February 5, 2016

Lauren Magnuson | Movers & Shakers 2013 — Advocates

Library Liaison

Lauren Magnuson - Movers & Shakers 2013


Senior Information Services Librarian
Trine University, Angola, IN

M.Ed, Educational Technology, 2009; MA, Information Science, 2008; both University of Missouri, Columbia



Photo by Bill Eyster

When Lauren Magnuson joined Trine University, a small, private, engineering institution in Indiana, as senior information services librarian in November 2009, a subject liaison program at the library was just getting off the ground. Its intent: to reach out to faculty members and promote information literacy instruction and library resources. In addition to supervising the library’s web presence, overseeing student workers, and managing the collection, Magnuson took the lead on the initiative, creating bi-semester newsletters, making personal visits to faculty, and constantly hustling to arrange information literacy sessions with departments as diverse as criminal justice, humanities, mathematics, exercise science, and education.

Among her achievements in the past year, she’s hosted a design workshop in PowerPoint; developed library guides for first-year engineers; taught information literacy as an “embedded librarian” in a basic English course; created an extensive LibGuides page for technical communications students (who told their instructor it “saved” them); served on a four-person team to improve information fluency with ancient studies (and developed a wiki for it); and drafted a grant proposal on digital literacy both for the university and community.

As a result, in the past three-and-a-half years, “the number of information literacy sessions offered has doubled each year, and downloads of electronic materials have gone up nearly 300 percent, with the heaviest increases involving sessions and resources in my liaison areas,” says Magnuson.

Plus, she’s designed and delivered instruction in information and digital literacy to more than 60 percent of the undergraduate student body—every year. She often works with students one-on-one as well.

“She is immensely popular with students, who see her as an educator and because of her work have come to see the library as a key part of their education,” says Sarah Young, director of the writing center.

Magnuson also has a master’s degree in educational technology, which she earned a year after completing library school. “I have found that training to be extremely useful,” she says. “Knowledge of principles of instructional design and educational technology is increasingly essential to being an effective ­librarian.”

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