1 Curiosity’s Construction

Academic Libraries and Curiosity-Driven Exploration

Laureen Cantwell-Jurkovic

The library-as-space can engage patrons’ curiosity in many ways—through novelty, surprise, serendipity, interest, questioning, mysteriousness, persistence, ignorance, openness, and more.

Introduction

One lesson from one teacher is unlikely to establish trait curiosity or domain-specific curiosity. Peterson (2020) notes enduring forms of curiosity are often developed through multiple instances of state curiosity that, given its occurrence within educational contexts, must occur throughout an individual’s schooling. Ivan Illich (1971) wrote, “most learning is not the result of instruction […] but rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting” (p. 38). This quote highlights the value teachers and learners alike must also place on educational settings, on unstructured opportunities to learn, and their impact on one’s ability to engage in curiosity-driven learning behaviors. “At its core, curiosity is the desire for new knowledge, information, experiences, or stimulation to resolve gaps or experience the unknown” (Grossnickle, 2016, p. 26) and “the more one enjoys a task, the more he approaches it and the greater the chance for him to become curious about the task” (Shin and Kim, 2019, p. 864). Libraries, as academic contexts, support the curiosity’s development and retention curiosity throughout one’s lifetime, affording time and freedom to individuals, and facilitating opportunities for inventiveness, exploration, and inquisitiveness.

Serendipitous Space

Curiosity is a cognitive state and exploration is that cognitive state in action. Pomerantz and Marchionini (2007) consider libraries’ spatial properties a component of how they inspire patrons; they “marry physical space with intellectual space, to link people to ideas and to each other” (p. 506). The library signifies and functions as an inspirational environment, inviting users to explore, browse, and touch items (Björneborn, 2008). Forrest and Bostick note that libraries work to establish themselves as places of “curiosity, engagement, collaboration, and lifelong learning” (p. 140), and underscore the value of responsiveness to stakeholders—the “commodity” is the user’s experience, and libraries need to focus on providing memorable experiences that make lasting impressions.

 

Bennett (2011) argues that informal learning spaces “invite creativity, allow for exploration and play, and increase student autonomy” (as cited in Huang & Vedantham [2019, p. 285]). Huang and Vedantham note the benefits of bringing student research products (e.g., presentations, posters, etc.) into the library environment as a means of highlighting the library’s engagement with and support of scholarly collaboration and discovery. The library has a physical role as a “platform to exchange knowledge and ideas” (not just through its content, but through its community) and as a space to “engage with each other through inquiry” (p. 292)—e.g, in study rooms, at a café/watercooler, out in the open, in teaching spaces, and more. By considering its stakeholders, libraries can determine if/where to place recording studios, fishbowl-type rooms, solitary study space, and group collaboration space. Other space-related deliberations should contemplate stacks, computing, events/programming, archives, faculty-focused spaces, learner-support, gaming, and much more. And they must do this while remaining capable of connecting with their myriad patron types, in flexible/adaptable spaces, in order to tap into their curiosity.

 

Pomerantz and Marchionini state many students’ most frequent library exposure is through its virtual space. Unfortunately, not only is it difficult to replicate the browsing experience virtually, it is also a challenge help patrons visualize and comprehend “the collection” virtually (McKay et al., 2017). Bates’s seminal work on browsing (2007), frames why: Browsing involves “glimpsing” a “scene” and selecting an item from that scene to examine more closely with more sophistication—a cognitively demanding process. Virtual library spaces struggle to facilitate such serendipitous glimpses. Huurdeman et al. (2018) claim digital libraries lack the “distinct qualities of exploring and handling materials in physical library spaces” (p. 219) and brainstormed ways to bring the virtual library exploration process closer to the physical library exploration process.

