Alumna Laura McHugh Addresses Ways to Bridge Gap Between Librarians and Authors at SISLT Event


Each fall, the Library and Information Science Graduate Student Association (LISGSA) board at MU School of Information Science & Learning Technology (SISLT) invites a guest lecturer on campus to address industry-related issues. The 2017 fall speaker was SISLT LIS alumna and best-selling author, Laura McHugh.

“Laura was selected because she is an alumna of our program and as an internationally best-selling author, we were eager to learn how she engages with libraries for book talks, interviews, and other programs that incorporate her novels or authorship,” said Katie Wibbenmeyer, president of LISGSA.

McHugh shared stories about the various library programs she has been invited to, and demonstrated that the relationships librarians build with authors — local and otherwise — are mutually beneficial. She offered creative solutions to bringing high-quality writers to programs, such as using the opportunity for fundraising or using Skype for authors in remote locations. Attendees were also encouraged to reach out and foster relationships with authors.

Laura McHugh with LIS Students

“I enjoyed being back on-campus to share my personal journey to becoming a writer, as well as answering questions regarding the writing and publishing processes,” said McHugh. “My hopes are that those who attended the lecture left with more insight on how authors and libraries can work best together, and ideas on how to bridge the gap between the two.”

“Hearing feedback from an author’s perspective about the types of events that are most successful and engaging was valuable,” said Erin Niederberger, vice president of LISGSA. “Her guidance gave me more confidence in reaching out to other authors for future library events.”

The 2001 alumna is a best-selling author of “The Weight of Blood” and “Arrowood,” which are available everywhere books are sold. For more information or to connect with McHugh, visit her website at, “like” her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Interested in getting involved with LISGSA?
All MU LIS students who are currently enrolled, including online, are automatically members and the final fall meeting is slated for Dec. 11. For more information or to keep up with the latest news and events, “like” them on Facebook or email to sign-up for SISLT listserv emails.