Barbara Fister


BA, Russian Literature, University of Kentucky (1976).
MLIS, Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin (1981).
MA, English Literature, Mankato State University (1992).


2019 – 2024
Scholar-in-Residence with Project Information Literacy.

1987 – 2019
Academic Librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College.


How Information Worlds Shape Our Response to Climate Change by Alison J. Head, Steven Geofrey, Barbara Fister, and Kirsten Hostetler, Project Information Literacy, July 9, 2024.

Getting a Grip on ChatGPT,” with Alison J. Head, Inside Higher Ed (May 4, 2023).

Runtime. [fiction] Gazornum, 2023.

The Project Information Literacy Retrospective: Insights from More than a Decade of Information Literacy Research, 2008-2022 with Alison J. Head, Steven Geofrey, and Margy McMillan, Project Information Literacy, 2022

Principled Uncertainty: Why Learning to Ask Good Questions Matters More than Finding Answers,” PIL Provocation Series 2, no. 1 (February 16, 2022).

The Librarian War Against QAnon,” The Atlantic, February 18, 2021. [Adapted from PIL Provocation Series No. 1] PDF version.

Lizard People in the Library,” PIL Provocation Series No. 1,  Project Information Literacy (February 3, 2021). Swedish translation by Ola Nilsson via the Digiteket, repository at the National Library of Sweden.

In the Dark. [fiction] Gazornum, 2020.

Information Literacy in the Age of Algorithms: Student Experiences With News and Information, and the Need for Change. With Alison J. Head and Margy MacMillan. Project Information Literacy, Jan. 15, 2020.

Babel Fish Bouillabaisse II. Gazornum, 2019.

Across the Great Divide: How Today’s College Students Engage With News” with Alison J. Head, Erica DeFrain, and Margy MacMillan. First Monday 24.8 (August 2019).

College Students as News Consumers.” Information Outlook, 23.2 (March 2019): 6-8.

News Digests to the Rescue?” with Alison J. Head and Margy McMillan. Storybench. March 15, 2019.

Clickbait, Bias, and Propaganda in Information Networks with Rachel Flynn and students enrolled in IDS101 (open access textbook) Spring 2019.

Freedom of Information and Personal Data: Big Tech Should Take Cues From Public Libraries,” Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Jan. 9, 2019.

Research in the Lived Experience of Gustavus Students,” with Joseph Robbins. Patricia Lindell student-faculty research project, 2018.

Mapping Student Days: Collaborative Ethnography and the Student Experience,” with Andrew Asher, Jean Amaral, Juliann Couture, Donna Lanclos, M. Sara Lowe, Mariana Regalado, and Maura A. Smale. Journal of Collaborative Librarianship, 9.4 (2017): 293-317.

Foreword to The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture and Academic Librarianship, edited by Anne-Marie Deitering, Robert Schroeder, and Richard Stoddart, Chicago: ACRL, 2017.

The Warp and Weft of Information Literacy: Changing Contexts, Enduring Challenges.” Journal of Information Literacy 11.1 (June 2017): 68-79.

A Day in the Life: Practical Strategies for Understanding Student Space-Use Practices” with Andrew Asher, Juliann Couture, Jean Amaral, Maura Smale, Sara Lowe, Donna Lanclos, and Mariana Regalado. Proceedings of the 2016 Library Assessment Conference, Washington DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2017: 428-438.

Threshold Concepts and the New Framework for Information Literacy,” Library Issues 36.4 (March 2016): 1-4.

If Then Else. [fiction] Gazornum, 2016.

Babel Fish Bouillabaisse. Gazornum, 2015.

The Social Life of Knowledge: Faculty Epistemologies,” in Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information ed. by Heather Jagman and Troy Swanson. Chicago, ACRL, 2015, 87-104.

New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ACRL’s 75th Anniversary with Steven Bell and Lorcan Dempsey. Chicago: ACRL, 2015.

Big Data or Big Brother? Data, Ethics, and Academic Libraries.” Library Issues 35.4 (March 2014): 1-4.

Reparations: World War II in Scandinavian Crime Fiction.” Mystery Readers Journal 30.4 (Winter 2014-15).