 

They focus on collection-centric, event-centric, and integrative approaches to digital library “space.” Ideas include improvements to navigation, smartphone apps, and touch tables and apps to connect patron curiosity with library collections through virtual exploration. Collection-centric apps for touch table use include SciFi Explorer (a sci-fi collection navigation tool with a “surprise” button) and Recomat (a Pinterest-inspired recommendation app for collection visualization). Kleiner et al. (2013) developed Blended Shelf, a 3D library collection-visualization tool to facilitate virtual shelf-browsing activities. It shows the actual arrangement of books on the shelves and facilitates multiple entry points to the collection. This provides patrons virtual familiarity with the “scene” they are “glimpsing” as well as virtual experiences of serendipity, thus reinforcing the role of novelty, as well. This approach echoes Peterson and Hidi’s (2019) determination that curiosity has a “sweet spot” regarding pre-existing knowledge and environmental familiarity. Curiosity is strongest when there is a middle ground between the known and the unknown, the familiar and the unfamiliar. These touch table displays induce curiosity and highlight adjacencies—even uncommon ones (e.g., book color)—to enhance serendipitous discovery and feelings of novelty. When inactive, BlendedShelf displays new, recently-returned, often-borrowed, and/or random items. This uses novelty and surprise to trigger patrons pausing and engaging in curiosity-driven exploration.

 

Touch tables pique patron curiosity through content exploration actions and serendipitous collection exposure. This reinforces Hinrich’s (2013) statement that exhibition spaces provide “entry points” for patron exploration and facilitate connections between “conceptually distinct visualizations that present the same set of information from a variety of perspectives” (p. 287). Huurdeman et al. (2018) emphasize patrons must be given options for next steps—URLs for retrieving items of interest, links to additional resources, ways to text oneself the information or navigate to it on their personal device, or options to scan an ID card to request an item.

 

But “not all who wander the library are lost” (McKay et al., 2015, p. 10); sometimes they’re exploring, letting their curiosity take the helm. McKay et al. (2017) also discuss browsing behavior in terms of the extent of the physical range covered, the closeness of examination, actions in the stacks (e.g., reading signs, standing back, horizontal and vertical examinations, head tilts, etc.), shelf-related actions (e.g., using their fingers, half pulls and complete pulls, placemarking, etc.), triage location (at or away-from the shelves), and book evaluations (e.g., tables of contents, indexes, etc.). These actions signify curiosity within browsing. McKay et al. recommend displaying a large range of books for browsing, enabling multiple points of access to the collection, supporting “zooming capability” (unsystematic/scattershot browsing behaviors, e.g., “standing back then refocusing on books”) and placemarking (visible, possibly tangible, ways of marking one’s place), allowing seamless visual transitions from shelf to book, and other browsing- (and browser-) friendly options.

 

Deliberate, analog-style displays in the library provide additional opportunities to spark curiosity through engagement and interaction (Mikos et al., 2015; Terrile, 2021). Mikos et al. (2015) advocate for displays that move patrons from viewing a “monologue” to engaging in a “dialogue.” Effective displays are ones that create greater interaction and inspire greater circulation. According to press-competence theory (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973), individuals seek out less-challenging environments as they become stressed. Engaging with children’s books at stressful points in the semester could prove to be just the positive distraction a student needs to improve mood and promote stress recovery, thus increasing their openness and curiosity. (Art, music, and nature also reduce stress, according to the same theory.)

 

Question-posing opportunities, sticky note-based interactivity, action-oriented handouts, and trivia-based activities can be built into displays to increase attention, engagement, and curiosity-driven interaction, plus a sense of connection and community (Terrile, 2021). Terrile posed questions (e.g., “how many words can we make out of marshmallow?”) and tied a white board marker to the display for students’ responses. She also tried a Boggle-style board for students to find words and a word ladder (e.g., “how many words start with…”). She attempted to build unique combinations of materials for novel vantages on the collection to pique interest, and she created virtual displays for a library homepage image carousel, connecting library database resources and books with upcoming library events. Such novel vantage points act as a useful “antidote” to the “visual predictability” of the stacks (Carlin & Varady, 1999, p. 46).

 

However, according to Rauser (2015), “Electronic discovery is not a magical fix. This is where the human brain, the ultimate discovery tool, is uniquely designed to get to the heart of the research” (p. 2). Students’ minds must engage with the search and source selection process— “search alone cannot fully meet the needs of information seekers” (McKay et al., 2015, p. 9); information seekers benefit from openness and individualized meaningful information pursuits, too. In whatever ways they can, “discovery” tools and layers must find pathways supportive of serendipity and surprise—the pleasantly unexpected—not just retrieval and relevance, perhaps akin to book and music recommender services.

Readers’ Space

In the 1920s, Suzanne Briet worked to establish libraries as spaces “open” to curiosity, places the public could go to explore (Roberts et al., 2022).  This can go beyond how one chooses to explore the physical space. When combined with the concept of curiosity (and its motivations, etc.), we can also include where the mind goes and the virtual “space” built, optimized, and provided by the library. Even the term “open” implies both physical openness (open doors; open for business) and mental openness (open to and open for curiosity and exploration). According to Gorichanaz (2019, as cited in Roberts et al. (2022)), curiosity goes part and parcel with “meaningful information activities” (p. 615), and there is a basic assumption that such activities occur in libraries.

 

Libraries exist outside courses and classrooms; students may engage with assignments in the library but the facility itself is outside the environment in which content is delivered to students. Many course-based assignments have structures that hamper students’ engagement with or the further development of their curiosity (be that state or trait style) (Deitering & Rempel, 2017). When students focus on meeting expectations, they experience risk aversion and emphasize “playing it safe”—both of which discourage curiosity. Collaborations between librarians and teaching faculty “create conditions where students feel motivated, capable, and safe enough to explore and learn in the research process” (Deitering & Rempel, 2017, n.p.). This could involve artistic and other aesthetic choices (like furniture and art), architectural design, renovation-related decisions, and more.

 

Kidd and Hayden (2015) underscore this advice, advocating for learners’ choosing how they want to explore concepts and phenomena. John B. Kaiser suggested in a 1927 Hawkeye yearbook message “that students take time each week to read books on some subject entirely outside [their] regular work…that throughout [their courses] in the university [they] learn to use books as tools and as sources of information; but that, above all, [they] learn to know books as friends” (Lacy et al., 2015, slide 7).

 

Similarly, Basbanes’s Every Book Its Reader (2005) highlights the power of books to “stir” individuals, arouse their curiosity and their passion, and trigger pathways and trajectories for lifelong learning (Lacy et al., 2015). Peterson (2020) notes curiosity relates positively to one’s belief that intelligence and ability are modifiable. Even when reading fiction (e.g., murder mysteries), curiosity can be piqued, as can the reader’s belief in their ability to “solve” the mystery or gather the necessary clues; readers are challenged in a useful manner (Loewenstein, 1994). Peterson (2020) highlights the surge in curiosity generated during guessing, inventing, data-collecting, and problem-solving activities—readers experience all this through murder mysteries.

 

Hearing others’ perspectives generates curiosity, too. Academic libraries hosting murder mystery-focused events or book clubs connect their campus community and student-readers with curiosity. If such ventures are not in the comfort zone or staffing model for a library, partnerships can help. Partners could include fiction-writing faculty/community members (especially in this genre), local public librarians or book club organizers, and even staff from an escape room company. Opportunities to invent, explore, and ask questions provide curiosity-triggering experiences that can be integrated into activities that present novel experiences to establish the library as curiosity-driving environment.

 

Knobloch et al. (2004) analyze curiosity, suspense, and enjoyment triggers for individuals reading novels and news items using structural-affect theory. This could inform librarians’ bestseller acquisitions, displays, and reader’s advisory work. Libraries can facilitate reading beyond their space, too, by extending the concept of “library” into other campus locations, social media, and online settings, and by creating recreational reading access points in dorms, offering online reader’s advisory services, and working to showcase new books through social media access points (e.g., #NewTitleTuesdays; #BookFaceFridays; virtual bookclubs) (Lacy, 2015). Increasing students’ access points can generate exploration, convenience, and social connections, and bring the library into more personalized focus.

Archival Space

One access point, archives and special collections, engages individuals’ curiosity, provides serendipitous and exploratory experiences, and highlights the unique, surprising, and novel for patrons. Archival content expands students’ impressions of the past and influences their future in terms of research direction, worldviews, argumentation, and more. When we see things differently, we use our powers of observation more fully. Curiosity generates openness to the unfamiliar, providing greater opportunity for an individual to experience joy, delight, and discovery (Kashdan, 2010). Archives and special collections holdings, whether physical or digital, support curiosity in the academic library environment. Rosemary Haddad, quoted in Carlin and Varady (1999), states:

 

If you are considering acquiring it, do it. If you have already acquired it, make it available as soon as possible. There is no limit to the research potential of these materials, especially if they happen to be popular culture items. Apart from their research value, unusual collections can be major assets in fund-raising and public outreach. (pp. 48-49)

 

When considering how collections “captivate the user,” “engage the imagination,” and serve as a “catalyst for advanced research and scholarship” (Carlin & Varady, 1999, p. 49), librarians should remember such “users” could be—or become—a donor, too.

