April 18, 2018

Sarah Steiner | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Community Builders

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Sarah Steiner, Mover & Shaker

A Librarian’s Librarian

Sarah Steiner confesses that in 2008, when she launched the Atlanta Emerging Librarians (AEL) group, a division of the Georgia Library Association (GLA) that provides networking, career resources, and early leadership activities for new and aspiring librarians, she spent a lot of time fretting.

“The group ended up being much larger than we anticipated, and many people wanted to take on leadership roles,” says Steiner, a social work and virtual reference librarian at Atlanta’s Georgia State University (GSU) since 2005. “It was my first experience with large-scale mentoring and guidance, and I continually wondered if I was operating in the way that best met each student’s needs. I’m thrilled with how it’s all turned out, but there were growing pains.”

The group has since reached hundreds of library newbies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

It’s this commitment to the profession that earns her praise from her colleagues. “Sarah isn’t in it for herself; she’s in it for all of us,” says Tessa L.H. Minchew, systems/catalog librarian at Georgia Perimeter College in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Currently the chair of two GLA committees, Steiner also recently developed a series of webinars called Highlighting Trends, Innovation, and Best Practices in Georgia Libraries. Two one-hour sessions are held every other month, with attendance earning CE credits—and the webinars are free.

Both initiatives speak to Steiner’s short but intensive history of drawing new librarians to GLA and increasing opportunities for librarians to share innovative practices, says Jason Puckett, a communication librarian at GSU Library. “She has, incidentally, accomplished all this while working on a second master’s degree.”

A prolific writer and editor as well, Steiner demonstrates “a selfless and tireless dedication to the profession,” says Puckett. What better way to inspire both new and established librarians.


Sarah Steiner, Georgia State University, Atlanta

CURRENT POSITION Social Work and Virtual Reference Librarian

DEGREE MA, Library & Information Science, University of South Florida, Tampa, 2004; MA, English Literary Studies, Georgia State University, 2011

WEAVING CONNECTIONS Coordinates Atlanta-based library fiber arts group for librarians who knit/crochet

FOLLOW @sarah_pants