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Felicia Smith

Head, Learning & Outreach

Felicia Smith

As Head of Learning & Outreach, I supervise reference, outreach and instruction services. I coordinate library marketing and outreach activities, with a focus on increasing undergraduate engagement with library resources and services. I also provide research support for students in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR). Simply put, "I make the unknown, known."

Felicia Smith

Head, Learning & Outreach

As Head of Learning & Outreach, I supervise reference, outreach and instruction services. I coordinate library marketing and outreach activities, with a focus on increasing undergraduate engagement with library resources and services. I also provide research support for students in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR). Simply put, "I make the unknown, known."


  • MLIS, Dominican University
  • BA, Public Relations, University of Illinois at Chicago

Professional activities 

Mentor, ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce 2017-2019
Hawaii Library Association (HLA), 2016
ABC-CLIO/Greenwood/Praeger Publisher's Editorial Advisory Board, 2013
Reference Services Review Editorial Advisory Board, 2010-2013
International Federation of Library Association (IFLA), 2008-Present
American Library Association (ALA), 2000–2015,

Selected Publications 

Cybrarian Extraordinaire: Compelling Information Literacy Instruction. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, February 2011.

Smith, Felicia. 2019. Information Literacy Instruction using Virtual Reality. In Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library, ed. Ken Varnum, ALA Publication.

Smith. Felicia. 2009. Life Saving Library Outreach. In Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook, edited by Carol Smallwood, ALA Publication.

Smith, Felicia. 2009. Freedom Readers in a Juvenile Correctional Facility. In Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook, edited by Carol Smallwood, ALA Publication.

Smith, Felicia. "Low-Income Students Can Not Afford to be Victims of Low-Information!"presenter, Stanford FLI Conference, Stanford, CA, February 7-9, 2020.

Smith, Felicia. Virtual Reality in Libraries is Common Sense. Library Hi Tech News, August 2019.

Smith, Felicia. Artificial Intelligence & Malicious Steganography. Computers in Libraries, June 2018.

Smith, Felicia. Linguistic Diversity in Libraries. Library Journal, July 10, 2018.

Smith, Felicia. Evaluating the Options for Virtual Reality in Literacy Instruction, Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2018.

Smith, Felicia. Should Libraries Even Consider Hacking Back if Attacked? Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2017.

Smith. Felicia. The Amazing Library Titles RaceLibrary Journal, Sept. 15, 2015.

Smith, Felicia. Helicopter Librarian: Expect the Unexpected. Library Journal, Aug. 28, 2012.

Smith, Felicia. Pirate-Teacher. Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 33, Number 2, pp. 276-288.

Smith, Felicia. Games for Teaching Information Literacy Skills. Library Philosophy and Practice, Volume 9, Number 2, April.

Smith, Felicia. Weary Helper: From Private Investigator to Librarian.

Smith, Felicia. Pursuit of Employment in the New Millennium.

Smith, Felicia. J.A.W.S. -- A Historical PerspectiveJournal of Electronic Publishing, Volume 10, Number 2, Spring.  

“Hashtag #OK Zoomers," presenter, Ivy-Plus Research, Teaching and Learning Crash ConferenceWebinar, April 1, 2020

“Can Virtual Reality Change Information Literacy Instruction?" presenter, American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter’s Symposium on the Future of Libraries, Philadelphia, PA, January 25, 2020.

"Virtual Reality in Instruction: A Common-Sense Solution,” presenter, Library Technology (LibTech) Conference, Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, March 20-21, 2019.

“Academic Fake News: the Great Information War!” Invited guest speaker, Alabama Library Association Annual Convention, Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL, April 2-5, 2019.

“Amazing Races Spanning from Outdoor Instruction All the Way to Virtual Reality,” presenter, LOEX Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 9-11, 2019.

"Be Anyone You Want while Becoming Information Literate in Virtual Reality,” presenter, Alberta Library Conference, Jasper, Alberta, April 26-29, 2018.