 

Works by Price et al. (2021) and Silva and McIntosh (2019) discuss independent studies in special collections and archives and the nature of awe within science and art museums, respectively. Surprise and uniqueness play a role in both studies, and both characteristics are important to triggering and experiencing curiosity. Price et al. highlight the potential for research projects to shift students from state curiosity into trait curiosity and/or domain-specific curiosity through exposing minds to new and/or awe-inspiring concepts (e.g., a dinosaur skeleton). Prior knowledge can factor into awe, too, through “an appreciation for how much is being learned” in an experience (Price et al., 2021, p. 21), which helps individuals detect knowledge gaps. This “positive awe” is, or should be, deeply embedded in the learning process. Prior knowledge positively predicts awe within museumgoers; the same is true for those engaging in archives research. Visitors benefit from knowing something of what they may see (e.g., baseline knowledge of an exhibit or collection) but not knowing so much that they end up feeling bored instead of engaged, or that feelings of “I know all this already” obstruct innovative perceptions of information or a topic.

 

Wade and Kidd (2019) argue knowledge gaps drive curiosity and, per Valdesolo et al. (2017), curiosity is an antecedent to awe. Shiota (2016) highlights how awe connects with critical thinking and McPhetres (2019) notes awe can aid individuals in recognizing their own knowledge gaps. The combination of critical thinking, awe, some pre-existing knowledge, and conscious knowledge gaps are all functions of curiosity that museums, special collections, and archive settings inspire for visitors through displays, exhibits, exploration-driving layouts, and more. Price et al. (2021) address display design features for museum-type environments that drive curiosity. They suggest positive awe be interwoven with display-based engagement, believing such spaces (i.e., museums) benefit from the infusion of awe throughout the experience. Curiosity should thus be pursued throughout the visitor’s experience, perhaps even before they arrive.

Scientific Space

Great as inspiring awe can be, libraries must think about other curiosity-driving experiences students may have within the library. Libraries are cross-disciplinary in nature; they trigger scientific as well as artistic and humanities-focused curiosity. Loewenstein (1994) establishes curiosity’s critical role within scientific discoveries, and Shin and Kim (2019) argue curiosity can be considered bi-directionally: curiosity for what (forward-focused) and curiosity for why (backward-focused). Both directions are well-suited to science topics and to library environments—there is a complementary relationship between scientific discovery, libraries, and curiosity.

 

Science Café events within the library provide informal settings for dialogue between scientists and nonscientists—and/or burgeoning scientists (Yu, 2017). Such programming brings individuals into the library by triggering curiosity. Walking past conversations can divert attention, ignite curiosity, and motivate attendance to that or future events. Research shows scientific method instruction and subsequent research project opportunities produce a surge in curiosity, too (Peterson, 2020). Positive peer discussion can also generate curiosity within educational contexts. It stands to reason, then, that informal Science Café events would engage expert and peer attendees in ways that trigger state curiosity and that could generate domain-specific curiosity over time.

 

Similar informal events have taken place in Harvard’s Cabot Science Library’s smart learning environment (Huang & Vedantham, 2019). Having created a student-driven learning environment, bringing student research into that setting plays and important role in the impression of the library itself and how it is used. Patrons see collaboration and know it is a space for that. Patrons see/attend research events (e.g., the Undergraduate Science Research Spotlight), conversations at the Discovery Bar, and poster sessions at the Puzzle Tables and know these things occur there. Patrons understand Cabot as a place of ideas and sharing, a space where learners “actively create and construct new information based on existing knowledge and interaction with peers and the environment” and where “users are encouraged to be generative, creative, proactive, and reflective” (Huang & Vedantham, 2019, p. 289). Thus, the library uses events and space design to inspire and grow curious patrons.

Creator’s Space

Libraries can engage patrons’ curiosity through visual and tactile experiences, too. Pryor (2014) addresses key considerations for artwork and technology locations within an academic library setting—accessibility, visibility, and opportunity. These variables ideally work together—visibility leads to accessibility that arouses curiosity and interest, leading to a sense of opportunity. One job of the academic library is to help students learn and grow by meeting them where they are at. For example, students may be aware 3D printing exists but have little knowledge of how it works, what software can be used to create 3D printing files, etc. (Pryor, 2014). Libraries can engage students’ curiosity by showcasing in-progress 3D print jobs and by facilitating opportunities to experiment with 3D printing at low-/no cost.

