With the 2017 cohort IRDL has Scholars in 33 states!

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If you have wondered how IRDL is made possible, it is through a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant awarded to Loyola Marymount University for IRDL is a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant. You can read about that grant program at the IMLS website, https://www.imls.gov/grants/available/laura-bush-21st-century-librarian-program. IRDL has a special page at the IMLS website, if you’d like to read a summary of the project or the grant application materials we submitted, at https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-40-16-0120-16.

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Julie AdamoJulie Adamo is a research and instruction librarian and an instructional technologist at Mount Holyoke College where she also serves as liaison to the departments of Anthropology, Africana Studies, Gender Studies, and Religion. Previously, she was a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow. Julie holds a BA in literature from Antioch College, an MSLS from UNC-Chapel Hill, and is a current student in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Southern Maine.

Steve AmmidownSteve Ammidown is the Manuscripts and Outreach Archivist for the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University. When he’s not leafing through movie posters or reading classic comic books, he thinks a lot about ways to make the library’s manuscript finding aids work better for its diverse audience of researchers. In his spare hours, Steve enjoys reading romance novels and spending time with his family.

Catherine BairdCatherine Baird is the Online and Outreach Services Librarian at Montclair State University, New Jersey, where she is also serves as the liaison librarian to education, counseling and modern languages. She holds an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and an MA from the University of British Columbia. Catherine’s research interests include information literacy, information behavior, and online teaching and learning.

Jill Barr-WalkerJill Barr-Walker is the Clinical Librarian at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, part of the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests focus on the intersections of LIS and reproductive health, including health literacy among underserved populations and information-seeking behavior around abortion. Jill holds an MS(LIS) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MPH from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Jeannette Bruno is an Instructor Librarian and Library Department Chairperson at Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. While completing her MLIS at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign she served as a Mix IT Up! Fellow working with youth at the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School in Chicago. Her research interests include information literacy for community college students, information seeking as social justice, and empowering underrepresented students.

Tina ChanTina Chan is the Reference Services Program Manager & Social Sciences Librarian at MIT Libraries, where she coordinates reference services in four library locations. She also provides reference, instruction, outreach, and collection services, and she collaborates with colleagues in the interdisciplinary areas of energy and the environment. She is active with the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and the American Library Association as a councilor-at-large.

Merete ChristiansonMerete Christianson is the Health Sciences Librarian at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, where she provides liaison services and information literacy instruction to students and faculty in the College of Health Professions and the Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science department. She earned her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2013. Her research interests include ethics and collection development.

Kristen CooperKristen Cooper is the Plant Sciences Librarian at the University of Minnesota, and is the liaison for the departments of Plant Pathology, Agronomy & Plant Genetics, and Plant & Microbial Biology.  She earned her BS in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2006 and her MLIS from St. Catherine University in 2015.

Carla-Mae Crookendale Carla-Mae Crookendale is the Visual Arts Research Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She holds an MLIS from Valdosta State University, and a BFA in Metals & Jewelry and MFA in Fashion from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Gabrielle M. Dudley Gabrielle M. Dudley is Instruction Archivist and QEP Librarian at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. She earned her M.A. in Public History and MLIS with a concentration in Archival Studies and Preservation Management from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a B.A. in History from the University of Montevallo. Dudley has co-authored two articles on instruction and was the co-organizer of the "Teaching with Primary Sources" pre-conference workshop at the 2016 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting.

Michael FlierlMichael Flierl is an Assistant Professor of Library Science and Learning Design Specialist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. In this position he aims to empower Purdue students in transition (e.g. first-year, international, transfer experience, etc.) to use information intentionally, critically, and creatively to learn. His research interests include informed learning, self-determination theory, and active learning.

Andrea HebertAndrea Hebert is the Human Sciences, Education, and Distance Learning Librarian at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  Andrea received her MLIS from Louisiana State University in 2009. Her research interests include the information literacy skills of library science graduate students, library services to distance learners, and leveraging social capital to further library liaison outreach. She has also worked as a school librarian, copyeditor, and Latin teacher.


Taryn MarksTaryn Marks serves as the Faculty Services Librarian at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law’s Legal Information Center, where she teaches legal research and focuses on international and business law. Prior to joining UF in 2014, Taryn was the inaugural Judith M. Wright fellow at the University of Chicago. She earned her M.L.I.S. at the University of Washington, and both her J.D. and LL.M. in International Law from Duke University School of Law.


