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A relaunch message from blog founder Maureen Barry

Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

As we relaunch Service-Learning Librarian blog, envisioned as a hub connecting those in academic libraries supporting service-learning efforts on their campuses, it’s important to look back at our origin story!

I launched Service-Learning Librarian in late 2008 or early 2009, at the suggestion of my then-supervisor, who also moderated a blog, and with the help of my Web developer colleague in Library Technology Services. I, along with my co-instructor, had recently incorporated service-learning pedagogy into the credit-based Information Literacy course we co-taught. I could find no evidence that such a course existed at the time. I realized I had a unique perspective to contribute to conversations about information literacy instruction. The blog provided an avenue to share my experiences creating and teaching the course. I shared syllabi, assignments, lesson plans, and more. I made connections with other academic librarians interested in our role in service-learning courses and asked them to contribute to the blog.

Over time, and as I approached mid-career, my job responsibilities changed and institutional resources grew more scarce. I no longer co-taught service-learning courses. I needed to step away from the blog. 

At the suggestion of my then-supervisor (once again), I decided to seek out someone who might be willing to take over as moderator and whose institution would be willing to host the content. Details are a bit hazy for me, but I reached out to Anne Marie Gruber to ask her if she would be interested. We scheduled a phone conversation to discuss the idea. I knew immediately that Anne Marie’s vision, dedication, attention to detail, and love of planning and organization made her the perfect candidate to moderate the blog.

With the help of our respective IT colleagues, and after many, many calls and emails, Service-Learning Librarian was transferred from my previous institution, Wright State University, to Anne Marie’s institution, University of Northern Iowa. It was a long road, but many hands made it happen. I’m grateful that many hands will continue to contribute to this blog.

The editorial team: Anne Marie Gruber (University of Northern Iowa), Maureen Barry (Bowling Green State University), Jennifer Nutefall (University of Northern Colorado), Jenise Overmeir (Marymount University), and Olivia Ivey (American University).


Interested in contributing to the relaunched blog? Contact the team: or @SLLibrarian