The #IRDL2020 application center is now open, through 1/27! Get going at

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Check us out over at for current information about the 2020 application process.

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The Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) received generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for six years, from 2013-2019. One important goal of the project was to create a sustainable model for IRDL to be offered on a cost-recovery basis. IRDL project assessment activities focused on creating an effective experience, with demonstrated value in improving librarians’ research skills and confidence in their ability to complete a publishable research project. We believe that we have succeeded. IRDL is the only continuing education program for academic and research librarians currently available. Beginning in 2020 it will be offered for a fee on the campus of Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California). The campus partnership allows us to keep the costs as low as possible.

The fee for IRDL covers the librarian’s cost of instruction at the 9-day summer research workshop, housing in a two-bedroom apartment on campus (private room), some meals, and year-long one-on-one mentoring in completing their research project. Travel to Los Angeles is not covered in the fee.

We are offering two options, one with housing on campus and one without. The fee without housing recognizes that some IRDL Scholars live in the area and may prefer to commute from home or make separate arrangements for housing in Los Angeles.

Fee with on-campus housing       $3,200
Fee without housing                       $2,100

For further information or questions about payment options, email

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Please note the change in eligibility requirements for IRDL 2020 and onward. To be eligible as an Institute Scholar:

  • You must have already completed a graduate program in library and information studies or equivalent (completed by May 2019, or earlier).
  • You must be employed in a professional position as an academic or research librarian in the United States or Canada. The position may be full or part time, time-limited or permanent. Persons in residency programs are eligible for IRDL.
  • You must be able to attend the entire summer workshop, arriving in Los Angeles, CA on June 6, 2020, departing June 14, 2020.

Look for our call for applications in October. We welcome any questions about your eligibility. Email us at IRDL@LMU.EDU.

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Are you thinking about applying for IRDL in 2020? There are a few changes to the program you need to know about:

For the past six years, IRDL has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with the goal of building a sustainable model for continuing education for academic and research librarians. IRDL begins with a week-long, hands-on workshop curriculum to learn the fundamentals of research design and continues for one academic year, during which our IRDL scholars run a research project of their own design, supported by a network of peers and a formal mentor.

We have assessed the impact of the IRDL since its inception and we can confirm that the model we have designed is effective. In the words of a 2018 scholar, “Participating in IRDL was a transformative experience in my career as a librarian. The research instruction, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities empowered me to engage in new forms of research, and build my own research agenda.”

We are grateful for the financial support that IMLS provided to IRDL through two 3-year funding cycles. Even though our IMLS support has come to an end, we want to continue the tradition of empowering novice librarian-researchers to become confident and knowledgeable in conducting research that affects all areas of the library profession.

Beginning in 2020, the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University will administer IRDL under a new funding model. We are working with our partners to identify ways to keep the cost of attendance as low as possible for future scholars. Stay tuned this Fall for more information about the costs for you to attend IRDL 2020.

Are you ready to jump start your own research agenda and apply for IRDL 2020? Take some inspiration from the work completed by previous IRDL Scholars: We look forward to reviewing your proposals. The application center opens on December 1, 2019.

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BakerDeb Baker is Library Director at Manchester Community College (NH). She earned her BA in English and Spanish from Goucher College and MLIS from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She’s a student in University of Edinburgh’s online MSc program in Science Communication and Public Engagement. She blogs about reading at bookconscious and librarianship at The Nocturnal Librarian. Her research interests include library impact on student success and information literacy as a catalyst for confidence.

BarronKate Barron is the Data Services Librarian at San Jose State University. In this role, she works with faculty and students to discover, manage and analyze research data. Kate is also liaison to the Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics & Statistics, and Civil & Environmental Engineering. She received her BA in English from Rutgers University, and her MSI from the University of Michigan.

BecksfordLisa Becksford is the Online and Graduate Engagement Librarian at Virginia Tech, where she also serves as the liaison to the School of Education and the Engineering Education program. She holds an MA in English as well as an MSLS, and prior to becoming a librarian, she taught college composition for five years. Her experiences as both a faculty member in a discipline and an instruction librarian inspired her interest in instruction librarians’ teacher identity.