Readers’ Advisory in the College Classroom,” in The Slow Book Revolution: Creating a New Culture of Reading on College Campuses and Beyond ed. Meagan Lacy. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2014. 69-79. Uncorrected draft.

The Perceived Impact of Ebooks on Student Reading Practices: A Local Study,” with Julie Gilbert, College & Research Libraries 76.4 (May 2015): 469-489.

Librarians as Guides to a Changing Publishing Landscape,” Library Issues 34.4 (March 2014): 1-4.

Introduction: Speaking for Myself,” in Finding a Public Voice: Using Barbara Fister as a Case Study. Ed. Danielle Theisse and Diane K. Kovacs. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2013.

Playing for Keeps: Lifelong Learning in the Ludic Library,” Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice 1.1 (Spring 2013): 5-9.

The Library’s Role in Learning: Information Literacy Revisited,” Library Issues  33.4 (March 2013).

The Millennium Trilogy and the American Serial Killer Narrative: Investigating Protagonists of Men Who Write Women” in Rape in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and Beyond: Contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone Crime Fiction edited by Berit Åström, Katarina Gregersdotter and Tanya Horeck. London: Palgrave, 2012. 34-50.

Open Access and the Future of Academic Scholarship,” Library Issues 32.5 (May 2012): 1-4.

An Academic Spring? A Successful Protest Against Elsevier Demonstrates that Populist Rebellions Have a Place Within the Information-Sharing Community.American Libraries May 2012.

“Spring Fever” in Writes of Spring: Stories and Prose ed. Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp. [fiction] Nodin, 2012: 65-68.

The Public Versus Publishers: How Scholars and Activists are Occupying the Library.” Anthropologies 12 (March 2012).

Reading, Risk, and Reality: Undergraduates and Reading for Pleasure,” with Julie Gilbert, College & Research Libraries 72.5 (September 2011): 474-495.

Liberating Knowledge: A Librarian’s Manifesto for Change.” Thought & Action (Fall 2010): 83-90.

Through the Cracks. [fiction] St. Martin’s Minotaur, May 2010.

Critical Assets: Academic Libraries – A View from the Administration Building.” Library Journal May 1, 2010 (cover story).

Liberation Bibliography: Trumping Ownership With Access – A Manifesto.” Library Journal April 1, 2010.

The Glorious Study Hall: How Libraries Nurture a Life of the Mind.” Library Issues 30.2 (Nov. 2009).

The Dewey Dilemma.” Library Journal October 1, 2009 (cover story).

Publishers and Librarians: Two Cultures, One Goal.” Library Journal May 1, 2009 (cover story).

Fostering Information Literacy Through Faculty Development.” Library Issues 29.4 (March 2009).

Aggregated Interdisciplinary Databases and the Needs of Undergraduate Researchers.” With Julie Gilbert and Amy Fry. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 8.3 (July 2008): 273-292.

In the Wind. [fiction] New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008; Pyhimysmurha (Finnish translation) Helsinki: Nemo, 2010.

Curriculum Issues in Information Literacy Instruction,” with Thomas W. Eland in Information Literacy Instruction Handbook. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2008.

What if You Ran Your Bookstore Like a Library?” Library Journal, April 15, 2008

Face Value.” Inside Higher Ed, February 18, 2008.

Wikipedia and the Challenge of Read/Write Culture.” Library Issues 27.3 (Jan. 2007).

“‘Reading as a Contact Sport’: Online Book Groups and the Social Dimensions of Reading.” Reference and User Services Quarterly, 44.4 (Summer 2005): 303-309.

Copycat Crimes: Crime Fiction and the Marketplace of Anxieties.” Clues: A Journal of Detection 23.3 (Spring 2005): 43-56.

Bodies of Evidence: How Mystery Writers Imagine Their Worlds Through Research,” invited article for a special issue, “Mysteries: From Creation to Consumption,” Collection Management 29.3/4 (2005): 5-19.

Embracing the Challenge of Change Through Collegial Decision-Making,” co-authored with Kathie Martin. Currents and Convergence: Proceedings of the Twelfth National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Ed. Hugh Thompson. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2005. 32-38.

Choosing Sources in the Library of Babel.” LOEX Quarterly 31.4 (2005): 6-7.

