177: PLA 2020

Recorded at the Public Library Association 2020 conference, Steve chats with Sourcebooks authors Ashley Blooms, Emily Levesque, and Caroline B. Cooney about their new books and their interactions with – and love of – libraries. Then, Steve catches up with Megan Emery of the Healing Library and Becky Spratford of RA for All and RA for All: Horror.


Every Bone a Prayer
The Last Stargazers
Before She Was Helen

The Healing Library
NCompass Live: The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending – Recorded Online Session 

RA for All
RA for All: Horror
Summer Scares 2020
Becky’s PLA notes

176: Thane Benson

Steve chats with Thane Benson, librarian at Denver Public Library and author of Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More: Innovative Programs for Engaging Teens in Your Library, about his path to librarianship, coming up with creative programs for teens, and his own artistic projects.

Thane Benson is a librarian for Denver Public Library. He works with teens to create original programming that fosters creativity and encourages expression among young people. He is the author of the book Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More: Innovative Programs for Engaging Teens in Your Library, published by ABC-CLIO. When he is not at the library, Thane moonlights as an independent comic book and graphic novel creator. His work is online at www.thanebenson.com.


Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More: Innovative Programs for Engaging Teens in Your Library
Thane’s artistic projects
Support Thane’s work

175: Gail Carriger

Guest host Heather Moorefield-Lang chats with author Gail Carriger, about how she uses libraries and books for research, writing the Parasol Protectorate series, dressing well for author signing lines, and her reading recommendations.

Read the transcript.

Gail Carriger has multiple NYT bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of different languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy queer joy as G. L. Carriger). Her best known books include the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.

Heather Moorefield-Lang is an assistant professor for the Department of Library and Information Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  She has long been interested in how technologies can enhance instruction in libraries and classrooms. Her current research focuses on makerspaces in libraries and she had the honor of being nominated for the White House Champion of Change for Making in 2016.


Gail Carriger’s site
The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Pop Culture Dilettantes

Gail’s reading recommendations:
The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
The Afterward by E. K. Johnson
Jupiter Storm by Marti Dumas

174: Library Land

Steve chats with Adam Zand and Greg Peverill-Conti, the principals of SharpOrange PR agency and the creators of the Library Land project, about how libraries helped them build their business, why they decided to visit all of the libraries in Massachusetts, and how they’ve come to love libraries.

Greg (left) and Adam (right)

Greg Peverill-Conti and Adam Zand are the founders and patrons of the Library Land Project. They are also the founders of SharpOrange, a strategic PR and communications agency. Library Land is an unexpected offshoot of SharpOrange. When the duo needed a place to meet and work, they went to the library – and the rest, as they say, is history with over 300 libraries visited and always more to come. Adam and Greg visit, document, rate, review, photograph, and – most of all – love libraries.

Greg has spent his career helping all kinds of organizations imagine and tell their stories. From his days as a park ranger on Alcatraz, to more than 25 years in public relations, to the Library Land Project, Greg has brought curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm to his work. Since starting Library Land with Adam, Greg has become increasingly inspired by libraries and is planning to begin studying for his Master’s in Library Science in the fall of 2020.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/gregpc

Adam is a connector and strategic communicator. His career path has spanned from service industries and non-profit management to public relations and marketing for agencies, companies and individuals. The common thread is energy and excitement for reaching positive outcomes. He tends to think about business opportunities as a collaborative process that can benefit from his analysis, insight, planning, and action.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/adamzand


Library Land


173: Melissa Wong

Steve chats with Melissa Wong, adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science and author of Instructional Design for LIS Professionals: a Guide for Teaching Librarians and Information Science Professionals, about her path to librarianship and teaching, focusing on accessibility when designing courses, supporting students, and what engages Melissa in her work.

Read the transcript.

Melissa Wong is an instructor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches courses in instruction, e-learning, and higher education. During her career, she has served as a librarian at the University of Southern California and as the library director at Marymount California University (then Marymount College). Melissa has extensive experience developing and teaching online. She has taught for San Jose State University, designed asynchronous professional development courses for ACRL, and developed an e-learning program for the pediatrics department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Melissa is passionate about creating online learning that is relevant and engaging through the use of authentic content and inclusive, accessible design. She is the author of Instructional Design for LIS Professionals: A Guide for Teaching Librarians and Information Science Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2019) and co-editor of the upcoming 6th edition of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (Libraries Unlimited, 2020). Melissa holds degrees from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois (BA, English) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MS, library science).


Instructional Design for LIS Professionals: A Guide for Teaching Librarians and Information Science Professionals (Libraries Unlimited)
Melissa on Twitter: @lisafterclass

172: Amanda Clay Powers, Martin Garnar, Dustin Fife

Guest host Sarah Clark chats with Amanda Clay Powers, Martin Garnar, and Dustin Fife, authors of A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation, about learning through conversation, fundraising, and how white leaders can initiate diverse, equitable, and inclusive change at their place of work.

Amanda Clay Powers is dean of library services at Mississippi University for Women, email: acpowers@muw.edu, twitter: @AmandaClay

Martin Garnar is dean of Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, email: mgarnar@uccs.edu, twitter: @MartinGarnar

Dustin Fife is director of library services at Western State Colorado University, email: dfife@western.edu, twitter: @DustinTheFife

Sarah Clark is Dean and University Librarian at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. in her spare time she knits, cooks, and is currently attempting to learn pottery. Sarah writes about issues in educational and library leadership at the Kind Leadership Guild.  