Camille Mathieu Camille Mathieu is an Information Science Specialist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's technical library section. Her work primarily focuses on metadata development and standardization, intranet search improvement, and internal information organization. Camille holds a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from UCLA's Department of Information Studies, and her undergraduate work was in literature with an emphasis on Romanticism.

Michael RodriguezMichael Rodriguez is Licensing & Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Connecticut, where he spearheads contracts and procurement for UConn Library collections, manages system migrations, and optimizes workflows to reflect Henry David Thoreau’s aphorism: “Simplify, simplify.” Michael leverages these responsibilities to facilitate a more equitable and open scholarly communication ecosystem. He earned an MLIS from Florida State University in 2014. His research interests center on copyright and licensing, open access, and electronic resource management.

Kai Alexis SmithKai Alexis Smith is the Subject Librarian at Cal Poly Pomona and liaises to the College of Environmental Design, Ethnic and Women’s Studies and Foreign Languages. She was a 2014 ALA Emerging Leader and a 2013 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Career Enhancement Program Fellow at the University of Michigan. In 2013, Kai was the Art Library Association of North America (ARLIS/NA) Wolfgang Freitag Internship Award winner, which she completed at the National Gallery of Art. Kai received her BFA in Writing for Publication and MSLIS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.

Jenna StebbinsJenna Stebbins has been a Reference & Instruction Librarian at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT since 2015. She participated in NVCC’s Assessment in Action project to study the effects of an FYE-Library partnership on student success, and with IRDL will be researching ways that the community college library can best serve second-year students. Jenna serves as liaison librarian to Arts & Humanities and on the Honors Institute Advisory Committee at NVCC.

Yen TranNgoc-Yen "Yen" Tran is a science librarian at San Jose State University with academic liaison responsibilities for biological sciences, chemistry, physics & astronomy, geology, and meteorology. She received her MLIS from the University of Washington and her BAs in English and art history from Willamette University. Yen’s current research interest is mostly focused on how libraries can partner with other departments in order to employ high-impact educational practices to promote student learning and success.

Rob WalshRob Walsh never thought he’d grow up to be a librarian – but, he’s glad he did. After finishing his MA in African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and not wanting to be a hapless PhD candidate, he moved back East and eventually pursued his MLS at Southern Connecticut State University. For the past seven years, Rob has served as the Social Sciences Librarian at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. When not at the library, Rob can be found reading comix, making mixtapes, or racing bicycles competitively.

Jingjing WuJingjing Wu began her path to librarianship as an assistant librarian at the Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences. She then switched her career towards technical communication. After years of experience in industry, she resumed her profession in academic libraries focusing on new technologies and data processing. Just prior to joining Texas Tech, she served as a Web Services Librarian for University of Mississippi Libraries.

One of the things we enjoy about reading all the IRDL applications is that we get to keep a finger on the pulse of the current research interests of academic librarians around the United States. When an applicant submits their proposal we ask them to list five key words or phrases that represent the topic of their proposed research. Here’s a word cloud of the key words from this year’s applications. In the image below, the larger the word, the more times the word was given as a key word in the applications.

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We will be accepting applications from December 1, 2016 to January 13, 2017. Scholars accepted to the Institute will be notified in early March 2017. Application information may be found at http://irdlonline.org/call-for-proposals/institute-overview/.

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Are you thinking about applying for IRDL in 2017? There are a couple changes to the program you need to know about:

1. The summer workshop will now be one week long. When we think about sustainability of a model such as IRDL we realize that being away from home/work for two weeks — that was the length of time for the summer workshops in 2014-2016 — can be a hardship. In 2017-2019 we are condensing the curriculum into 7 full days. In 2017 you will arrive to LMU on Saturday, June 3, begin the workshop on Sunday, June 4, work with us through the week, finishing the program Saturday night. You will return home on Sunday, June 11 and be back to work that next day; you’ll only be away for one week. Good, right? Read on…

2. You will be paired with a formal mentor. Your peers in IRDL cohort will still be your best research supporters after leaving the summer workshop but we want to make sure you have all the help you may need to complete your research. With a mentor you can expect consistent communication from a librarian who has designed and executed their own research projects. During the academic year after your workshop experience you will be matched with a mentor to help cheer you on and give guidance as you complete your IRDL project.

We look forward to reviewing your proposals. The application center opens on December 1, 2016.