Google’s Digitization Project: What Difference Will it Make?Library Issues 25.4 (March 2005).

Go Ahead, Book Me.” Library Journal (November 15, 2004): 26, 28. (Part of a cover story on university presses.)

Common Ground: Libraries and Learning.” Library Issues 25.1 (September 2004).

Academic Authors and the Crisis in Publishing.” Against the Grain 16.3 (June 2004).

“Place and Space: Libraries and the Cartography of Knowledge.” Invited essay in Musings, Meanderings, and Monsters, Too: Essays on Academic Librarianship, ed. Martin Raish. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003. 41-50.

The Devil in the Details: Media Representation of ‘Ritual Abuse’ and Evaluation of Sources.” SIMILE: Studies in Media and Information Literacy Education 3.2: May 2003.

What do They Know? Assessing the Library’s Contribution to Student Learning.” Library Issues 23.3 (January 2003).

On Edge. [fiction] New York: Dell, 2002.

Fear of Reference.” The Chronicle of Higher Education June 14, 2002, B20.

Trade Publishing: A Report from the Front.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 1.4 (October 2001): 509-523.

Elmore Leonard’s Legman: A Full-Time Researcher Helps the Renowned Mystery Writer Keep it Real.” American Libraries 32.4 (April 2001): 82-84.

Collegial Leadership in Academic Libraries.” Coauthored with David Lesniaski, Kris Huber MacPherson, and Steve McKinzie. Crossing the Divide: Proceedings of the Tenth National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Ed. Hugh Thompson. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2001, 233-239.

From BI to IL: The Paths of Two Liberal Arts Colleges.” Coauthored with Elizabeth O. Hutchins and Kris Huber MacPherson. Crossing the Divide: Proceedings of the Tenth National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Ed. Hugh Thompson. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2001, 203-212.

Balancing the Trade-Offs: Pros and Cons of Library Technology,” Library Issues 19.1 (September 1998).

“Mugging for the Camera: Narrative Strategies in Brazil,” Literature/Film Quarterly 42.3 (1996): 288-292.

Third World Women’s Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1995.

“Connected Communities: Encouraging Dialogue Between Composition and Bibliographic Instruction.” Invited chapter in Writing Across the Curriculum and the Academic Library: Implications for Bibliographic Instruction, ed. Jean Sheridan, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995, 33-51.

Teaching the Rhetorical Dimensions of Research.” Research Strategies 11.4 (Fall 1993): 211-219.

The Research Processes of Undergraduate Students.” Journal of Academic Librarianship18 (July 1992): 163-169.

“Common Ground: The Composition/Bibliographic Instruction Connection.” In Academic Libraries: Achieving Excellence in Higher Education, ed. Tom Kirk, Chicago: ACRL, 1992.

“Sources of Authority: A Case Study Approach to Using Primary Sources.” In Judging the Validity of Information Sources: Teaching Critical Analysis in Bibliographic Instruction, ed. Linda Shirato, Ann Arbor: Pierian, 1991.

“For our Silent Sisters: Third World Women’s Literature.” Choice 29 (September 1991): 39-47.

“Recreating the Renaissance: Dramatic Presentations in an Art History Class,” co-authored with Linnea Wren. Research Strategies 8 (Fall 1990): 200-203.

Teaching Research as a Social Act: Collaborative Learning and the Library,” RQ 29 (Summer 1990): 505-509. (This article was named one of the twenty best articles of the year by the American Library Association’s Library Instruction Round Table.)

Additional publications

Blogger for Inside Higher Ed (Library Babel Fish), July 2010 — December 2019.

Columnist for Library Journal‘s Academic Newswire, April 2009 –2015.

Book reviewer for Reviewing the Evidence, 2008 – present.


Standing Up for the Truth: The Place of Libraries in the Public Sphere.” Lake Superior Library Symposium, June 9, 2023.

Information Literacy, Writing Instruction, and the Problem of Stochastic Parrots,” Writing Instruction Colloquium at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, March 7, 2023.

50/50: Drawing on the Past to Envision the Future of Minitex,” Minitex Anniversary: Celebrating Fifty Years, October 27, 2021.

The Social Life of Misinformation: A Challenge” panelist, part of the Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival, Oct. 19, 2021. Video.

