Meet Stephanie Noell! An RT Member Profile

By A. Faulkner

What is your role in the GLBTRT?


What does the GLBTRT mean to you?

As a queer librarian, having a space where I can discuss issues within the LGBTQIA+ communities, especially those related to collection development and library outreach, is incredibly important for me. I am fortunate enough to work in a library where I can be “out”, but that has not always been the case in my previous positions. Spaces like GLBTRT showed me that there are other librarians like me out there.

Are you involved in ALA in other ways?


What professional work do you perform?

I am a research and instruction librarian and I primarily work with fine and communication arts students as well as interior and urban design students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

What would you like to share about your personal life?

I am a huge comic book nerd and have been reading comics since the 4th grade. If you ever need comic book recommendations, I am your girl. I am also a lifelong animal lover and treehugger. I currently have three cats and a crested gecko at home and hope to one day add a dog into the mix.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my one-on-one work with students. Each student who comes to me with an information need receives patience, warmth, and open ears. Having spent most of my working life in customer service positions, I give each patron a blank slate when they approach me—if they were having a rough day and were short with me the previous day, I am just as warm and open to them the next day as I was the first. I know that I excel in this area because at least once a year a student informs me that they decided to pursue librarianship because of me. Nothing in my career has made me prouder than the knowledge that I am encouraging the next generation of librarians.

Who inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by Dr. Carla Hayden, whom I refer to as the President of American Librarians.

What are your goals? (Professional and/or personal.)

My professional goals include creating an inclusive environment, improving my instruction to better meet student needs, and implementing more critical librarianship practices in my own position.

My personal goals are to start a books-for-prisoners program in Georgia, to run an animal rescue, and to raise an environmentally conscious humanitarian.

What do you think (or predict) is the future of libraries?

Libraries will continue to improve patrons’ critical thinking skills through analyzing and identifying authoritative resources. I hope that our missions will continue to push for improvement in the lives of our community members.

In what direction would you like the GLBTRT to move in the future?

I would like to see active discussions of LGBTQIA+ issues in libraries. Perhaps something like the #critlib discussions on Twitter?

If you could be transported into the fictional world of any book, where would you go?

Because I am a total Søren Kierkegaard fangirl, I would love to live in the world of Caroline Coleman O’Neill’s novel “Loving Søren”. 

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Covered in cat hair: The Stephanie Noell story

If you could only choose one song to play every time you entered a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Nina Simone’s “Feeling good” never fails to pump me up—I could live with that playing every time I walked into a room.

If you could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you invite?

I would invite Lou Andreas-Salomé, David Bowie, Dr. Carla Hayden, Søren Kierkegaard, and Haruki Murakami.

What is the meaning of life?

For me, we should each be intent on improving the world around us. Whether we are helping uplift marginalized communities, working on reversing environmental degradation, or rescuing abandoned pets, we should each spend our lives in such a way that when we get to the end we can honestly say that we made the world a better place.


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