BetzGail Betz is the Research, Education and Outreach Librarian for the School of Social Work at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore. She earned her MLIS from Drexel University. She started her career as an academic librarian as the liaison to the School of Social Work at UMB, then moved for a few years to Oregon where she worked as a clinical librarian for Oregon Health & Science University before moving back to her original position at UMB. Her research interests include the intersection of libraries and disability, primarily how academic librarians navigate the workplace with disabilities.

BragerTrent Brager is the Education & Social Sciences Librarian at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN, where he works primarily with graduate students in Education and Counseling Psychology. With colleagues, Trent helped develop 23 Framework Things, an online professional development program which was recognized with the 2018 ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award. Trent is a former high school math teacher with an MLIS from St. Catherine University.

DarnellHeather Darnell is the Librarian for Dance, Film, and Multimedia Literacy at George Mason University. Her previous work focused on performing arts and audiovisual archives. She has a B.A. in music from Texas Tech University and a Master's of Library Science from the University of Maryland. Heather's research focuses on the role of information in the creative processes of performing artists.

DolanTim Dolan is a reference and instruction librarian at Greenfield Community College in Western Massachusetts, where he also coordinates campus efforts related to open education and scholarly communication. He is the vice president of the GCC faculty-staff union chapter, serves on the college’s Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, and is a member of ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee. Tim holds an MA in ethnomusicology from Indiana University and an MSLIS from Simmons College.

DuffinKirstin Duffin is a reference and instruction librarian and liaison to the sciences at Eastern Illinois University. She serves as co-director of EIU iSTEM, a group committed to encouraging and empowering underrepresented students in the STEM fields. Her research interests include active learning and fostering inclusion in STEM education. She holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an MS in Biological Sciences from EIU.

EmbreeJennifer Embree is a Subject Librarian for Psychology, Biology, Comparative Literature and Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. She holds a MSLS from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and BAs in English and Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Her current research interests include scholarly metrics, digital humanities, and the preservation of cultural heritage materials during times of conflict. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, and baking.

FargoHailley Fargo is the Student Engagement Librarian at Penn State University, University Park campus. In this role, Hailley works to create an aligned approach to support student engagement experiences. Hailley’s research interests include the library’s role in student engagement, peer-to-peer services, and undergraduate research. She is also a co-founder of The Librarian Parlor (, a blog dedicated to building community around LIS research. Hailley received her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

GallaspyAllison Gallaspy has been an academic librarian for 5 years with previous experience in cataloging and e-resources. Currently, Allison is a Business Librarian at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and works primarily with undergraduate business majors. She delivers high quality instruction and reference services to the students, faculty, and staff of the Freeman School. Allison holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. in history from Tulane.

JanssenAmber Janssen is an Instruction & Assessment Librarian at California State University, Maritime Academy. She is the liaison to the School of Engineering. Her research interests are in the instruction and assessment of information fluency in undergraduate education and the information use behaviors of engineers. Prior to Cal Maritime, Ms. Janssen was a technical editor at an engineering firm. Ms. Janssen earned her MLIS from San Jose State University.

JeffersonCharissa Jefferson is Associate Business and Data Librarian at California State University, Northridge. Jefferson’s scholarship has appeared in Public Services Quarterly and Ticker: Business Librarianship Review. She has published lesson plans and book chapters and teaches library instruction sessions with data. Prior to joining the faculty at CSUN, she was the research librarian at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica where she assisted economists in finding data for their reports and publications.


KannegiserSamantha Kannegiser is the Student Success Librarian at Rutgers University-Camden. In this role, she forms partnerships with other campus departments to increase the library’s outreach to students. Her research interests include the ways librarians can use technology, such as virtual reference services, online instructional services, and emerging technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, to engage and teach students. She received her MLIS from Rutgers University in 2016.

KatzStacy Katz is an Assistant Professor and Open Resources Librarian-STEM Liaison at Lehman College, CUNY. She initiated and developed the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative, which she continues to lead. Her research focuses on the transformative potential of OER and open pedagogy, as well as how these innovations are perceived by students and faculty. Stacy earned an M.L.I.S. from Simmons College, and an M.Ed. from Framingham State University.

