60+ Articles Every Librarian Should Read- New and Improved

During my time in graduate school, I curated a list of articles to help both newly initiated and seasoned librarians. The list was generated from discussions with classmates, colleagues, professors, and my own interests at the time. I recently went back and read some of the articles on the original list and, while still relevant, a lot of the information contained in the articles needed a refresh.

This list was developed using similar techniques (talking with colleagues, friends, and even individuals outside of the library profession) and I also drew on current events for inspiration.

I am no longer “in the profession” but I still consider myself a librarian-at-large who is passionate about making the profession more than just story-time’s and read-a-likes. The library profession is definitely in need of an update, at least in terms of marketing, and librarians are now more important than ever. In an age of “fake news,” decreased privacy, and increased screen-time, a librarians job has shifted to that of information navigator and curator.

As always, I welcome additions to this list and love collaborating with those both in and out of the library!


Digital Literacy

Diversity and Cultural Competence

Fake News and Digital Navigation

Healthcare and Medical Education

  • Clifton, S., Jo, P., Longo, J. M., & Malone, T. (2017). Cultivating a community of practice: the evolution of a health information specialists program for public librarians. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 105(3), 254–261. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.83
  • Epstein, B. A. (2017). Health sciences libraries in the United States: new directions. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 34(4), 307–311. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12199
  • Spencer, A. J., & Eldredge, J. D. (2018). Roles for librarians in systematic reviews: a scoping review. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(1), 46–56. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.82
  • Townsend, W. A., Anderson, P. F., Ginier, E. C., MacEachern, M. P., Saylor, K. M., Shipman, B. L., & Smith, J. E. (2017). A competency framework for librarians involved in systematic reviews. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 105(3), 268–275. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.189

Information Literacy/Instruction


MLIS/MLS Education

  • Conklin, J. L. (2017). Developing librarian competencies for the digital age, edited by Jeffrey G. Coghill and Roger G. Russell. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 36(3), 307–308. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2017.1332278
  • Kovar-Gough, I. (2017). Taking chances: a new librarian and curriculum redesign. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 36(2), 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2017.1293973
  • Shahbazi, R., & Hedayati, A. (2016). Identifying digital librarian competencies according to the analysis of newly emerging IT-based LIS jobs in 2013. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(5), 542–550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2016.06.014
  • Worthington, B. (2017). Towards a better understanding of opportunities for performance training within the MLS curriculum: issues for enhancing education of children’s librarians. Journal of Education for Library & Information Science, 58(4), 202–218. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1159391

Political Landscape

Public Libraries

  • Giesler, M. A. (2017). A place to call home?: A qualitative exploration of public librarians’ response to homelessness. Journal of Access Services, 14(4), 188–214. https://doi.org/10.1080/15367967.2017.1395704
  • Ireland, S. (2017). Information literacy and instruction: for your information: using information literacy in public libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 57(1), 12–16. https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.57.1.6436

School Libraries

Staff and Personal Development


TEDx Talks

The Future of Libraries


Operation: Collection Development, Medical Library Edition

This semester I am taking LI855XS: Collection Development and Management. I love this course so far, and the teacher has been particularly amazing. For our second to last assignment, we were randomly assigned a library (law library, public library, academic library, etc…) and, as my luck would have it, I was assigned a medical library!

The point of the assignment was to create a poster that highlighted the “general activities that were in involved in collection development within this particular library.” My partner had never done any research on medical libraries, so of course I was ready to assist! We threw ourselves into the assignment and began to develop some ideas for the poster. I must have been feeling especially uninspired, since it took quite awhile for the idea to form.

After I had gone through multiple drafts, we finally came up with Operation Collection Development, Medical Library Edition. I must say, I could not be anymore more proud of the final poster if I tried! In order to give our fellow students a take-away from the presentation, I created “handouts” in the form of RX pill bottles. I modeled the labels off of the CVS pharmacy label.

Here are some pictures from the presentation:

Poster session display

Our setup for the presentation. My iPad displayed the page I created for the QR code.

Close up picture of the poster.

A photo showing some of the detail in the poster.

Close up of the pill bottles.

A photo showing off the RX handouts I created. We filled them with Skittles*.

We placed in the top three and were given a tassel, certificate, and some other fun prizes. It was a lot of fun to present our poster to a group of our peers! I wish I would have taken more pictures of the session as a whole, but I was glued to my poster for the majority of the walk-around!

The poster’s new home is in the Public Services area of the A. R. Dykes Health Sciences Library. I’ve had a few comments about it so far, so I think it is being put to good use.

Poster hanging in the medical library.

The poster is now on display at the Dykes Library at the University of Kansas Medical Center.




*Since when did they replace the green Skittles with green apple?! What happened to lime????


I know the last post was a personal update, but I wanted to let people know why I had not posted in awhile.

If you have ever been interested in medical librarianship, but have not had the opportunity to shadow a medical librarian…this is your chance! This post will be a mini-tour + eShadowing opportunity all rolled into one.

A little about where I work:

“The mission of the A.R. Dykes Library of the Health Sciences staff is to work collaboratively with individuals and organizations seeking high quality health information within the University of Kansas Medical Center and throughout the state of Kansas.”

The library itself follows five (5) strategic initiatives, these include:
1. Instruction Plan
2. Collection Development Plan
3. Intellectual Property Use and Protection Plan
4. Collaboration and Outreach Plan
5. Facility Plan

Each of these initiatives is critical to the success of the library and they have been implemented via programs the library hosts, training staff receives and excellent communication from administration.

The library serves not only the medical and educational communities of the University of Kansas Medical Center, but also the community itself. The library is public access during certain hours and patrons are welcome to use computers when available. Since the location is in a very urban environment, we serve a diverse group of patrons.