Lateral Reading and Information Systems in the Age of Distrust,” ChALS (Chalmers University, Goteborg, Sweden) September 22, 2021. Swedish translation by Ola Nilsson.

Information Literacy in the QAnon Era,” FestivIL by LILAC, July 8, 2021. Video.

Reimagining Media Literacy in the Age of QAnon,” panel presentation with Francesca Tripodi and Ethan Zuckerman at Reimagine the Internet, May 11, 2021.

The Bigot in the Machine: Bias in Algorithmic Systems,” New York Technical Services Librarians, June 2020. Video.

Libraries and the Practice of Freedom in the Age of Algorithms.” ER&L, March 2020.

Evidence and Authority in the Age of Algorithms.” Teaching Writing in a Post-Truth Era, University of Notre Dame, August 2019.

System Restore: Bringing Library Values to Today’s Information Networks.” PALNI, June 2018.

This is Why We CAN Have Nice Things: The Radical Promise of LibrariesLibraries in the Context of Capitalism, Metro | 599 (Metropolitan New York Library Council), February 2018. Video of the talk. A Spanish translation of this talk has been published in Texturas, vol. 35 (“La promesa ‘radical’ de las bibliotecas”).

Practicing Freedom for the Post-Truth Era,” Marjorie Whetstone Ashton lecture, University of New Mexico, March 9, 2017. PDF version.

“Crossing Thresholds of Understanding for Better Student Research,” with Lori Townsend, workshop for faculty and librarians presented at the University of New Mexico, March 9, 2017.

Panelist, “Open Access Teaching: Opportunities for Innovation in Anthropology Classrooms,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, November 2016. Panel notes.

Information Literacy and Faculty Development.” Talk presented at DEFF Online, Copenhagen, May 2016.

Looking Deeper and Reaching Further With Threshold Concepts.” Talk presented at the Joint Spring Conference of the Kentucky Library Association Academic and Special Libraries sections, Cumberland Falls, April 2016.

Learning in the Library of Babel.”  Talk and workshop for faculty and librarians at the University of San Francisco, October 2015. Slides.

“The Librarian 3.0.” Panel chaired by Jo Norry with Oliver Obst and Claire Warwick at the SCONUL Summer Conference, The Scholarly Environment 2025, July 2015.

Sync Up With Faculty: Collaborating With Faculty to Help Students Cross Thresholds.” Texas Library Association, Austin TX, April 2015.

The Liminal Library: Making Our Libraries Sites of Transformative Learning.” LILAC, Newcastle University, April 2015. Slides.

“75th Anniversary Panel: New Roles for the Road Ahead” with Lorcan Dempsey, Steven Bell, and Chuck Henry; “Sustaining Curiosity: Programs for Developing Lifelong Readers” (panel chaired by Meagan Lacey); “Threshold Concepts Through the Eyes of Faculty” (poster session with Michelle Twait) ACRL National Conference, Portland, OR, March 2015.

Creating a ‘Let’s Do It’ Organizational Culture.” Ontario Library Association Superconference, January 2015.

The Radical Promise of the Academic Library.” Presentation/discussion at the Iowa Library Association, ACRL section, Cedar Rapids, October 2014.

The Mystery of it All: Why We Enjoy Crime Fiction.” Iowa Library Association, Cedar Rapids, October 2014.

“How Students Learn & How the Library Can Help,” Harvard Libraries, June 2014. Slides.

Inventing the Library: Threshold Concepts and the Undergraduate Researcher,” Maine Academic Libraries Day, Colby College, June 2014.

Practicing Freedom in a Changing World,” Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Annual Conference, Wisconsin Dells, April 2014. Slides.

Libraries, Learning, and Liberation,” LACUNY Institute 2014, New York, April 2014. Slides.

Connecting Communities: Creating Meaning-Maker Spaces in Our Libraries,” Library Technology Conference, Macalester College, St. Paul, March 2014. Slides. Video.

Freeing Knowledge: A Values Proposition,” Electronic Resources & Libraries, Austin, March 2014. Slides. Video.

Practicing Freedom in the Digital Library,” The Digital Shift, an online conference sponsored by Library Journal, October 2013.

Hacking Knowledge: Information Literacy as Creative Participation,” Michigan Library Association Academic Libraries conference, Traverse City, May 2013.

