, and engagement,” said ALA President Wanda Kay Brown. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award recipients, who represent the highest qualities in social service and transform lives every day.” Winners will each receive a $5,000 cash … Continue reading Meet the I Love My Librarian Award Winners


From left: Catherine Morse, Joe Bauer, Matt Carruthers, and Sara Hughes at a research sprint held in October 2019 in partnership with University of Michigan Library. The group worked on developing a data management system for information on public drinking water.

Ready, Set, Research!

December 3, 2019

In this multipart series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is the fourth story in the series. Also referred to as scholar sprints, the intensive forums are … Continue reading Ready, Set, Research!


The University of Michigan’s Computer and Video Game Archive. Photo: Alan Pinon

Librarians, Start New Game

November 1, 2019

The University of Michigan’s (UM) Computer Video and Game Archive (CVGA) in Ann Arbor boasts more than 8,000 videogames and 60 consoles dating back to the 1970s. “Because we have such a large collection, there are many examples from which to pull and get inspiration, things [students] would never be able to afford on their … Continue reading Librarians, Start New Game



Mies Martin (left) and Beth Martin present their findings at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

The Impostor Phenomenon

April 13, 2019

At an April 12 session at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland, Beth Martin, head of professional programs at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and Mies Martin, electronic resources and serials librarian at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, described their own recent IP research. Beth Martin said IP is … Continue reading The Impostor Phenomenon


From left: Amy Fyn, Amanda Foster-Kaufman, Christina Heady, and Allison Hosier at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland

Why Librarians Leave

April 12, 2019

The study identified 20 factors spread across four categories that indicated librarian job dissatisfaction, most significantly workplace morale, with 79% of respondents identifying it as their top reason for leaving. Following closely behind was dissatisfaction with library administration (72%).  “Overall the comments indicated that unfair practices and lack of transparency were the highest areas of … Continue reading Why Librarians Leave


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Become Future Ready

March 1, 2019

Transforming Libraries: A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers, by Ron Starker, begins with the premise that libraries are at a tipping point in the evolutionary process, from being book warehouses to serving as centers for collaboration and learning. Starker analyzes issues that are changing libraries, including their historical context, the specific challenges each faces, … Continue reading Become Future Ready


Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential


Faculty and librarians work on a research sprint at the University of Kansas Libraries in 2017.

Academic Speed Trials

January 2, 2019

Karna Younger, faculty engagement librarian at Kansas University Libraries, says the idea of research sprints—during which faculty and librarians work together for about a week on the same project, and, more importantly, in the same space—is not a wholly new idea. But the approach is being formalized into a method that can be replicated. “It … Continue reading Academic Speed Trials


Disability and Equity

January 2, 2019

Many people with disabilities challenge these attitudes and advocate for change. They point out that cultural attitudes often create more difficulties for them than the disability itself. Despite their efforts, stereotypes persist—even in the workplace. I recently surveyed 288 librarians, interviewing 10 who identified as having a disability, about their experiences working at academic libraries … Continue reading Disability and Equity