Eleanor Mitchell is a nationally known authority on information literacy and instruction issues in library services, which was a major focus of her work as Head of the Undergraduate Library at UCLA. She has demonstrated her engagement with this issue through publications and conference presentations. As the Director of Library Services at Dickinson College , she has continued to advocate for the integral role of information literacy in the curriculum as one of the complex challenges of contemporary reference services. She addresses these issues in her book Reviewing the Academic Library: A Guide to Self-Study and External Review co-authored in 2015 with Peggy Seiden.
Sarah Watstein is a prolific author of books, articles, and conference presentations on topics such as the role of artificial intelligence systems, how our spaces affect our services, how to revolutionize reference service delivery and the statistical evaluation of reference service. Her award winning AIDS Dictionary (1998) co-authored with Karen Chandler and The Encyclopedia of HIV/AIDS (2003) co-authored with Stephen Stratton, responded to the world’s need for timely, authoritative information about one of its major public health crises.
Through their individual work and their synergistic work as co-editors of one of the profession’s leading journals, Mitchell and Watstein continue the legacy of scholar librarians begun by Isadore Gilbert Mudge at Columbia University so many years ago.
During her career, which started in 1903 and concluded in 1941, Isadore Gilbert Mudge increased student independence in research and improved reference collections with several specific types of sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases, among others. A pioneer in reference librarianship, she coined the phrase “material, mind, and method” to describe her reference philosophy when she began teaching the class “Bibliography and Bibliographic Methods” as an associate professor at Columbia’s School of Library Services.