Librarian named national ‘mover and shaker’ by Library Journal

WCU librarian Krista Schmidt wins national recognition.

WCU librarian Krista Schmidt wins national recognition.

Krista Schmidt, research and instruction librarian and associate professor at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library, has been named one of 50 “Movers and Shakers” by Library Journal.

The leading trade magazine for public, academic and special libraries, Library Journal honored Schmidt for being innovative, creative and making a difference in the library field.

“An intense academic curiosity, a pragmatic approach to problem-solving, and a keen analytic mind are the hallmarks of any great scientist—yet, fortunately for the students at Western Carolina University, those traits also belong to reference librarian and subject liaison Krista Schmidt,” wrote Library Journal editors in announcing Schmidt’s selection.

An information specialist in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Schmidt assists students and faculty members in learning effective search strategies and using research databases and reference resources. In her specialty areas, she provides research consultations to faculty and students and helps develop library collections to meet curricular needs in those disciplines.

Her accomplishments at Hunter include the development of a reference call app and piloting a multi-session information literacy instruction program for graduate students in engineering.

She also overhauled the library’s collection of about 50,000 regional and historical print maps and devised better indexes to both the print and online map collections. At the reference desk, she is known for the full professional attention she gives to patrons ranging from beginning freshmen with the simplest of questions to graduate students and faculty members seeking her help with advanced research.

In nominating Schmidt for the award, Becky Kornegay, research and instruction librarian at Hunter Library, said she is meticulous and detail-oriented, yet always sees the big picture. “As a result, librarians in all areas of our library seek her counsel,” said Kornegay in the nomination.

“Krista approaches all research assistance from many angles, using a mix of new and old reference resources,” she said. “I know how rare that combination is and how effectively it can move a library forward. She is, in essence, a 360-degree librarian who has significant positive impact on our library and WCU.”

Schmidt earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and her master’s in library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked for two years with a soybean breeding program in central Illinois and five years at a biomedical testing facility in Burlington before beginning her library career. While in graduate school, she worked in the library of the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park. She joined Hunter Library in 2003.

The library journal article can be accessed online at

For more information, contact Schmidt at or 828-227-2215.