LinaresRosalinda Hernandez Linares is the Instruction and Reference Librarian at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Rosalinda earned a BA in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Rosalinda’s primary research and pedagogical interests connect intersectionality, critical race theory and feminist theory with prominent concerns in librarianship concerning information literacy and student success.

MalikMelinda Malik is Head of Reference & Instructional Services at Saint Anselm College. She earned a B.A. in History from the University of New Hampshire, a M.S. in Library Science from Simmons College, and a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Merrimack College. Her research interests include incorporating adult learning theory in information literacy instruction and identifying ways that college and university libraries may best support students in their second year of college.

MealsCathy Meals is the Reference & Assessment Librarian at the University of the District of Columbia. Prior to joining UDC, she worked at the DC Public Library and was a strategic researcher in the labor movement. She holds an MLIS from the University of Maryland and a BA from Swarthmore College. Cathy is a founding member of the Board of Instigators of the Diverse City Fund.

MurguCal Murgu is from Windsor, Canada. He is the Research, Instruction, and Digital Humanities Librarian at the New College of Florida. At New College, Cal works with students and faculty on a range of digital and technology-oriented initiatives, including text and social network analysis, mapping, digital collections, and visualization projects. Cal received his MA in History from McGill University (Montreal) and his MLIS from Western University, London (Canada).

ParkDiana Park is a Science Librarian and Assistant Professor at Oregon State University where she is also coordinating the developing Carpentries program. Her research interests include access and affordability, Wikipedia, critical librarianship, and first-generation student success. Diana holds an MLIS from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BA from Bryn Mawr College.

SerraoJessica Serrao is the Metadata Librarian for Digital Collections at Clemson University. Her research interests include equity, diversity, and inclusion in digital collections, and the application of ethics, empathy, and cultural competency in library and archival practices. She received an MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in archives and records management, an MA in Public History from North Carolina State University, and a BA in Anthropology from Binghamton University.

ValentineGreta Valentine is a Data and Research Analyst at the University of Kansas Libraries. She oversees the collection and curation of internal assessment data, conducts assessment projects and usability studies, and assists with peer learning groups focused on automation and digital scholarship. Her research explores how to document and employ sound privacy practices, particularly regarding the protection of patrons' identifiable data. She holds an MLS degree from Emporia State University.

YierCharles Yier is a Social Sciences & Humanities librarian at Iowa State University (ISU), a position he has held since July 2017. Prior to joining ISU, Charles was a Resident Librarian at the University of Iowa. His daily work routine includes offering different kinds of reference services, teaching Course-Related Instruction sessions, outreach and Collection Development & Management. Charles received his Masters of Library Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

In the October issue of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s monthly newsletter, Primary Source, you will find IRDL highlighted. You can also read the spotlight article on their website, at It was fun to be interviewed for the article, to talk about the early thinking about IRDL, and how it has developed into the robust program it has become.

Here’s our favorite outtake from the article, a quote from one of the IRDL Scholars: “Hands down, [IRDL] was the best professional development [program] I have ever participated in,” Branch said. <- This made our day.

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With 37 states represented over the five-year span!

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Smita AvasthiSmita Avasthi is a Reference & Instruction Librarian at Santa Rosa Junior College, a position she has held for 6 years. Previously, she worked at Southwestern Oregon Community College, Seattle Public Library, and the University of Washington Libraries. Before becoming a librarian, she taught English at Portland Community College, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon. She has a particular interest in integrating information literacy instruction in acceleration programs.

Megan BellMegan Bell serves as Reference Librarian, Instructor and School of Health Professions’ Liaison at University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. She enjoys hiking and photography; and, as a native of southern Louisiana, enjoys gumbo and jambalaya. Her research explores flipped classroom and active learning as tools for citation management software instruction.

Sean BucknerSean Buckner is the Digital Preservation Librarian at Texas A&M University where he administers the digital preservation program. Sean attended the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians and was an ALA Emerging Leader, and his research interests focus on diversity and inclusion in libraries. Sean received his MSI from the University of Michigan in 2012 and holds an MA in Linguistics. Sean is an Afghanistan War veteran and currently serves in the Army National Guard.

