• 114 Citations
  • 7 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Professional Information

Formerly the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Rachel Ivy Clarke is currently an assistant professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Her research centers on the reconceptualization of librarianship as a design profession (rather than a scientific one) to facilitate the systematic, purposeful design of library services for the 21st century. She holds a BA in creative writing from California State University Long Beach, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and a PhD from the University of Washington.

Research Interests

The bulk of my current research focuses on reconceptualizing librarianship as a design profession rather than a scientific discipline. Design is a creative discipline that often seems magical and intimidating to outsiders. Yet design reflects unique ways of knowing and assessing knowledge, different from traditional science. My dissertation, “It’s Not Rocket Library Science: Design Epistemologies and American Librarianship” analyzes examples of artifacts created through American library history to argue that librarianship is truly a design discipline. Continuing work draws on the idea of critical design–the creation of provocative artifacts to challenge established assumptions–to reveal ways in which libraries can explicitly, rather than implicitly, demonstrate and empower the values that set them apart from other information service providers. I also explore ways of incorporating design epistemology into both formal and informal LIS education.

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Research Output

Design thinking

Clarke, R., 2020, American Library Association. (Library Futures; no. 4)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Critical Catalog: Social Justice, Tricksterism, and Library Information Systems

Clarke, R. & Schoonmaker, S., 2020, Proceedings of ACM SIG CHI 2020. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Design thinking and methods in library practice and graduate library education

    Clarke, R. I., Amonkar, S. & Rosenblad, A., Jan 1 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Exploring the role of repertoire in library cataloging

    Clarke, R. & Dobreski, B., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Documentation.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    • 7 Oral presentation
    • 5 Invited talk

    Exploring the Role of Repertoire in Library Cataloging

    Rachel Clarke (Speaker), Brian Dobreski (Speaker)
    Jun 23 2018

    Activity: Talk typesOral presentation

    A Library for Everyone: Community Centered Design to Promote Inclusive Librarianship

    J. Elizabeth Mills (Speaker), Rachel Clarke (Speaker)
    Jun 21 2018Jun 26 2018

    Activity: Talk typesOral presentation

    Design Thinking: How Librarians Are Incorporating it into Their Practice

    Rachel Clarke (Speaker)
    Mar 8 2018

    Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

    How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Critique

    Rachel Clarke (Speaker)
    Jun 1 2018

    Activity: Talk typesOral presentation

    Press and Media

    Art Park announces new staff, 2020 season highlights

    Rachel Clarke


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Rachel Ivy Clarke, Sayward Schoonmaker receive ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award

    Rachel Clarke


    5 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Primer on design thinking is newest book from the Center for the Future of Libraries

    Rachel Clarke


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Rachel Clarke


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment