Stacey Greenwell Alumni Profile


What made you decide to pursue a Library Science degree?


I am someone who always wanted to be a librarian. Seriously. I checked out books to my parents (with cards and pockets which dates me) when I was five years old. I shelved books at my elementary school library, and my first job was at the local public library in my hometown.


What made you decide to pursue that degree at UK and how did you learn about our program?


UK’s LIS program is the only ALA-accredited program in the state, so for years I planned to attend UK. I earned a B.A. in English from the College of Arts and Sciences, and I started the MLS program in the School of Information Science immediately thereafter. Some years later I earned a doctorate in Instructional Systems Design from the College of Education. In addition to being a fan of libraries, I’m clearly a fan of UK as well.


What is your focus in Library Science?


That has changed over time. Initially I thought I would be a public librarian, as I worked in three different public library systems. When I was in the MLS program, I was interested in being a cataloger (my advisor was the late, legendary Dr. Lois Mai Chan). My first job post-graduation was in public services, but I moved pretty quickly into library technology. I continued with IT librarianship as a UK Libraries faculty member for a few years before serving as the first Director of the Hub in Young Library. After six years in an associate dean role, I returned to the library faculty as an instructional designer and liaison librarian to the Lewis Honors College as well as the School of Information Science. Being the future librarian’s librarian has been so rewarding!


That was a long answer to a short question, so I would say while the jobs have changed, my focus has remained on providing great services utilizing sound instructional practices, appropriate technologies, and a strong customer service ethic.


What are your plans for the future?


In the last five years, I have become more involved internationally as a member of the program committee for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) and a past standing committee member for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). I would like to do more international work, particularly as so much of our work has moved online and likely will remain that way to some extent in the future.


I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to co-author three books: the second edition of Academic Librarianship (ALA, 2018), Learning in Information-Rich Environments: I-LEARN and the Construction of Knowledge in the 21st Century (Springer, 2019), and Management Basics for Information Professionals (ALA and Facet, 2020). I may have a new co-authored book in the works.


Do you have any advice for current or future LIS students?



First, get involved in a professional organization. I know it’s hard to find the time, especially with classes, full-time jobs, family obligations, and so forth, but volunteer leadership helps you build your network as well as develop leadership skills that you may not be able to practice in your first position (budgeting, event planning, running meetings, etc.). I was fortunate to have wise mentors who advised me to get involved in the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Within my first eight years of membership, I served on several international committees, chaired a division, started a division, and was named to the SLA Fellows. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experiences in SLA.


Also, don’t stop learning and don’t be afraid to ask questions. My degree from the School of Information Science gave me a strong foundation in the profession, but technologies have changed radically in the many years that have passed since my graduation. Staying curious and informed is important for any librarian. As for asking questions, that’s what led me to having the opportunities for co-authoring books, and I’m very grateful for those.