ESLS Chair-Elect Candidate

Karen W. Gavigan

Current Position:

Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science / University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Type of Library:  

School of Library and Information Science

Previous Positions:

Director, Teaching Resources Center, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2002 - 2010
Lead Media Specialist, Rockingham County Schools, 1999 - 2002
Media Specialist, Burlington Day School, 1997 - 1999

Degrees and Certificates:

University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ph.D, Teacher Education and Development, 2010
University of Tennessee, MLIS, 1978
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA Secondary Education, 1977

Division Affiliation(s): 


ALA and/or ALA-APA Activities:

Member, ALA Committee on Education, 2013 – 2015
Member, ALA Annual Conference Program Coordinating Team, 2013 - 2014
Member, ALA Professional Ethics Committee, 2011 - 2013
AASL Representative, International Federation of Library Associations’ Standing Committee for School Libraries, 2013 - 2017
Co-Chair, AASL ALA Annual Conference Planning Committee, 2013 – 2015
Chair, AASL Implementation of Standards and Guidelines Task Force, 2011- 2013
Chair, AASL Research Grant Committee, 2010-2011
Co-Chair, AASL ALA Annual Conference Planning Committee, 2008-2011

Offices held in state/regional library associations, and other associations:

South Carolina Association of School Librarians, Chair, Standards and Guidelines Committee, 2012 - present
North Carolina School Library Media Association. Chairman of the Action Research Grant Committee, 2005-2007
North Carolina School Library Media Association, Chairman of the Read 2 Succeed Grant Committee, 2002-2004
North Carolina School Library Media Association, President, 2000-2002
North Carolina Association of School Librarians, President 1998 - 2000
North Carolina Curriculum Centers Directors' Association, 2004 - 2005
Beta Omega Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, President, 2002-2004

Honors and Awards (library and non-library, including DATES):

2012 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Research Award presented to Gavigan, K. and Albright, K.
2012 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, presented by the Library Research Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), to Pribesh, S.; Gavigan, K. & Dickinson, G.
2009 Youth Services Paper Award, presented by the American Library and Information Science Educators / Linworth Publishing, to Pribesh, S. & Gavigan, K.
2009 Award Eta State Hunter-Moore Doctoral Scholarship, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
2009 Award Lucile Cornetet Award for Professional Development, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
Member of Beta Phi Mu

Major Accomplishments:

One of my major accomplishments was serving as the first president of the North Carolina School Library Media Association (NCSLMA). I worked with an excellent board to start a new association for school librarians in North Carolina. The membership of NCSLMA grew to over 1,000 that first year, and the association continues to thrive today. Another major accomplishment has been my work as Chair of the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. I collaborated with the Task Force, the state L4L Coordinators, and ALA Emerging Leader teams to advance the L4L brand, and the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner, nationwide. Finally, I am proud of my work conducting research / publishing information about graphic novels in K-12 schools, especially the project, AIDS in the End Zone, through which Dr. Kendra Albright and I collaborated with incarcerated youth to create a graphic novel about HIV/AIDS.


Gavigan, K. & Tomasevich, M. (2011). Connecting Comics to Curriculum: Strategies for Grades 6-12. Libraries Unlimited.
Gavigan, K. (2011). More Powerful Than a Locomotive: Using Graphic Novels to Motivate Struggling Male Adolescent Readers. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.
Gavigan, K., Dickinson, G., & Pribesh, S. (2010, April,). Fixed or Flexible Schedule? Schedule Impacts and School Library Circulation. Library & Information Science Research.

Links to further information:

University of South Carolina, SLIS faculty:

Statement of Professional Concerns/Aspirations if Elected:

School library educators face many challenges in the ever-changing world of librarianship and K-12 education. We need a strong association to help navigate issues such as accreditation, the implementation of national standards, practicum supervision, etc. As a member of ESLS for the past several years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with colleagues from around the nation to improve our work with pre-service school librarians. This organization has helped me grow professionally, and to develop a network of friends from other campuses. I welcome the chance to serve as Chair-Elect of ESLS to continue the great work being done by this ALA Section. If elected, I will work with the ESLS leadership, and membership, to plan collaborative projects that will help us better teach future school librarians. Finally, I will work to ensure that the good work of ESLS is recognized by the larger ALA community.

Member of ALA since: