B.A., Secondary Education / English Concentration, University of North Carolina
M.S.L.S., Library and Information Science, University of Tennessee
Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Teacher Education and Development, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro
Dr. Karen Gavigan worked as a school librarian for 15 years. She also worked as a
public librarian and an academic librarian.
Gavigan's research interests include the use of graphic novels and other resources
in K-12 libraries and classrooms. She has also conducted research regarding school
library issues such as the instructional role of the school librarian.
Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Grant, Phase Two. Co-Project
Director with Dr. Daniella Cook. Funded for $493,181.47, 2016 – 2021.
ALA Carnegie Whitney Grant, Co-Project Director with Dr. Kasey Garrison, $4,800, 2019
ASPIRE-ing to Prevent HIV/AIDS: A Graphic Novel Intervention for South Carolina Teens.
Co-Principal Investigator with Kendra Albright. University of South Carolina (USC)
ASPIRE- 1 Grant, 2013. Funded for $9,148, 2013 – 2014.
Information Vaccine: Using Graphic Novels as an HIV/AIDS Prevention Tool for Young
Adults (Phase 2). Co-Principal Investigator with Kendra Albright. Association for
Library and Information Service Education, Funded for $5,000, 2013 – 2014.
2019 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Research Grant Award
2012 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, presented by the Library
Research Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), to Pribesh, S.; Gavigan,
K. & Dickinson, G. for "The Access Gap: Poverty and Characteristics of School Library
Media Centers," published in The Library Quarterly 81(2): 143-160, April 2011.
Gavigan's teaching style is to serve less as a “sage on the stage” and more as a “guide
on the side”. Whether she is teaching a distance education class for graduate students,
or a face-to-face undergraduate class, she keep students engaged with lectures, videos,
discussion forums, and collaborative activities. Gavigan teaches Young Adult Library
Materials, School Library Program Development, and Information Literacy and Technology.
Dawkins, A. & Gavigan, K. (April, 2019). E-Book Collections in High School Libraries: Factors Influencing
Circulation and Usage. School Library Research. Retrieved from »
Garrison, K. L., & Gavigan, K. (2019). Picture This: Using Graphic Novels to Explore Social Justice Issues with
Young Adults. Teacher Librarian, 46(3), 8–12. Retrieved from »
Dawkins, A. & Gavigan, K. (Winter, 2017). The School Librarian’s Role in Writing Instruction: Research, Perceptions,
and Practice. Libri: International Journal of Library and Information Studies.
Styslinger, M., Gavigan, K. & Albright, K. (Eds.) (January, 2017). Literacy Behind Bars: Successful Reading and Writing Strategies for Use with Incarcerated
Youth and Adults Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Gavigan, K. & Curry Lance, K. (2015, October). Everybody’s Teacher: Administrators’ and Teachers’
Perceptions of School Librarians: Findings from the South Carolina Association of
School Librarian’s Impact Study. Teacher Librarian, 43(1), 8-11.
Gavigan, K. (2014, January). Shedding New Light on Graphic Novel Collections: A Circulation
and Collection Analysis Study in Six Middle School Libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 20(1), 97-115.
Chair, Joint Committee of the International Association of School Libraries and the
International Federation of Library Associations’ Standing Committee for School Libraries
Member, International Federation of Library Associations’ Standing Committee for School
Chair, Educators of School Librarians Section, American Library Association
Chair, Library Research Round Table Committee, American Library Association
Chair, Standards and Guidelines Task Force. American Association of School Librarians