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In a recent blog post at the SAGE Publishing’s Connection website they have highlighted the experiences of 10 of the 2016 IRDL Scholars, to identify what their big takeaways have been so far. Read the post at this URL: http://connection.sagepub.com/blog/sage-connection/2016/10/14/10-librarians-on-their-experience-at-a-research-design-institute

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We are pleased to have been awarded a 2016 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Continuing Education grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (the award announcement is at this URL: https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-40-16-0120-16). With this new grant we will continue to offer the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship in 2017, 2018, and 2019. During these three years we will be focusing on sustainability of the model so that IRDL can continue. Stay tuned for more details as we progress, and thank you for your support in helping us get to this point.

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GruberI woke up to a barrage of Tweets about Orlando. It took me a few seconds to figure out why. Once I did, my first thought was, “Oh no. Not again.” Every mass shooting takes me right back to December 2012; my daughter was 6 months old when 20 children and 6 staff were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Prior to that, mass violence was something in the background that flashed on TV screens in waiting rooms or went viral on Facebook but never really hit home because I didn’t let it. After Sandy Hook, things changed and hurt, like I had been punched in the gut. How was I supposed to reconcile children being shot in their first-grade classroom with my new responsibility of caring for a tiny vulnerable child?

That is where my mind went when I heard about Orlando. To the victims and their families. To those in a place they thought was safe. To the perpetrator and his family. And inevitably, to the weapons. When will our leaders feel compelled to fix loopholes that allow easy access to weapons of unnecessary destruction? My cynical side thinks that if first-graders aren’t worth strong gun control laws, no one is. But will this be the time, after what some call the biggest mass shooting in the history of the U.S.? One journalist asked:  “Would these mass shootings and killings be any less serious or tragic if they weren’t the deadliest?” I say unequivocally, no. Every life matters and every individual is someone’s child, brother, sister, partner, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, co-worker, father, mother, friend.

I’ve only learned how to be an ally as an adult, or indeed what that even meant. I grew up in a conservative community with conservative schools that, even in 2016, have been accused of discrimination against those in the LGBTQ+ community. I think of our Muslim brothers and sisters, who are already victimized and face discrimination, even by those who claim to speak for the majority but fill their speech with vitriol, blatant lies, and calls for violence.

But as scary a place as this world is, I choose hope. As an academic librarian, I am surrounded by a profession focused on service, social justice, and equality. It is a privilege to work with college students every day who give me hope for the future. They are energetic and caring, and demonstrate an embrace of diversity that is improving our campuses and our communities every day. They are our future leaders, and indeed are showing us how to lead already.

At first I told my fellow IRDL scholars that I didn’t have anything to say online about the Orlando massacre. I just didn’t have the words. But I realized that if allies don’t speak out in support of all those who are vulnerable, who will?

Anne Marie Gruber
Instruction & Liaison Librarian
2016 IRDL Scholar

This blog post is part of a series of IRDL Scholar responses to the shooting in Orlando, FL, on 6/12/2016.

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DerrickWhen we say your names, it will be loud and clear as a bell. There will be no wavering in our voices, for they will be steady and distinct. We do so in your honor and memory. We will grieve because loss is hard, but we will not surrender to it or actions born in hatred. We might feel compelled to give up and bite our lips but know that we will get through it.  We will do so because of you.

When we say your names, it will be with love. We have felt your anguish but we will not let it define us.  Each of you: unique, special, a gift, a dream. With our hearts heavy, our tears salty, we throw our heads back to the sky, shut our eyes tight and wonder Why? in your absence, but know this is fleeting. We will climb out and emerge from our chrysalises leaving our misery behind, then we will beat our wings and share our colors and fly and we will do so because of you.

When we say your names, and we will say them again and again, we will do so because we are connected, we are love, and we all shine despite the darkness of our pain.  We held your hands and rocked you in our arms in comfort and protection as your flame began to dim. But we never let you go. You are in our thoughts, and in our hearts, memorable and substantial and mighty as mountain ranges.  And we did this because of you.

You are not lost on us and when we find you again, we will take away the smooth, solid stones of our despair and put them away for good. Then we will smile and with it release the torment from our hearts. And it will resonate with you as we lock our fingers together in reunited glory. Our foreheads will touch; our cheeks hot and flush with joy and you will know we found a way to be triumphant through it all. Will we look into your eyes and nod our heads and be at ease and we will say your names.

Derrick Jefferson, Communication Librarian
American University

This blog post is part of a series of IRDL Scholar responses to the shooting in Orlando, FL, on 6/12/2016.

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