Rosalind BucyRosalind Bucy is a Research and Instruction Librarian in Research Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a liaison to the Departments of History, Philosophy, Gender, Race, & Identity, and English, with a special focus on Core Writing in the first year. Rosalind is especially interested in empowering students to view themselves as interlocutors in scholarly conversations. She is a past chair of the New England Chapter of ASIS&T and is the co-author of “Giving Voice to Students: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Frameworks” in Rewired: Research-Writing Partnerships within the Frameworks.

Sarah ChristensenSarah Christensen is the Visual Resources and Outreach Specialist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests focus on the role of academic libraries in supporting the public engagement mission of land-grant universities. Sarah holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MLS from Simmons College in Boston, MA, and is currently in the graphic design program at the U of I.

Jewel DavisJewel Davis is an Education Librarian in a PreK-12 Curriculum Materials Center at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons. She primarily works with pre-service teachers and education faculty on teaching with diverse youth literature, incorporating STEM and emerging technologies into classroom practice, and developing practitioner-based research skills. She received an MA in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Ariel DeardorffAriel Deardorff is the Data Services Librarian at the University of California, San Francisco Library. In her role at UCSF, Ariel teaches classes and offers consultations in data visualization and data management, with a particular focus on open science tools and reproducible workflows. Her research interests include data visualization, assessment, and reproducibility in the health sciences.

Christopher DollChristopher Doll is the Assistant Director of Technical Services & Archivist at the University of Dubuque. Because his other Advanced Degree is in Korean Studies and he lived overseas for 12 years, his research interest focuses on how International students use American libraries and how American students use International materials. In his free time he enjoys racing trail ultra-marathons.

Megan Goins-DioufMegan Goins-Diouf is the Reference Archivist at Bowling Green State University’s Center for Archival Collections. At present, her research interests include manuscript and archival appraisal processes and forums; collecting and collectors; as well as object-based inquiry and special collections journalism.

Michelle KebaMichelle Keba is the Reference Librarian for Education and Behavioral Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to joining PBA, Michelle served as the Distance and Instructional Services librarian to the Fischler College of Education at Nova Southeastern University and as an English language arts teacher in South Texas through the Teach for America program. She is particularly interested in studying the intersection of information literacy, intellectual curiosity, and distance education.

Glenn KoellingGlenn Koelling is a learning services and English liaison librarian at the University of New Mexico. She holds an MA in English literature from Portland State University and an MLIS from the University of Denver. In her pre-library life, she taught English at a community college. She is interested in exploring how English studies can inform library studies and vice versa. Finally, she has a labradoodle who is a good boy.

Christopher MarcumChristopher Marcum is the Access and Outreach Services Librarian at the University of San Diego’s Copley Library. He is responsible for daily supervision and management of Access Services staff and resources, as well as Copley’s outreach efforts. He holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of Arizona. He loves librarianship, cats, and college football.

Rebecca OrozcoRebecca Orozco is the Faculty Engagement Librarian for the Science and Engineering at the University of Kansas where she partners with faculty, staff, and students in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) to meet instruction and research needs. She holds a MS in biology from St. Joseph's University and a MLIS from St. Catherine University. Her research interests include capturing the experiences of STEM librarians of color and the incorporation of critical librarianship into science and engineering information literacy instruction.

Angela RathmelAngela Rathmel is the head of the Acquisitions & Resource Sharing department at the University of Kansas (KU) Libraries. Her professional interests include organizational responses to change, particularly with respect to organizational communication, information seeking, and knowledge management. She is a regular blogger for Her research explores the reference interview, traditionally used by public services, and how it may be applied in technical services and electronic resources troubleshooting.


Eric RobinsonEric Robinson is the Campus Librarian at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos, California. There he provides reference assistance and instruction for faculty and students in the health sciences and liaises with program departments in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University. His research interests focus on the intersection of information literacy and scholarly communication.

Sophie RondeauSophie Rondeau serves as Technical Services Librarian at Virginia Wesleyan University. In this role, she manages electronic resources, acquisitions, digital collections, digital preservation, and cataloging. Sophie also leads several library teams including Diversity, Disaster Response, and Home Page Redesign, as well as serving on the Collection Development and Social Media teams. Sophie is a member of the Faculty Standards and Welfare Commission, the President's Environmental Issues Council, and VLA's Continuing Education Committee.