 

Combining interest in novelty with pre-existing knowledge can inspire students’ curiosity about tools/resources and their innovative application potential. If the idea is to showcase tools within a non-classroom, dynamic setting in an attention-getting way that builds interest and exploratory behavior within patrons and stimulates discussion, 3D printers and their activity can be curiosity-drivers. Students may feel anxiety or fear-driven hesitation about exploring technology—they could break it, they may not know what they’re doing, it’s out in the open and that intimidates them…It may be beneficial to build petting zoo-style programming, skill-building workshops, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and work with student leaders in student government or residential life, to build comfort that transitions into excitement, curiosity, and exploration.

 

Artwork, a more traditional form of creative expression housed in libraries, has valuable curiosity-inspiring factors, too. Just how the presence of the arts supports curiosity can be found in library science literature, as well as in that of psychology, museum studies, the health sciences, and other fields. As far back as 1881, Homes advocated for museums of any and every kind existing within libraries—artwork installations would suit similarly. A century later, Simor (1991) states “exhibitions become a library’s new, powerful resource that educates, enriches, and stretches the mind and the senses, inspires, delights, renews, and refreshes” (p. 139).

 

Campus library artwork, therefore, is an attraction and may even be the institution’s only permanent art collection location (Cirasella & Deutch, 2012). Works can also showcase specific subject areas and community initiatives. Cornell developed visual imagery communication opportunities by displaying innovative student class projects, and science-themed local artists’ works, at their library for life sciences, agriculture, and human ecology (Raskin, 2009). The University of Florida established an “Elegance of Science” art contest (Buhler & Davis, 2010) and their science library receives funds from the artwork sales. Dowling College, the University of Tennessee, and Michigan State University have art contests in the library that offer prizes and/or opportunities for temporary/permanent display. The 1999-2002 renovation and expansion of the Brooklyn College Library thus required budgeting for artwork expenses due to public art-focused city-funded project mandates in New York City (Cirasella & Deutch, 2012). They readily accepted the opportunity to co-exist as a de facto campus art museum; the artwork encouraged curiosity and “careful looking,” provided an educational “starting point,” promoted visual literacy, and supplemented classroom learning (p. 5).

 

Artwork can elicit specific emotional responses (Rollins, 2011). Red excites while color similarities encourage visual exploration and correlation-seeking, which can prove rewarding. This knowledge could aid libraries debating artwork acquisitions and placement within their setting(s). The concept of “art” can be extended to interior design (the physical aesthetic of libraries) and multimedia as well (e.g., a screen of rotating open-access artwork images). Curiosity has a moderating effect on “daily stressor-related negative mood” (Drake et al., 2022)—meaning negative moods resulting from stressors are higher than usual on days when curiosity is lower than usual. The presence of curiosity-exciting artwork and multimedia, and the aesthetics of the space, could help lower stress-related negative moods for students in the library. Rollins also cites a wealth of medical literature findings which indicate reductions in stress lead to improved outcomes for patients. One could infer decreasing students’ negative stress-related moods could lead to better academic outcomes as well. The look and feel of their environment can clearly impact this. Thus, the potential benefits of positive mood-inducing artwork and curiosity-inspiring artwork go beyond engagement and interest. Emotional congruence theory also has a role in viewing art; individuals often interpret or perceive art in ways that match their own emotional state or feelings (Ulrich, 1999; Ulrich & Gilpin, 2003). While Berlyne (1960) advocates for blending novelty with the familiar to inspire curiosity, when it comes to ambiguous or abstract artwork, staff should place them outside high-stress library locations.

 

Lighting theory can impact how individuals make sense of their space, too—brighter light encourages mingling and motion whereas “campfire light” (brighter in the center and darker at the edges) draws individuals in and encourages relaxation and bonding (Goldstein, 1980). Thus, the ways libraries approach lighting choices, and artwork acquisition and its placement, work to create (or dissuade) the types of activity and engagement desired (Rollins, 2011). Quiet study areas benefit from calming and reflective artwork. Collaborative, high-activity spaces could feature rotating artwork, vibrant colors, and/or abstract items to excite and energize students in these areas.