Decode Academy,” LOEX national conference, Nashville, May 2013.

Librarians as Agents of Change,” ACRL Oregon-Washington Annual Meeting, October 2012. SlidesVideo.

Playing for Keeps: Lifelong Learning in the Ludic Library,” Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference, October 2012. Slides.

Panelist, Reader’s Advisory for Town and Gown: Academic and Public Library Partnerships for RA Services, American Library Association Annual Conference, June 2012. Slides. Bibliography.

Facilitator, “Lost in the Library of Babel,” faculty workshop at Illinois Wesleyan University, January 7, 2012. Slides. Bibliography.

Panelist for Ebooks: The New Normal, a virtual conference sponsored by Library Journal, October 12, 2011. Slides.

Conventionally Unconventional: Lisbeth Salander’s Sisters in Crime,” presented at Stieg Larsson and Scandinavian Crime Fiction: An International Symposium, UCLA, May 20-21, 2011.

Sisters in Crime at the Quarter Century: Advocacy, Community, and Change” presented on a panel “Readers Reading Mysteries” at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association National Conference, San Antonio TX, April 2011.

Documdrama: Why Sources Matter – and Citing Them Correctly Doesn’t” presented on a panel, “Looking the Wrong Way: Tales of Misdirection and a Call for Radical Revision in the Teaching of Citation (#burnthemanual),” given at the Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Conference, Atlanta, April 2011. slides.

Panelist for E-Books: Libraries at the Tipping Point, a virtual conference sponsored by Library Journal, September 29, 2010. slides.

Common Cause: How Scholarship Became a Commodity and What Libraries Can Do to Reclaim the Commons,” University of Wisconsin Libraries, September 21, 2010.

Open Access and Books in a Digital Age,” Metropolitan Library System, Chicago, June 9, 2010.

“Reader’s Advisory for Mysteries,” Minnesota Library Association Reader’s Advisory Round Table Annual Retreat, May 2010.

Read/Write Culture: What Open Means for Learning, Research, and Creativity,” Iowa Library Association / Association of College and Research  Libraries Annual Conference, April 2010.

“Information Literacy in the Liberal Arts,” presentation for the MnObe Mini-Immersion workshop, Gustavus Adolphus College, August 2009 (.pptx format).

Reading matters: Examining the Role of Recreational Reading in Academic Libraries” with Julie Gilbert, Library Research Roundtable presentation at the American Library Association Annual Conference, 2009.

Academic and Intellectual Freedom Climate on Campus,” panel presentation for the Association of College and Research Libraries Intellectual Freedom Committee at the American Library Association Annual Conference, 2009.

Open Access and Books in a Digital World – What Role Should Libraries Play?” talk presented at the ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy advisory committee retreat, November 2008.

“Engaging Institutions in Improving Student Learning Through a National Study.” Panel presentation at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference, April 2008.

“Why I Teach and Why it Matters,” panelist at the NEA/AFT Higher Education Joint Conference in Washington DC, March 2008 responding to the “Why I Teach” Free Exchange on Campus blog meme.

“Inventing the Library.” Presentation and workshop for the Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus, Ohio, December 2007.

“Information Literacy in a Wired World,” workshop presented at the University of Illinois at Springfield, March 2007 as part of a two-day consultancy.

Libraries and the Cartography of Knowledge,” keynote address presented at the Alaska Library Association Conference, Anchorage, February 2006. At this conference  I also presented a paper, “Reading as a Contact Sport” and conducted two workshops, “Research as a Rhetorical Act” and “Assessing Libraries’ Contribution to Student Learning.”

Smoke and Mirrors: Finding Order in a Chaotic World,” plenary address presented at WILU 2005, University of Guelph, Ontario, May 2005. Catalan translation via RECERCAT.

“Libraries and the Patriot Act: Your Loss of Privacy?” panelist at a conference held in St. Paul on May 16, 2005.

“Assessment as Opportunity: Knowing Your Students, Reaching Your Faculty,” poster session presented with Michelle Twait at the Association of College and Research Libraries Twelfth National Conference, Minneapolis, April 8th, 2005. Handout.