Kortney RuppKortney Rupp is the Chemical Information Librarian and liaison to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Through research and instruction in chemical information Kortney hopes to understand the information seeking behavior of chemists and seeks to facilitate effective data management in academic laboratories in the physical sciences. Kortney obtained an MS in analytical chemistry from Purdue University and her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dana StattonDana Statton is a research and instruction librarian at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky where she also serves as a liaison to the College of Business. She holds a MLIS, MA in Art History, and MFA in Studio Art from Louisiana State University and a BA in Journalism from Washington and Lee University. Her research interests include visual literacy, news literacy, and assessment.

Joanna ThielenJoanna Thielen is an Assistant Professor in the Library at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI. She serves as Research Data Librarian, providing consultations and training on how to effectively store, organize and preserve research data. She is also Science Librarian for Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics, providing reference, instruction, scholarly communication, and collection development services. She earned her MSI in 2016 and MS in chemistry in 2014, both from the University of Michigan.

Mary WahlMary Wahl is technical services librarian at Pasadena City College where she focuses on cataloging and metadata. Her professional interests include metadata wrangling, digital preservation, media collections and personal digital archives. In her spare hours, Mary enjoys Netflix-ing and editing Wikipedia. Mary holds an MLIS from San Jose State University and a BA in Film & Television from Chapman University.

Susan WenglerSusan Wengler is an Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York. Her research focuses on information literacy instruction and community college student information-seeking behaviors. Wengler holds an M.L.I.S. from Rutgers, The State University of NJ, an M.B.A from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She also moderates Books, Bytes & Beyond’s “Conversations with Authors” series, interviewing such children’s literature luminaries as Julie Andrews, Laura Bush and Kelly Clarkson.

Ning ZouNing Zou is the Learning Design and Research Librarian at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds an MIS and MLS from Indiana University as well as an MBA from Dominican University. She has worked in five universities, providing information services, leading first-year initiatives, and serving as Instruction Coordinator. She has also been a teaching faculty member, academic advisor, and Director of the Study Abroad Program. Her research interests include adaptive learning, instruction design, user experience and human development.

Selenay Aytac photographMy passion for learning started as a little girl, I was a frequent patron in my school library, and always had that great sensation of climbing stairs up to the knowledge center. This was one of the most beautiful school libraries in Istanbul, Turkey. Not surprisingly, I chose to be a library science major in college and pursued my dream to learn more and help others to learner more as a librarian. I worked at a variety of college libraries in Istanbul Turkey while I was pursuing my master’s degree in Business. During my studies, I have examined the total quality management principles and the use of quality standards in college libraries. I was awarded a very prestigious international IFLA/OCLC fellowship in Dublin, Ohio and started Ph.D. classes in New York. I began to focus on general research in librarianship in 2003. During my doctoral studies, practitioner research was one of my research interests. I was awarded ALISE/Bogdan Wynar research paper award for the study titled: “Recent Library Practitioner Research: A Methodological Analysis and Critique.” After completing my doctoral studies, I taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at Dowling College, Long Island University, St. John’s University, Pratt Institute, SUNY Farmingdale, and Valencia Polytechnic (Spain). Since I have received tenure at Long Island University, I have been able to allocate more time to research and scholarship particularly mentoring researchers. I also won a Fulbright senior scholar award for the year 2015. I am a professional student, and during my journey to excellence, I have taken courses both offline and online format from a variety of institutions including Harvard and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Currently, I am enrolled in a master’s degree program in Education at Long Island University.

1) Why are you participating in the IRDL Advisory Board?

IRDL is a fantastic program with many excellent participants. It is very likely that many of them will publish in many prestigious LIS journals soon. In the end, this is one of the reasons of this program; to assist young scholar-practitioners to develop the capacity to conduct exceptional research. This is why I have participated in the IRDL Advisory Board, and hope to contribute to the advancement of practitioner research. I also hope that each one of our participants will excel and this is what we can do to assist them in this rigorous research process.

2)  What impact do you hope IRDL has on the library community?

IRDL is a one of a kind program, and I believe that this program will improve and increase practitioner research across the country. Furthermore, in today’s society, research is needed more than ever for libraries to remain relevant and sustain their reputation for knowledge discovery and innovation. I do hope that IRDL will help to close the gap between research and LIS practice.

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