Selected Publications


Lee, V. R. & Phillips. A. (2018). Reconceptualizing libraries: Possibilities for information and learning sciences. Abington, U.K.: Routledge

Refereed Journal Articles

Phillips, A., & Lee, V. R. (2019). Whose responsibility is it? A statewide survey of school librarians on responsibilities and resources for teaching digital citizenship. School Library Research. Retrieved from


In 2015, the Utah State Legislature passed HB 213 Safe Technology and Digital Citizenship in Public Schools, mandating that K-12 schools provide digital citizenship instruction. This study presents an exploratory endeavor to understand how school librarians in a state that has adopted digital citizenship legislation engage with digital citizenship instruction and their perceptions of a librarian’s role in providing digital citizenship instruction. We conducted a state-wide survey of Utah school including questions focusing on used digital citizenship resources, current instruction within the school, and inquiries about improvements to current instruction. School librarians expressed a desire to be more involved in the process, the need for more time, and consistent collaboration with teachers and administration.

Phillips, A., & Anderson, A. (2020). Cyberbullying, digital citizenship, and youth with Autism: LIS education as a piece in the puzzle. Library Quarterly.


Librarians are beginning to address the lack of services for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by providing flexible and tailored programming and services. One important need among youth with ASD is a better understanding of how to navigate the online environment safely and responsibly. Due to different engagement styles with social interaction and communication, youth with ASD may be more susceptible to cyberbullying and misinterpretations during online communications than their peers. This paper introduces the idea that librarians can play a critical role in digital citizenship education for youth with ASD and provides implications for LIS educators preparing future librarians through MLIS curriculum.

Phillips, A., Recker, M., & Lee, V. (2019). A framework for characterizing 21st Century school librarianship: How librarians enact innovative activities. School Libraries Worldwide.


In this article, we describe a conceptual framework, called the Innovative Library Activities Framework, which helps clarify the influence of three dimensions of librarianship – sense of librarianship, resource community, and conception of library space – on the implementation of innovative library activities. The first dimension encompasses a librarian’s professional identity and his/her understanding of the profession. The second dimension addresses how a librarian seeks guidance and support from a resource community for development and implementation of library services and materials. The final dimension involves a librarian’s conception of the library space and place. Each dimension is closely examined, drawing evidence from data collected during observations of and interviews with participating school librarians. We conclude with implications for the profession and LIS education.

Phillips, A. (2017). Understanding empathetic services: The role of empathy in everyday library work. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, 8(1), 1-27. Retrieved from


In this paper, the author proposes the term “empathetic services” to describe the social, emotional, and psychological support that librarians provide patrons. The role of empathy in the library has been infrequently researched in library and information science (LIS) literature. However, as demonstrated in the reactions of libraries and librarians during recent social movements, empathy is a critical component of librarianship and routine library work. Although frequently labeled “customer service” or “soft skills,” empathetic services encompass the provision of compassion, social justice, and understanding in libraries. As part of the findings, the author identified three significant roles that librarians perform: librarians as an information resource, librarians as an instruction resource, and librarians as a source of social/emotion/psychological support. Using the context of rural school and public libraries, this mixed-method, exploratory study investigates the types of empathy and support that rural school and public librarians currently offer and would like to offer young patrons.

Phillips, A. (2015). What do we mean by library leadership? Leadership in LIS education. Journal of Education in Library and Information Science, 55(4), 336-344.


Leadership is an often-misunderstood word, especially in the context of libraries. With multiple definitions for the word ‘leadership’ and vast numbers of leadership styles, it can be difficult to identity what exactly is meant when discussing library leadership. This literature review brings together 10 years of scholarly research on leadership in the library as it relates to LIS education. Through a close evaluation of this literature, a more holistic understanding of ‘leadership’ as a concept in LIS education can be better understood. Several topics are highlighted and discussed including the ambiguity in definitions of ‘leadership’, the qualities of library leaders, leadership in LIS curriculum, library leadership and organization change, and library leadership and new librarians. For this review, the definition of LIS curriculum includes professional association leadership programs. Closing this literature review are recommendations for incorporating leadership education and mentorship opportunities into MLIS programs.

Phillips, A. (2015). Systematic marketing facilitates optimal customer service: The marketing audit of a rural public library system. Public Libraries Quarterly, 33(3), 1 – 16. DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2014.937212 Full article available here:


This article presents a case study of a marketing audit of the Lee County Library System, a rural public library system located in southwest Georgia. Marketing audits are an underutilized but needed tool for public libraries. In this audit, the library system’s mission, goals, environments, community and employee demographics, and a SWOT analysis were evaluated, resulting in several recommendations. These recommendations include a new mission statement, regular SWOT analyses, and potential market segments for targeted library services. Through this case study, the complexities, challenges, and opportunities unique to rural public libraries can be understood.

Phillips, A. (2015). Facebooking it: Promoting library services to young adults through social media. Public Libraries Quarterly, 34(2), 1-20.


With social media a normal part of the daily lives of young adults, librarians are using these sites to promote library services. This paper investigates the perceptions and attitudes of librarians towards social media as a tool for libraries; and explores the way librarians utilize social media to portray professional roles and responsibilities to young patrons. This author focuses on the pastoral role of librarians and discusses possibilities for performing this role through social media. Although presently under-researched, social media provides librarians with one more avenue to advocate for, engage with and support young adults.

Phillips, A. (2014). More than just books: Librarians as a source of support for cyberbullied young adults. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, 4(1), Retrieved from


Young adults are becoming more and more engaged with social media for a variety of reasons. Social networking sites—such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—provide them with free and open space for exchanges of ideas, collaboration, and expression. For the most part, these online interactions are positive, respectful, and socially responsible. However, a significant number of young adults are using social media for a darker and more dangerous purpose: cyberbullying. While this phenomenon has been discussed widely in the media, what is lacking is a clear and consistent understanding of cyberbullying.

This literature review will synthesize the current research on cyberbullying, identify key findings that can be drawn from the research, acknowledge existing research gaps, and suggest opportunities for further research. Although the focus of this article is a review of the literature, a secondary focus is the potential for public librarians, through pastoral care, to serve as a support system for victims of cyberbullying.

Book Chapters

Phillips, A. (2018). Youth perceptions of online harassment, cyberbullying, and “just drama”: Implications for human-centered design. In Jen Golneck (Ed.) Online Harassment. New York, NY: Springer.


Cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and similar forms of online harassment have become a point of concern among youth, parents, school administrators, and communities. Researchers have spent considerable time debating definitions, prevalence, predictors, and prevention and intervention strategies. In this chapter, the author will explore the multifaceted nature of cyberbullying among young adults (12-18 years of age), particularly the complex nature of identifying as bully, victim, bully/victim, or bystander. Clearly, this is not easy to grasp, pinpoint, or even evaluate.

Through semi-structured in-depth interviews and structured video autoethnographies, eight young adults discussed how they engage with social media, the toxicity of various platforms, experiences as cyberbullying victims, bullies, and bystanders, “just drama” vs harassment, and seeking and providing support. The findings reveal suggestions for technological applications and tools to improve youth awareness of challenges when engaging online. Additionally, findings express a greater need for empathetic design within social networking sites and online safety education.

Mon. L., & Phillips, A. (2015). Becoming social: Exploring library services for adults and teens in social spaces. Advances in Librarianship, 39, 241-268.


As adults and young adults have become increasingly active on social media, public libraries have incorporated social media alongside their more traditional services. However, libraries are faced with the challenging task of determining how to successfully engage with patrons through social media. This chapter examines research literature from both social media and information studies to explore evidence-based results on providing popular information services and resources for adult and young adult users in social spaces. Key elements of social media use by libraries identified in this review include promotion of information resources and services, participation and engagement, social care, pastoral care, innovative roles and activities, advocacy and crowdsourcing, and measurement and assessment. Based on results from current research, best practices and assessment methods for social media are discussed which offer practical considerations for selecting social media platforms appropriate to a library’s mission, goals and objectives, with examples appropriate to a variety of social media platforms. The chapter also assesses social implications for libraries engaging on social media sites, and offers an approach to evidence-based review of social media platforms, practices, and assessment designed to inform librarians and library managers in decision-making about library social media efforts.

Phillips, A. (2015). But what are teens doing online? Teenagers and digital media. Digital media usage across the lifecourse. Surry, England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.


It’s a digital world out there. Information flows at an increasing rate via smart phones, laptops, TVs, and other devices. Surprising to few, whether searching, liking, commenting, or lurking, teens are spending significant amounts of time on digital media. In this chapter, the author will first present an overview of the digital lives of teens. Following this, the key roles that digital media and online communication plays in the lives of teens will be examined. Then, the darker side of digital media will be assessed. This includes negative online behaviors such as cyberbullying, trolling, cyberstalking, and cyberdating violence. Because cyber violence and abuse are unfortunate realities, it is necessary to study these behaviors from both a researcher and practitioner lens. Finally, this chapter will close with a discussion of implications for K-12 schools, libraries, parents, and community agencies, as well as suggest directions for future research.

Invited Guest Blog Posts

Phillips, A. (2013 September 22). How you too can transition from a librarian to a doctoral student. Hack Library School. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2014 February 28). Don’t panic! It’s only your first semester as a doc student. Overworked TA. Retrieved from

Phillips, A., Skinner, J., Frasier, Z., Spears, L., & Yu, C. (28 June 2014). Why we decided on the PhD. Hack Library School. Retrieved

Phillips, A. (2014 July 31). Politics schmolitics! What does politics have to do with libraries? Letters to a Young Librarian. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2015 September 17). Worrying about my post-PhD life. Letters to a Young Librarian. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2015 December 30). Top 5 YA and libraries research in 2015 (But mostly from Pew Research Center). YALSAblog. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2015 January 13). What does Radical Change mean YALSA and teen services? YALSAblog. Retrieved

Coleman, L.-E. & Phillips, A. (2016 July 26) The empathetic museum and the empathy of librarians. Museum Commons. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2017 March 20). Transforming teen services: The empathetic librarian. Young Adult Library Services Blog. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2017 April 19). Transforming teen services: Getting teens passionate about civics (it can happen!). Young Adult Library Services Blog. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2017 June 2). Transforming teen services: Making in the library while learning to fail. Young Adult Library Services Blog. Retrieved from

Phillips, A. (2018 February 1). Connecting research to practice and practice to research. Letters to a Young Librarian. Retrieved from

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