Information Literacy and the Marketplace of Anxieties,” a workshop prepared for the Ontario Library Association Superconference, Toronto, February 2005.

“Information Literacy: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation,” a workshop conducted with Laura Behling for faculty at Carleton College, Northfield MN, Sept 2004.

The Point-and-Click Generation Goes to the Library.” Presentation at Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, June 2004.

Just the Facts, Ma’am: How Crime Fiction Re-Invents Reality.” Continuing Education lecture sponsored by the St. Peter Community and Family Education program, presented March 16th, 2004.

“Another Set of Eyes: Peer Mentoring Can Be Fun” Workshop presented with Elizabeth O. Hutchins, sponsored by the Minnesota Oberlin Group Libraries Reference / Instruction Group, held at Carleton College, Northfield MN, December 3rd, 2003.

True Lies: Libraries, Research, and the Facts of Fiction.” Presentation at the Cooperating Libraries in Consortium Annual Retreat held at Northwestern College, Roseville MN, November 19th, 2003.

“Common Ground: The Library as a Laboratory for Developing Critical Literacy” Presentation for library staff at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, March 25th 2003.

“Reference Services: Virtual, Digital, and In-Library–A New Model for Effective Delivery.” Panelist for a teleconference produced by the College of DuPage Office of Special Services, February 7, 2003.

Assessment: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go.” Instruction Dialogue sponsored by the Academic and Research Libraries Division (ARLD) of the Minnesota Library Association Minnesota State University, Mankato, December 9th, 2002

“Developing Information Skills in the General Education Curriculum,” Workshop for the faculty of Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, November 19, 2002.

The Future of Publishing.” Panel presentation at the Bouchercon World Mystery Conference, Austin TX, October 19, 2002.

In Reference to Reference: How do Students Seek Information? What can Reference Services Do to Help?” Oberlin Group Annual Conference, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, October 12, 2002.

“Generation Y Comes to the Library . . . Or Not: Information Seeking Behavior of Undergraduate Students.” Panelist for workshop held at Minnesota State University, Mankato, April 11 2002.

Reintroducing Students to Good Research.” Keynote address presented to the faculty of Lake Forest College, November 7, 2001.

The Virtual Library of Babel: Seeking Knowledge in an Information Age.” Keynote address presented at the Association of Lutheran College Faculties Annual Conference, Gustavus Adolphus College, October 2001.

Information Literacy Pilot Project, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. Workshop for faculty on information literacy standards and assessment, with Molly Pederson, May 2001.

“Merging Tradition and Innovation: A Visionary Future for Libraries.” Minitex Conference panel, Plymouth, MN, April 2001.

“Information Literacy: Connecting Standards and Objectives to Programs and Curriculum: Case Studies of Early Implementers.” Panel presentation at the Association of College and Research Libraries National Conference, March 2001.

“How to Make Shared Leadership Happen,” College Libraries Section panel, American Library Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, June 1999.

Border Crossings: Strengthening Collaboration for Meaningful Student Inquiry,” invited keynote presentation at the ACM Bibliographic Instruction Conference, St. Olaf College, October 1998.

“When Higher Education Becomes a Business, What Happens to Traditional Library Values?” College Libraries Section Panel, American Library Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., June 1998.

On the Threshold of Representation: The Function of the Holbein Christ in The Idiot,” presented at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, April 1996.

“Fifty Critical Minutes: Teaching Critical Thinking in Course-Related Bibliographic Instruction,” presented at the Minnesota Library Association annual conference, October 1992.

“The Research Processes of Undergraduates,” presentation to the College Libraries in Consortium Bibliographic Instruction Taskforce, Fall 1991.

“Only Connect: Writing Instruction and BI,” presented at the Minnesota Library Association annual conference, October 1989.

Grants and Awards

Research in the Lived Experience of Gustavus Students,” with Joseph Robbins, funded by a Kendall Center departmental mini-grant and the Patricia Lindell Scholar fund.

“Online Reading Communities,”  funded by the college’s Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Fund, 2014.

“Understanding Threshold Concepts in Undergraduate Research and Inquiry,” with Michelle Twait, funded by the Mansergh-Stuessy Fund for College Innovation, awarded January 2014.

Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Grant to develop a comprehensive website on Scandinavian crime fiction in English translation, 2008.