A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation [ALA Store]

171: Michael Stephens

Steve chats with returning guest Michael Stephens, Associate Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University and author of Whole Hearted Librarianship, about empathy in librarianship, the importance of self-care, learning from libraries around the world, and what we can learn from dogs about life.

Dr. Michael Stephens is Associate Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University. His teaching focuses on information communities, evolving library service, and reflective practice for librarians. His teaching has garnered awards for delivery and engagement in the online environment. Dr. Stephens has delivered keynotes, papers, and workshops throughout the US and internationally on topics related to creative and open uses of technology to support and drive library services and learning. Since 2010, Dr. Stephens has written the monthly column “Office Hours” for Library Journal exploring the issues, ideas, and emerging trends in libraries and LIS education. His research focuses on the use of emerging technologies in libraries, professional development and learning programs for librarians, and innovation in information environments. He is inspired by library structures and virtual spaces that support user curiosity, encourage participation, nurture the creation of new knowledge, and encourage the heart. In 2018, Dr. Stephens spent a month in Australia visiting libraries, keynoting a multi-national conference, and serving as a visiting scholar at the University of Southern Queensland. ALA Editions has published two collections of his writings: The Heart of Librarianship (2016) and Wholehearted Librarianship (2019).  Michael resides in Traverse City, Michigan.


Tame the Web
Whole-Hearted Librarianship

170: Julie Fishman

Steve chats with Julie Fishman, Chief of the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about the mission and strategic vision of the CDC Library Branch.

Read the transcript.

Julie Fishman, MPH, is the Chief, the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She joined the Library Science Branch at in 2016. Julie has 25 years of experience at CDC working in chronic disease, environmental health, and global health programs.  She has worked at CDC since 1993; she began her CDC career as a Presidential Management Intern in the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and later became the Associate Director for Policy in OSH. She served in a one-year detail at the CDC Office of the Director in 2001 immediately following the 9/11 and anthrax attacks.  She has worked on strategic planning and organizational development, program development, policy analysis, and partner coordination in multiple CDC programs across NCCDPHP, NCEH/ATSDR, and CGH, as well as serving as a deputy branch chief within the environmental health laboratory.

Julie received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley in Health Policy and Administration. Prior to joining CDC, she held several positions including as a health policy analyst in the University of California’s Office of Health Affairs, an education assistant at the NYC Commission on Human Rights AIDS Discrimination Division, and a project associate at the AIDS Treatment Registry. 


Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library

169: Amie Wright

Guest host Matthew Murray chats with Amie Wright, President of the American Library Association’s newly formed Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table, about her path to librarianship, coming back to comics as an adult reader, working in NYC to connect libraries and schools, and the work of the GNCRT.

Amie Wright is a Public History Graduate student at Concordia studying how educators use comics books and graphic novels to teach history; formerly, she was the Manager of School Outreach at the New York Public Library and has more than 15+ years experience in Canadian and US libraries. A recipient of Library Journal’s Mover and Shaker Award in 2017, Amie is the first President of the American Library Association’s newly formed Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table. Follow Amie @librarylandia for the ongoing tales of a nomadic comics librarian/historian-in-training. 

Matthew Murray is just about to complete a one-year contract as a Research & Scholarship Librarian at the University of Guelph. He is co-host of Book Club for Masochists: A Readers’ Advisory Podcast, editor for Two-Fisted Library Stories, and a Member-at-Large on the board of ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. You can find him on Twitter @MidniteLibrary.

168: Jacquelyn Whiting and Michelle Luhtala

Guest host Troy Swanson chats with Jacquelyn Whiting and Michelle Luhtala, authors of News Literacy: the Keys to Combating Fake News, about teaching media literacy skills, helping students explore their own worldviews, guiding students through information overload, and the importance of mindfulness.

Jacquelyn Whiting is a Google Certified Innovator because the fifth time’s the charm. She is dual certified in social studies and library media because the world is interdisciplinary by default. Now, in the middle of her 26th year as an educator she has accumulated multiple degrees, multiple certifications, multiple microcredentials all punctuated with multiple rejections and failures because learning requires getting out of her comfort zone. She is a local activator for Future Design School because side gigs fuel passion. You can follow her on Twitter @MsJWhiting.

Michelle Luhtala is Library Department Chair at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, Connecticut. She facilitates an online learning community for nearly 12,000 library and educational technology professionals at edWeb.net/emergingtech, where she has hosted over 80 webinars since 2010. She is an adjunct instructor in the Masters of Information Program at Rutgers University’ s School of Communication and in the Information and Library Science Department at Southern Connecticut State University and is also a contributing author to Libraries Unlimited’s Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers. The American Association of School Librarians distinguished her as Curriculum Champion in 2017. You can follow her on Twitter @mluhtala.

Troy A. Swanson is Teaching & Learning Librarian and Library Department Chair at Moraine Valley Community College. Troy is the author or editor of several books and articles including co-editor of Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information which received the Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award from ARCL’s Instruction Section. You can follow him on Twitter @T_Swanson.

News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News