"Flipped Classroom & Amazing Race Outdoor Library Workshop," presenter, Hawaii Library Association Annual Conference, Hilo, HA, November 12, 2016 

"Lovin' Libraries: Stanford Internship Program," presenter, October Conference for New England Academic Librarians, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, October 2013 

“5-Minutes of a Day in the Life of the Pirate Librarian,” California Academic and Research Libraries Conference, San Diego, CAApril 2012.

Outreach to Inmates: Kindles in Kiddie Jail," National Diversity in Libraries Conference, Princeton University, New Jersey, July 2010. (*Note* Click images on presentation link to advance)

“A Day in the Second Life of Students of the Pirate Librarian,” LOEX-of-the-West Conference, Mount Royal University, June 2010, Calgary, Alberta.

“Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye with Library Technology,” International Federation of Library Association, August 2009, Bologna, Italy.

More about me 

Before coming to Stanford, I worked at the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that I worked at Medical, Business, and Public libraries. Interestingly enough, I was employed as a Certified Criminal Defense Private Investigator before becoming a librarian.

While at Stanford, I successfully advocated for our libraries to recognize Juneteenth a Holiday. The libraries tweeted my speech about my feelings about Juneteenth in relation to a recent cluster of televised police shootings. My Juneteenth speech is also on YouTube.

I developed professionally produced instructional videos featuring the new library mascot that I created called the "Nerd Squirrel." They are on YouTube: Primary Sources , How to use SearchWorks , How to Search databases , Leapfrogging and Evaluating Sources. Students love my Nerd Squirrel, which is great for branding.  I created an animated .Gif of the Nerd Squirrel.

American Libraries magazine published two articles about my Virtual Reality Symposium at ALA Midwinter in 2020. In the June 1, 2020 issue they published about my VR concept in "What the Future Holds: Library Thinkers on the Most Exciting Technology and Noteworthy Trends." The other American Libraries magazine article included my symposium topic discussing Using Virtual Reality to Fight Fake News

I was featured in an April 1, 2020 Stanford Report article about staff members working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was also included in the April 22, 2020 ReMix article “Stanford Libraries staff keep students and faculty connected to vital resources during virtual spring quarter.”

 I also created paid internships for first generation college students, for First-Generation Low-Income High School students from underrepresented populations, in 2013 & 2014.

I created an "Amazing Library Titles Race" game for library instruction, in 2015. This was the same year that I experimented with Zombie (video game) Battles to build bonds between librarians and students. I also piloted my "Free-Range" library instruction workshops. These were library classes held outside near trees, using mobile devices or laptops only. I presented at the Hawaii Library Association's Annual Conference on Flipped Classrooms and the Amazing Race.

I created an outdoor reference service located near a fountain. The theme for this service was "Librarians are fountains of information."

I published blog posts showcasing my unique approach to diversity issues in librarianship. The first was "It is Puzzling" which uses a puzzle to augment my "Linguistic Diversity" article. The second blog post was a four-part series, called "Academic Fake News: Information Wars." This post illustrates how minorities have always been recipients of fake news. 

In 2019, I was invited to join the Advisory Council for the Univerisity's Long-Range Planning's Affinity Group, called People of Color in Technology (POC-IT). This group advances representation, engagement, and support for people of color in technology roles at Stanford. 

I created De-Stress Fests to help Stanford students relax during exams. These events included massages, dog therapy, art therapy (painting parties) as well as games from childhood, jigsaw puzzles and snacks of course.

I am still asked about my previous work, including my popular and funny, RefWorks Citation Cop spoof video.

When Second Life was an emerging technology, I created an incredibly successful program used in my instruction class that allowed students to arrange materials on a rack separating scholarly journals from popular magazines. I created a maze that required them to answer library questions in order to advance to the next rooms.

The Second Life program and RefWorks video creation procedures are both discussed in detail in my book, Cybrarian Extraordinaire: Compelling Information Literacy Instruction