Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Faculty Spotlight: Stonebraker Recognized as “Mover & Shaker” in Library Journal

March 15th, 2017

Ilana Stonebraker, Purdue Libraries
Ilana Stonebraker

It is easy to discern why Ilana Stonebraker, assistant professor and business information specialist, has been selected as a Library Journal Class of 2017  “Mover & Shaker.”

Ilana—who is recognized as one of the librarians in the educator category in this year’s installment of the LJ project—engages deeply in her work at Purdue University Libraries’ Parrish Library of Management and Economics, with Purdue students, and with the people in her communities. Her instructional work has been recognized with a Purdue Libraries Excellence in Teaching Award, and she, and a Purdue Honors College course she designed, HONR 299: Making Greater Lafayette Greater, is featured on the Honors College’s website this week in “Making Greater Lafayette Greater: Honors course tackles challenges, connects communities.”

According to Library Journal, its “Movers & Shakers” project “provides an annual snapshot of the transformative work being done by those in libraries of all types and sizes across the field.” The LJ project started 16 years ago, and this year, Stonebraker was one—and the first ever for Purdue Libraries—of more than 50 individuals recognized.

“At a time when individual and collective actions matter more than ever, the 52 people…reflect the outsize impact librarians can have through services and programs they deliver, their deep community connections and collaborations with partner organizations, and their one-on-one interactions with patrons,” states Library Journal’s introduction to the Class of 2017.

At Purdue Libraries, that “outsize” impact also encompasses the important instructional and information literacy work the faculty and staff here do here every day.

You can read Ilana’s “Mover & Shaker” profile on Library Journal’s website at, and she provided a bit more about what she does at Purdue Libraries through a short Q&A below.

Q. Tell me a bit about your background.

Ilana: Like many in business librarianship, I kind of fell into business. When I was an undergraduate, my campus job was working at the business library, where then Director Gordan Aamot encouraged everyone to become business librarians, so he really planted the seed. When I headed to grad school at University of Michigan, I ended up working at the Kresge Business Library, where Laura Berdish and Corey Seeman encouraged me further. So I blame it on all of them. I have benefited from some great mentors throughout my short career.

Ilana Stonebraker works with HONR 299 students
Ilana Stonebraker works with HONR 299

Q. How did you come to be selected as a 2017 “Mover & Shaker” in LJ?
Ilana: I was nominated for my work in information literacy and instruction. I am very much aligned with the teaching and learning aspects of Purdue. I have taught 13 for-credit courses, designed a successful case competition, created a crowdsourced help site, and consulted in both faculty development and in business environments. My research interests include scholarship of teaching and learning, business information literacy and education and emerging metrics. I am a Purdue Teaching for Tomorrow Fellow, Service-Learning Junior Fellow, and a recipient of the Purdue Libraries Excellence in Teaching Award.

Q. How do you think you and the work you do helps “change the face of libraries” (as mentioned in the intro to last year’s LJ M&S class)?
Ilana: When I tell people about my work at Purdue, their response is not “Libraries do that?”, it is “Wow! Libraries do that!” As many of those who work in libraries will tell you, their faculty members wear many hats, but I think Purdue Libraries faculty members are different because we’re also making new, important hats all the time. It is very exciting to find new hats and see where those hats take you.

My work at Purdue is innovative, but I see myself very much at heart of our information literacy mission statement: empowering a diverse set of learners toward personal and professional success. I don’t know if it changes the face of libraries, but it certainly helps libraries personnel better position their diverse set of talents.

Q. What does it mean to you to be selected for such an honor this year?
Ilana: It is very exciting to be listed as one of the Movers & Shakers and a great honor to be the first listed from Purdue University Libraries. I think it is exciting because it really helps me highlight the interesting work that happens at Purdue. It feels like being part of a very important club. The group got together at the American Library Association‘s Midwinter Meeting (in January) for the photo shoot, and I feel like I have learned so much already from the people I met.

Q. Tell me something about yourself that people may be surprised to learn about you.
Ilana: I had a mohawk and a lip ring in college.

Q. Do you have any go-to advice you provide when people ask?
Ilana: I get a surprising amount of opportunities in my work with undergraduates to give advice, and I always tell them to do what feels right for you, even if it doesn’t all quite add up together. You can love data and people at the same time. You can be an accountant and also an activist. It is important to imagine yourself complexly.