You didn’t come here for all that, did you? You want to see the good stuff. Well, allow me to take you on a small mini-tour of my office/reference area and I have also included some pictures of the library (downloaded from our Sharepoint, taken in 2006). Some of the interior pictures show older layouts. The stacks are no longer downstairs, as they have all been moved to the 2nd floor.


Street Side Lobby

Library Interior (2006):
Main Floor

Stacks are now on 2nd floor

Testing Center Computers

Atrium Area

Reference Area (where I work):
Reference Area
Reference Side

My Little Cubicle


What I see everyday

Like the mini-tour? I will try to update my Flickr stream with new pictures as often as I can. The building itself is really beautiful and I like the layout. There are two elevators in the building that will take you to the second floor, but I enjoy walking up the spiral stairway in the middle.

So, on to the eShadowing? Right this way….

The library opens at 7:30, but I don’t start until 8:30. The drive to work isn’t bad, but the parking is awful. I have been walking from the parking lot to work everyday instead of taking the shuttle, but on days when the weather was bad I did take advantage of the employee shuttle system. So a breakdown of a typical day (so far) would be:

8:30-8:45- I get to the library, check my calendar (We use Outlook) and email. Normally I have a few meetings scheduled. The library has a lot of separate entities within itself that we deal with. I have taken an interest in the subject guides (LibGuides), outreach, small app identification taskforce and professional development (Kansas City Local Library Exchange).

9:00-10:45- I spend time at the public services desk where I: answer reference questions (e.g., “How do I access this article on PubMed?,” “Can you help me find articles about _____?,” “What journals are open access?,” etc..), sign people in to use the public computers, aid patrons in locating the proper materials (e.g., “I need to find books related to autism research in public schools.,” “I can’t find this book in your stacks.,” etc..), field questions via phone, help at the Pager Warehouse desk (e.g., “I lost my pager and need a new one.,” “How do I set my pager to page forwarding?,” etc..), provide directions to places around campus and assist in general circulation duties. I do not have to shelve books here, as we have student workers who deal with all of the shelving and checking-in of books.

11:00-12:00- I may attend a “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” which is where a group of us sits in on a webinar over lunch or discusses a particular program the library may be dealing with. A few days ago I attended “OCLC/Firstsearch.org/WorldCat” and “RML Open Access” webinars with several of my coworkers. Yesterday, we had a “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” where we discussed LibGuides. We talked about how to promote them, what other subject guides patrons/students would be interested in and what we should be doing going forward.

12:00-1:25- If I haven’t already taken my lunch, I may take it at this time. The “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” could be at this time as well. If not, I may spend more time helping at the public service desk (providing “refulation” as it’s called here) or working on a solo project. Currently, I have been compiling a list of web tools and mobile apps that we could be promoting. Another project has been an ongoing one regarding the Kansas City Local Library Exchange. Working with a coworker, I have been creating a flowchart to use in our promotional materials and also an internal work-flow chart for us.

1:30-3:30- The afternoons are busy, so I tend to migrate out to the public service desk. I work on projects from there and provide more in-depth reference to patrons (e.g., law firms needing reference help, physicians wanting access to O2 resources for research, etc..)

3:45-4:45- This last hour or so, I begin to wind down. I wrap up projects, get clarification about issues I may be having or check through my task list to see if I can complete anything else before I head home.

4:50-5:00- Walk from Dykes to the parking lot and head home.

Since this is only my first few weeks, I haven’t had too many projects to get my hands dirty with. I’m chomping at the bit to start some more complicated tasks, but I also understand the importance of learning the public service desk tasks. Hopefully in the future there will be enough time for me to complete both the public service tasks and personal projects I look forward to taking on!

If you have any questions or would like me to continue to do some eShadowing (as I work my way deeper into the labyrinth that is medical librarianship), please feel free to email me at aroundthestacks [at] gmail [dot] com.

2012/2013 Big Changes

I am sitting at my AMAZING new job, eating cherry Poptarts (which happen to be my least favorite) for lunch. Why am I eating Poptarts for lunch you ask…..

It’s a long story. One that starts back in September of 2012 when I applied for a job at KU Medical Center’s Dykes Library. Since I started in library world, I have pushed myself to become a medical librarian. I adore the idea of melding two of my great loves and pursuing a profession that aligns with my interests. By the end of October, I was feeling a little disappointed. Two interviews and tour later, I had not received a call-back about the position. Then, in late November during a survival program I was hosting for teens, I got the call.

I was ecstatic! I was finally on my way to becoming a medical librarian.

As soon as I was off work, I began looking at apartments/houses. Thankfully a friend of mine in Kansas had a room available in her house and offered to let me stay with her. So far that aspect of my move has gone really well and I love going to work everyday.

So now I’m in Kansas, working at the fantastic KU Medical Center, I love my co-workers (though I miss my TRL co-workers too 😦 ) and I like where I’m staying.

Back to the Poptarts though…

While carrying groceries in on ice covered steps I slipped and face-planted. I busted my lip, broke THREE teeth and I’m incredibly sore. Thankfully, I was able to see an emergency dentist on New Year’s Eve, but it cost me big time. Right now I have a temporary crown and I go back on Jan 8th to have my permanent crown put on. Thus, I can only eat soft foods and that is why I’m eating Poptarts for lunch.

Though I must say that 2012 was a less than stellar year, I do have a few things that I am incredibly thankful for:

1. My wonderful new job
2. The love and support of my friends and family
3. Meeting a really fantastic guy
4. A cozy place to live with a fun roommate

I can say without a doubt, however, that 2012 will go down in my record book as the worst year so far. I hope to keep it that way and not repeat this year again.