Joan Kaplowitz—Transform Your Teaching
A Website for Information Literacy Instruction Librarians
Joan R. Kaplowitz has a Doctorate in Psychology as well as a Master’s in Library Science. She retired in 2007 after 23 years as a librarian at UCLA. Dr. Kaplowitz worked at UCLA since graduating from UCLA’s Library and Information Science program in 1984. She began her career as a reference/instruction librarian and later Educational Services Coordinator and Head of Public Services at the Education and Psychology Library. She ended her UCLA Library career as the Head of the Research, Instruction and Collection Services division at the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library in June 2007.
Joan Kaplowitz has been a library professional and educator since 1984 with many Publications and Presentations to her credit.
Dr. Kaplowitz was heavily involved in information literacy instruction at the local, state, and national levels for her entire career and continues to be active in this area even though she has retired from the UCLA library system. During her early years at UCLA she taught several sections of UCLA’s undergraduate course “Library and Information Resources.” In 1989 she collaborated with UCLA’s Esther Grassian to propose and develop the UCLA graduate library program’s course “Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Technique.” She and Ms. Grassian have alternated presenting this course since its inception in 1990. Although she has retired from the library, Dr. Kaplowitz continues to teach this course. Dr. Kaplowitz was also part of the faculty development team for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Institute for Information Literacy’s Immersion Program and taught in six of the programs between 1999 and 2004.
Dr. Kaplowitz was awarded several Librarians’ Association of the University of California research grants in support of her research and publication endeavors. She held office in the American Library Association’s New Members Round Table and the California Clearinghouse on Library Instruction (now know as SCIL or the Southern California Instruction Librarians group). Dr. Kaplowitz was also involved with the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation and served on ad hoc teams reviewing ALA accreditation for several graduate library programs.
From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Kaplowitz was a member of the UCLA Library’s Information Literacy Initiative’s steering committee and remained on that body when the Initiative became a full-fledged program. She remained involved until her retirement in 2007.
Dr. Kaplowitz has published and made numerous presentations on various topics such as the psychology of learning and cognitive styles, assessment in information literacy, learner-centered learning, and mentoring within the profession. Her latest book, Transforming Information Literacy Instruction Using Learner-Centered Teaching, was published in 2011. Dr. Kaplowitz is also the co-author (with Ms. Grassian) of Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Practice (2001), which received the ACRL Instruction Section’s Publication of the Year award. An updated and expanded second edition of this title was published in 2009. Dr. Kaplowitz and Ms. Grassian also wrote Learning to Lead and Manage Information Literacy Instruction (2005). The Neal-Schuman Company published all of these books.
Based on their expertise in the field Dr. Kaplowitz and Ms. Grassian were selected to write the “Information Literacy Instruction” section for the 3rd edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (2009). In addition, Dr. Kaplowitz contributed the Psychology of Learning chapter for the 2008 Information Literacy Handbook published by the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries. She continues to offer workshops on a variety of teaching topics. Dr. Kaplowitz is a regular presenter at the UCLA Information Studies Department‘s Friday Forum series, has offered day long workshops at several of the California State University campuses, the Claremont Colleges, and most recently moved outside of the library profession to help a group of specialized instructors mainly from the law enforcement and emergency response fields become more learner-centered teachers.