Dr. Keren Dali – "The Whole of Life," or Why Teach and Study Reading in LIS Programs?

1Please join us at the iSchool for the upcoming talk, “The Whole of Life,” or Why Teach and Study Reading in LIS Programs? on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 with Dr. Keren Dali, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Western University.

In her Summoned by Books, F. C. Sayers wrote: “A love of reading encompasses the whole of life: information, knowledge, insight and understanding, pleasure; the power to think, to select, to act, to create – all of these are inherent in a love of reading.” From the vantage point of 21st century LIS, this statement situates the study of reading and the practice of readers’ advisory (RA) as an integral part of information literacy, a staple of libraries’ engagement with user communities, and an essential component of LIS education. Yet, in reality, RA work in libraries is often limited to traditional reading advice, confined to public libraries, and more concerned with guides and displays than with the active engagement of readers. Similarly, courses on reading in LIS programs often focus on genre conventions and RA resources. Both the practice and teaching of RA have been governed by experience-based approaches rather than systematic empirical observations. These no longer suffice. Guiding approaches have to become evidence-based rather than intuitive and rest on rigorous research and interdisciplinary scholarship. Dr. Keren Dali discusses changes in reading-related library work and LIS education based on her published research and current projects.


Keren Dali is at the Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Western University, where she is working on the SSHRC-funded study of Spanish-speaking immigrant readers, comparing reading practices of immigrants in Toronto and NYC. She previously taught for four years at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, winning the inaugural Outstanding Instructor Award in 2013. She is an author and co-author of 22 peer-reviewed publications in the field of LIS, which focus on the reading experience, multicultural communities, immigration, readers’ advisory, and international fiction. She’s is also a co-author of a reference volume Contemporary World Fiction: A Guide to Literature in Translation. Simultaneously, Keren is leading the creation of a web-based bibliography on bibliotherapy, a project funded by the ALA Carnegie-Whitney grant, and researching the application of Carl Rogers’ humanistic approach to education in the context of LIS programs.

October 21st, 2014, 12:00-1:00 pm in the Dodson Room (Rm #302), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. provided.