Information-Processing Space

Libraries have become “technologically-pervasive environments” (Arnone et al., 2011); they also observe how students process information as well. Some of this can be done through tracking virtual displays, database searches, and other technology-mediated options, as discussed in earlier sections. Curiosity and well-being can co-occur in spaces (Phillips et al., 2015). Connections with nature, found objects, and the arts all support curiosity and well-being—and can be useful elements to integrate into libraries. As noted in Peterson (2020), the various individuals connected with academic library environments can support curiosity by recognizing [it] as a modifiable characteristic; targeting ideas for which students have moderate knowledge; supporting epistemic beliefs associated with increased curiosity; directly teaching students question-asking; providing culturally relevant curricula; and advocating for flexible academic contexts that have time and space for curiosity. (p. 11) While these suggestions go beyond library-as-curiosity-triggering-space, academic libraries can consider, customize, and capitalize on these recommendations.

 

Librarians might contemplate concepts from the gaming world, too. Gaming environments often provide settings where uncertainty serves as an attraction to the task at hand and the game itself (and uncertainty is a significant predictor for curiosity) (Arnone et al., 2011). Some games afford opportunities to create and pursue collaborative curiosity through group gaming, chat rooms/messaging options, and social network connections. Such features might also contribute to sustained interest and engagement. Uncertainty occurs within curiosity-driven exploration in open world video games; there is a resulting, necessary balance between uncertainty and structure—akin to the balance needed between knowing and not knowing (Gómez-Maureira & Kniestedt, 2019). When players become aware of the game world’s capacity for awe-inspiring moments, they are more likely to be curious for when and where the game world might provide additional such experiences.

 

Gómez-Maureira et al. (2021) note when players expect their exploratory behavior to be rewarded, or otherwise payoff, they experience a shift in their emotional investment in the game, too. Couldn’t the same be said for the academic library’s capacity to provide awe-inspiring moments? To reward patrons? To create lifelong appreciation? By knowing more about how space can factor into curiosity-driven activities and experiences, we can work toward building such moments within the academic library.

Looking Forward

The library-as-space can engage patrons’ curiosity in many ways—through novelty, surprise, serendipity, interest, questioning, mysteriousness, persistence, ignorance, openness, and more. Shin and Kim (2019) argue that “iterative cycles of curiosity” (p.853) drive individuals toward this ultimate stage of interest. Libraries, then, should consistently strive to inspire, regenerate, and build upon patrons’ curiosity. How academic libraries and librarians pursue, stimulate, and celebrate the capacity for curiosity within their environment holds tremendous possibility for “individuals and society alike” (Dan et al., 2020, p. 154). Library administrators should support curiosity-driven professional development opportunities for academic librarians—to “spark” their curiosity, pursue their interests, and engage with their world serendipitously, rather than strictly through role-focused professional development.

 

Dan et al. (2020) state “our environment is information-rich in ways that it has never been before” and “this abundance gives epistemic curiosity an unprecedented role in our lives” (p. 154). By identifying what individuals are curious about, we can create opportunities to more clearly perceive their various stages of curiosity—state, domain-specific, trait—and can work to encourage their curiosity’s development. Fostering students’ enjoyment and recurring engagement leads to patron satisfaction (Forrest & Bostick, 2013) and deeper connections with library environments and services. Such connections may live long into an individual’s future as a library user and can impact how individuals share their perspective on libraries with peers and others. This may in turn drive more individuals to a deeper understanding of the role libraries play in supporting learners, may increase library engagement, and even impact library funding at all levels.

 

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About the Author

Laureen P. Cantwell-Jurkovic completed her Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) at Drexel University with a concentration in academic libraries. She worked in academic libraries at Universities in Pennsylvania, Grinnell College, and the University of Memphis prior to joining Colorado Mesa University (CMU) in 2014. Among other scholarly projects, she’s co-edited the books Finding Your Seat at the Table: Roles for Librarians on Institutional Regulatory Boards and Committees (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and Memphis Noir (Akashic Books, 2015); and has authored or co-authored articles and book chapters on topics ranging from virtual reference services, embedded librarianship, digital badging, curbside pick-up services, social media influencers and disinformation, MOOCs, and information literacy and nursing students. Her current research interests include curiosity, inquiry, and undergraduate nursing students; creativity preferences among engineering students; and information literacy and activism among academic librarians. In addition to her job at CMU, she is currently working on a PhD in Information Science through the University at Buffalo.

Laureen can be reached at laureenc@buffalo.edu

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