Kendall Center Departmental Mini-grant to develop curriculum mapping for information literacy, with Julie Gilbert, 2008.

Bush Departmental Mini-Grant to involve new students in an online discussion of the book chosen for the campus Common Reading before they arrive on campus, 2005.

“How Crime Fiction Reflects Social Anxieties,” funded by the college’s Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Fund, 2004.

Bush Teaching and Learning Mini-Grant to support a project for understanding student research processes in a hybrid print/electronic environment, awarded October 2001.

National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to support a two-year research and demonstration project to enhance developmental research skills across the undergraduate curriculum in a hybrid print/electronic information environment. Co-directed with Sandy Fuhr. Awarded September 1999.

Support from Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to attend the HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, Bryn Mawr College, June 23-July 16, 1996.

“Teaching Research: Perspectives from Two Fields,”  funded by the college’s Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Fund, 1992

“Third World Women’s Literature,”  funded by the college’s Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Fund, 1990.

Joyce Scholar Grant to develop a research course, 1990.

“The Research Processes of Undergraduates,”  funded by the college’s Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (RSC) Fund, 1989.


Clickbait, Bias, and Propaganda in Information Networks – Spring 2019

Information Fluency, January 2006 – present. A short version of this course was adapted for a three-day faculty development workshop in January 2009.

Reading Workshop, Spring 2011, 2012, 2013

Books & Culture, January 2009; January 2011, January 2013

First Term Seminar: The Mysterious World, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010

First Term Seminar: Common Readers, Fall 2006.

Introduction to Library Research, Spring 1992, 1993, 1995.

Library Research Seminar: The Manhattan Project, January 1990, 1991.

Supervised fifteen independent study projects.


Advisory board member, Misinformation Escape Room project, University of Washington, 2021-

Advisory board member, Science and Fiction Lab, Florida International University, 2021-

Contributing editor, PIL Provocation Series, Project Information Literacy Research Institute, 2021-

Member, San Jose State University School of Information‘s Program Advisory Committee for Information Intermediation and Instruction, 2015–2019.

Editorial board member, Journal of Creative Library Practice, 2013-

Board member and Monitoring Project coordinator, Sisters in Crime, 2010 – 2015.

Editorial board member of College and Research Libraries, Association of College and Research Libraries, 2008 – 2011.

Editorial board member of Publications in Librarianship, Association of College and Research Libraries, 2008 – 2011.

Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Information Literacy, American Library Association, 2000-2001.

Blog Advisory Board member for the Association of College and Research Libraries, 2005 – 2007.

Contributing editor, Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators, 2004-2016.

College service

Co-Chair, Challenge Seminar Working Group, 2018.

Writing Program Working Group, 2018.

Undergraduate Research Working Group, 2017-2018.

Curriculum Committee, 2017-2019.

Writing Program Advisory Board, 2013-14, 2016-2019.

First Term Seminar Advisory Board, 2013-14, 2016-2017.

Curriculum Committee Course Approval Subcommittee, 2016-2019, Chair 2018-2019.

Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Task Force, Spring 2013-14, 2016.

Ex-officio member Curriculum Committee, Academic Operations Committee, Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee, Academic Technology Committee, 1997-2001, 2008-2013.

Commission Gustavus 150 Community Engagement Task Force member, 2008-09.

Technology Services Planning Core Committee member, 2008-09.

Reading in Common Book Selection Committee chair, 2008-2009.

Personnel Committee, 2005-2007.

Faculty Senate Subcommittee on Academic Planning, 2005-2006.

Program Assessment and Development Committee, 2001-02, 2004-2007.

Course Approval Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee, 2004-2007.

President’s Inaugural Symposium Committee, 2003-2004.

Writing Program Advisory Committee, 2002-2004.

Women’s Studies Personnel Committee Chair, 2002.

Bush Planning Advisory Committee member, 1999-2001.

Chair, Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee, 1998.

Instructional Resources Committee, 1994-95.

Chair of Humanities Area, General Education Committee, 1988-93.

January Term Committee, 1992-93.

Faculty Development Committee, 1989-92.

Writing Program Committee, 1988-92.


Author’s Alliance

Library Society of the World

Sisters in Crime

Header photo by Jonas Bengtsson.