Barbara Fister


Professor in Library

I have been a librarian at Gustavus since 1987. I coordinate the library instruction program, provide reference services, build the collection in several areas and participate with other members of the library staff in a unique collaborative management model. Courses I have taught include Information Fluency and sometimes Reading Workshop (spring). I have also taught a January Term course on books and culture, and a First Term Seminar on international crime fiction.

I have published widely on information literacy, the future of publishing, and popular literacy. I am a blogger for Inside Higher Ed and have been quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. In my spare time I write for my own blog, track Scandinavian crime fiction and write mysteries.

In the Wind, published by St. Martin's in 2008, was called by the Chicago Tribune "an understated crime-fiction gem . . . powered by a highly intelligent story line that underscores disturbing similarities between the counterintelligence practices of post-9/11 America and those imposed during the Vietnam War era." A second book in the series, Through the Cracks, was released in May, 2010. A reviewer at Publisher's Weekly wrote "thoughtful attention to the complexities of police work and social justice lift this gritty mystery well above the norm."


For a full list of publications, see my CV.


B.A. in Russian Literature, University of Kentucky; MLIS, University of Texas; MA in English Literature, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Courses Taught

NDL-301 (Information Fluency)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
NDL-301 Information Fluency 14 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2006/SP, and 2005/JN
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 4 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, and 2006/FA
NDL-201 Reading Workshop 3 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/SP
NDL-105 Books and Culture 3 2013/JN, 2011/JN, and 2009/JN