iSchool Alumna and Faculty Member Named 2020 Library Journal Movers and Shakers


The highly anticipated annual roster of Movers and Shakers in the information profession published by Library Journal is out, and two of them have ties to the San José State University School of Information. Anna Avalos, a 2007 alumna of the Master of Library and Information Science program, and Maggie Murphy, a faculty member, are among the distinguished group of award winners that has grown to nearly 1,000 since its launch in 2002.

Movers and Shakers are the most passionate and promising “people shaping the future of libraries.” The special feature in the May 2020 issue of Library Journal not only showcased these amazing humans but also highlighted the universities that have had the most Movers and Shakers over the years. According to Library Journal, SJSU has graduated the most Movers and Shakers with 32 alumni donning the moniker, more than any other institution.

Anna AvalosThis year’s winner, Avalos, is the multilingual collections manager of Los Angeles Public Library. She said she was “very surprised” upon learning of her selection as a 2020 Mover and Shaker. “I have been with LAPL for almost 20 years, and it is an honor to be able to represent all the work that my colleagues and I do at the Los Angeles Public Library.” 

At LAPL, Avalos oversees the selection of Spanish-language materials for all 73 branches; in three years, she’s quadrupled the Spanish collection, and has also acquired Armenian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Thai content. She also formed a team of seven bilingual librarians that collaborated on translations of policies, flyers, forms, brochures, and web pages.

“My plan is to continue to work for the diverse communities in Los Angeles,” said Avalos.

“We are currently working on expanding the translations teams to include more languages in addition to Spanish. This is going to help us reach more people and be able to promote all the great services that our library offers. I’m very excited about the second edition of LA Libros Festival, which due to the current circumstances, will be a virtual event.” 

In 2019, Avalos, along with her colleagues at LAPL, partnered with bookstore LA Librería, REFORMA, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others, to create the first Los Libros Festival. An all-day, free event at the Central Library, the festival celebrated Spanish and bilingual books, writers, and readers from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, and other Latin American countries. In its first year, Los Libros Festival drew 5,600 attendees.

“I believe that a team makes the dream work and so I must give credit where credit is due,” said Avalos. “My success and all the successful events I have been able to accomplish wouldn’t have been possible without the exceptional support of the library’s leadership and administration team, and library staff throughout the system, and in particular, my colleagues in the Spanish Language Translations Team.”

Read more about Avalos and her work in her Movers and Shakers profile.

In addition to the numerous alumni named Movers and Shakers over the years, an iSchool instructor was recognized in 2020 for her “expansive collaborative creativity” in information literacy instruction.

“I was really excited to learn that I had been named among the 2020 Library Journal Movers and Shakers, especially when I found out that I was being recognized in the Educator category,” Murphy said. “As an art librarian and an iSchool lecturer, being seen as a teacher rather than just a subject specialist is a really important part of my identity!” 

Maggie MurphyMurphy is a first-year writing, visual art, and humanities librarian at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she collaborated with colleagues to conceive and launch a programming series that features guest speakers, interactive workshops, and digital meme collections curated by students.

“The Uplifting Memes project I developed over the past year, featured in my Movers and Shakers profile, is an example of a visual literacy instruction program that emphasizes many of the core practices and dispositions that studio art students need to be able to find, evaluate, use, make, credit, and share visual media ethically and creatively.”

“One emerging area of interest in information services for the visual arts is visual literacy,” Murphy noted. “In INFO 220, we explore visual literacy as an element of faculty teaching collaborations and programming for students in art & design school libraries, and I am excited for students to see Uplifting Memes as a model for a visual literacy project by an art librarian in a university library as well.” 

Murphy teaches INFO 220-13 Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions Visual Resources Curation and Arts Librarianship in the MLIS program. The two-unit course provides an overview of visual resources and arts information professions, including visual resources curation, art and design school librarianship, academic liaison librarianship, and museum librarianship.

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Movers and Shakers!