Careers in Libraries


As the worlds of library and information science are going through rapid and fascinating changes, it’s an exciting time to be in the field. Public libraries, academic libraries and other institutional libraries and archives offer a wide range of interesting career possibilities for people with advanced degrees.

This interdisciplinary panel will host a range of librarians and library workers who came to the field from varied educational backgrounds. Attendees can expect to gain an understanding of how new technologies – along with and other social and material innovations - are increasingly impacting libraries and library work. Relatedly, panelists will share perspectives on pursuing library credentials (MLS or MLIS) on top of a disciplinary MA or PhD.


Anne Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy, University of Chicago Library (PhD, UChicago Divinity School) is the Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy at the University of Chicago Library. She is a Chicago native, who completed her BA at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and her MA in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in Bible at the University of Chicago Divinity School. She has been an instructor at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Camille Ann Brewer, Executive Director, Black Metropolis Research Consortium (MLIS'10, Valdosta State University; MFA'94, School of Art and Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) is a cultural heritage management professional with over 20 years of experience working in art museums, artists’ archives and libraries.  Ms. Brewer operated her own business, CAB Fine Art, for 15 years providing fine art advising and collection management services for individual, non-profit, and corporate clients.  She has worked on projects with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Research for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Detroit Children’s Museum.

Mimosa Shah, Adult Program Specialist at Skokie Public Library (MA, Humanities) develops, manages, and evaluates public programs for adults, teaches digital literacy classes, maintains the program calendar, and collaborates extensively with fellow library staff and community partners to create innovative learning opportunities. Prior to her time in library-world, Mimosa was the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Chicago Cultural Alliance, a consortium of approximately 25 small ethnic museums and cultural centers located in and around Chicago. In addition to overseeing capacity-building programs for consortium members, Mimosa also worked with members on strategies for audience engagement. Over the past 8 years, Mimosa has also had adventures in the worlds of customer service, grassroots political organizing, adult literacy, and job training. Mimosa received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago in ’99 and, after a long absence, ran the final lap towards her Master of Arts degree in the Humanities from the University of Chicago in December 2012. 

Muhannad Salhi, Arab World Specialist at the Library of Congress (PhD'06, Modern Middle Eastern History) received his B.A. from the American College of Switzerland in International Studies, his M.A. from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Modern Middle Eastern history in 2006.  He has taught courses in Middle Eastern history, Arab/Israeli conflict, Terrorism, and Islam. He has written articles and book reviews, and his latest book, “Palestine in the evolution of Syrian nationalism, 1918-1920” is a study of Syrian nationalism and the influence of the Palestine question on its development.  He has native fluency in both Arabic and English and reading knowledge of French and Turkish.  He is currently the Arab World Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress.


Catherine Mardikes (PhD'94, Classics) Senior Humanities Bibliographer at the University of Chicago Library, is subject specialist for Classics and the Ancient Near East. Catherine earned a PhD in Classics at Chicago with the dissertation “Curses and Conspiratorial Oaths in the Oresteia of Aeschylus.” Since 1994 Catherine has been involved in a number of digital activities. She currently serves on several advisory boards and is co-editor of the Italian Women Writers project.