March 22, 2018

Lisa Carlucci Thomas | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Innovators

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Mover & Shaker

Digital Diva

What mobile device works best to access ebooks? According to Lisa Carlucci Thomas’s eye-opening study, “Mobile Access to E-Books at Yale” (, presented at the 2009 LITA National Forum, the hands-down winner was the Apple iPod Touch (accessed 84 percent), trailed by the Amazon Kindle 2.0, the Sony Reader PRS 500, and the iRex iLiad, which accessed only 24 percent of Yale’s ebooks. Yale’s collection increased more than 110 percent from 2005 to 2009—to one million–plus titles—while Thomas was digital collections librarian there.

Now digital services librarian at Southern Connecticut State University, Thomas credits her zeal for mobile access to “digital service to information no longer being a novelty, it’s an expectation”—and to a mandate from a former colleague: “Just solve the problem.” Thomas is leading the way in researching applications for mobile technology. After last summer’s Handheld Librarian conference, she kept the dialog going by hosting rebroadcasts at bimonthly workshops and bringing in experts on mobile service. During the 2009 LITA Camp Unconference, Thomas“surprised [her]self by volunteering” for the five-minute madness session. Her riveting, impromptu talk, using notes scribbled on her iPhone and a Flickr slideshow, was a call to action for librarians to share knowledge and expand their reach.

Last semester, an exasperated student came to Thomas’s library seeking a high-demand book that was checked out. “I noticed that she had an iPhone, and I asked her if she would be interested in an ebook version,” says Thomas. “She was amazed and grateful.” Such interactions illustrate “how important it is for librarians to build expertise about mobile options.” No one better to lead the way than Thomas.


Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven

CURRENT POSITION Digital Services Librarian

DEGREE MLIS, Syracuse University, 2006