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



Finding the Unfindable

I have a new obsession. Yes, it is library-related. It happened a few weeks ago when I was reading a book at work. I noticed a citation for a conference poster and it got me thinking about the materials that aren’t readily available. I traced the poster back and then read up on searching for conference proceedings. It was then that my new love appeared.

Grey literature.

What is grey literature? According to the ICGL Luxembourg definition and Wiki:

Information produced on all levels of government, academia, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e., where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body. –ICGL

Gray literature…refers to informally published written material (such as reports) that may be difficult to trace via conventional channels such as published journals and monographs because it is not published commercially or is not widely accessible –Wiki

This includes materials such as reports, clinical trials, conference proceedings, posters/slide presentations, reviews, social network data and preprints. The list really does go on though…



So why is grey/gray literature important? As an academic health science librarian, my patron base tends to be on the up-and-up when it comes to information literacy. Years of medical school, nursing school, and the hard sciences have honed their search abilities and the questions they come to me with are the questions they have already tried to answer. Simply searching Google or Pubmed doesn’t help, since they have already tried both (plus a few others) before coming to the library. Most of the researchers who visit the reference desk need to find a single piece of elusive data or a conference paper about a rare disease that was presented at a conference in India, in 1984.

This is where knowledge of the “grey areas” really helps. Knowing what databases are available to you can reduce the number of searches you perform, which will ultimately save you time.

The more I read about grey literature, the greater my obsession with it grew. Soon it was boiling over and I needed to create something that would allow me to organize all of the knowledge I had recently acquired. I decided to create a LibGuide about Grey Literature in the Health Sciences. It hasn’t been as popular as my other LibGuides, but it is in its infancy. I’m going to be adding more pages about searching for visual material (posters, images, videos, etc..), but I am learning about this as I go. I have even convinced my library school team to do a “review of methods” and literature review based on the question, “How has the Internet and open access publishing affect grey literature?”

So exciting!


The “spectrum” of research.

50+ Articles Every Librarian Should Read

A few days ago I was putzing around on r/Librarians and I came upon the following:

“Just wondering if anyone knows of any books / articles / websites that are essential, or at least very useful, for anyone who wants to know the field?”

I went about my day helping patrons, attending meetings and working on promotional materials and yet all the while I was thinking about what I had read regarding librarianship. Throughout the day I spoke with my coworkers, asking them what they had read while pursuing their MLS/MLIS and even what they would recommend to me as an aspiring librarian. After collecting a fairly extensive list from coworkers, other blog posts and my own experiences I decided to post the collection I put together*.

  • Anderson, Rick. (2011). The Crisis in Research Librarianship. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. doi:10.1016/jacalib.2011.04.001Are Librarians Still Important? | Scholastic.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2013, from http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3757441
  • Willen-Brown, Stephanie. (2008). The Reference Interview: Theories and Practice, Stephanie Willen Brown. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. University Website. Retrieved May 16, 2013, from http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/willenbrown.htm

*Pardon the APA formatting, I will come back and clean these up as I have time. Also, please let me know is any of the links don’t work so I can fix them.

A link to the Zotero Collection: 50+ Articles Every Librarian Should Read
Join the “Librarian Must-Reads Zotero Group!

>Interesting Studies I Have Stumbled Upon

>When I have some downtime, I like to read library/literacy related studies/articles (because I am a massive nerd). Some of the latest studies that I have come across I figured I would share!

1. College students’ use of Kindle DX points to e-reader’s role in academia

A study of how University of Washington graduate students integrated an Amazon Kindle DX into their course reading provides the first long-term investigation of e-readers in higher education. While some of the study’s findings were expected – students want improved support for taking notes, checking references and viewing figures – the authors also found that allowing people to switch between reading styles, and providing the reader with physical cues, are two challenges that e-readers will need to address in cracking the college market.

2. How Reading Improves Your Social Life

…a study[*] suggesting that fiction readers tend to be more empathic than non-fiction readers. This could of course be correlation rather than causation — maybe the kind of person who likes fiction is more empathic to start with — but the researchers think not.

*I can not seem to find this study, so if anyone actually finds an active link, let me know!

3. 21 Things that Will Disappear from Education in the Next 10 Years

While libraries as a whole are not schools, they are directly related to the education field and academic libraries are of course impacted even more. As a librarian at a two-year college, we are being asked right now to create our vision for the next ten years and then to extend that to what we believe the college classroom will look like in ten years.

4. Red letter day for Darwin Correspondence Project

The project mapping Charles Darwin’s life and work in the 15,000 letters he wrote or received during his extraordinary lifetime will be completed after a £5 million funding package was announced. The awards, announced by Cambridge University Library and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), will ensure the full completion of the definitive, award-winning edition of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin.

5. Petition against HarperCollins ebook/library policy garners 53,786 signatures

Ok, so 5 isn’t really an article, but more of a HUGE PAT ON THE BACK TO LIBRARIANS EVERYWHERE!! Libraries totally made their voices heard by boycotting HarperCollins over the eBook scandal of 2011. Go libraries!