Deborah M. LaFond is Social Sciences Bibliographer for the departments of Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Communication, Psychology and Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY. As liaison for these departments, she is responsible for collection development, instruction, and research process assistance to students and faculty affiliated with these departments. She works on the University's Main Library Reference Desk and develops a variety of discipline specific electronic and print guides which take into account interdisciplinary studies. Ms. LaFond, Chaired the University Library Faculty (2011-2012) and was previously Secretary for the library faculty (2010-2011).

Prior to her joining the University Libraries at the University at Albany, Ms. LaFond received her M.L.I.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and served as reference librarian at the Doe and Moffitt Libraries for 10 years. She also worked at the California School of Professional Psychology (Alameda, CA) for 3 years.

A research leave in Kenya and South Africa (2001) afforded interaction with African colleagues in higher education. While there she interviewed academic librarians and researched the state of libraries in African higher education, public/private models, and partnerships and practices which support African knowledge creation and production. This is documented in a published essay. During her stay, she also investigated how to wage information campaigns to address gender aspects of HIV/AIDS and AIDS prevention in Africa. She was a volunteer for the campus based Save Africa From AIDS campaign, and member of the U Albany Consortium on Africa and the Globalization Studies faculty planning committee.

Professional Activities

Ms. LaFond attends a variety of relevant subject specific professional conferences:

She was co-chair of the American Library Association - ACRL/ALA Women's Studies Instruction Committee and member of the Women’s Studies Section of ALA. From 2006-2010, she was a member of the ALA Africa Subcommittee of the ALA International Relations Committee (IRC).

She is active in the African Studies Association (ASA). She was Vice Chair and Chair of the Africana Librarians Council (ALC) from 2009-2011. In 2009, Ms. LaFond became Co-Convenor of the ASA Women's Caucus to support and co-lead 2010-2011 conference activities. She continues on the Caucus Steering Committee as past convenor. In 2010, Ms. LaFond successfully proposed several ASA panels and speakers focusing upon the intersections between women, land reform, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability. This contributed to the adoption of this category for panels the following year. Most recently she was a member of the 2011 ASA Conference Planning Committee and Selector of papers and panels for the "Gender and Women" conference section. She is a continuing Executive Committee member of the Africana Librarians Council (ALC) and current Chair of the Book Donations Committee.


As part of her own pedagogical inquiry and research she investigates learning and curriculum models which address structural and perceived barriers to learning and success in the higher education process. Ms. LaFond endeavors to promote diversity within the libraries and on the campus.

Her research looks critically at collection development practices with the goal of developing positive models and strategies to promote scholarship of diverse experience, particularly the study and expression of historically marginalized persons and groups. She is interested in developing tools to encourage and assess the transformative power of diversity within organizations and within the curricula.

More recently, her research investigates higher education's potential and actual cross-disciplinary approaches toward -- learning how to be more geo-consciously aware as individuals and as global social actors, to co-create informed and supportive relationships for a biodiverse and sustainable planet.


Earned Degrees

9/87 - 12/90 M.L.I.S. (Master of Library and Information Studies)
Concentrations: Reference Service, Africana and Near Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley

9/80 - 8/85 Bachelor of Arts, History
Minors: Women’s Studies, Foreign Languages
Department of History scholarship. 9/81 - 8/82
Boise State University. Boise, Idaho

Sabbatical 9/06 - 6/07 (Master of Arts, Culture and Spirituality)
Concentrations: Cultural studies, Geo-conscious relationship, consciousness studies, bio-regional study design, sustainability in globalization studies, eco-feminism, intercultural co-creative counseling/witness methods, dance movement therapy, Art and embodied pedagogical practice, transformative curriculum models.
Holy Names University, Oakland, CA


LaFond, Deborah M. and Gretchen Walsh. Editors. Research, Reference Services, and Resources for the Study of Africa. New York: Haworth Press, 2004.

LaFond, Deborah M. Reading and Connecting Visual Texts Through Art and Artifact: Course Integrated Information Literacy Lesson Plan. IN Empowering Students Hands-on and Minds-on Library Instruction Activities. Edited by Carol Anne Germaine and Deborah F. Bernnard. Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), 2004.

Refereed Articles

LaFond, Deborah M. "Library Capacity Building in Africa or the Exportation of Technolust?: Discerning Partnership Models and Revitalization Efforts in the Age of Globalization."
The Reference Librarian, 87/88 (2004): 209-272.

LaFond, Deborah M., Mary K. Van Ullen, and Richard Irving. “Diversity in Collection Development: Comparing Access Strategies to Alternative Press Periodicals,” College and Research Libraries, 61.2 (2000): 136-144.

Van Ullen, Mary K. and Deborah M. LaFond. “Promoting European Union Depository Collections in the United States Through Bibliographic Instruction,” Journal of Government Information, 27.3 (2000): 1-19.

Selected Conference Presentations

LaFond, Deborah M. and Mary K. Van Ullen. “Making Connections to Course Content With Information Literacy, Two Approaches.” Conference on Instructional Technologies. State University of New York, Potsdam. May 30, 2003.

LaFond, Deborah M. and Karen L. Starr. “Finding and Interpreting Historical Threads and Patterns through Archival Research.” Invited Lecture, Underground Railroad: Movement and Context. annual conference. College of St. Rose, Albany, New York. February 22, 2003.

LaFond, Deborah M. “Library Capacity Building in Africa.”African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Africa in the Information and Technology Age. Washington, D.C., December 6, 2002

LaFond, Deborah M., Mary K. Van Ullen, and Richard Irving. “The Electronic Library: Implications for Accessing Alternative-Press Periodicals.” Invited speakers, Eastern New York Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries Fall conference, University at Albany, Albany, New York, October 22, 2001.

LaFond, Deborah M., Mary K. Van Ullen, and Richard Irving. “Diversity in Collection Development: Comparing Access Strategies to Alternative-Press Periodicals.” Invited speakers, Capital District Librarian’s Council fall conference, Albany, New York, November 6, 2000.

LaFond, Deborah M. and Marcia Hernandez. “Educating Global Citizens: Faculty Partnerships in Critical Thinking--Teaching Race, Gender and Class,” Race, Gender, Class in Undergraduate and Graduate Education section, American Sociological Association annual conference. Washington, D.C., August 15, 2000.

LaFond, Deborah M. “The Angel Craze and Dime-Store Theologies: Rendering Meaning to the Masses through Media,” National Women’s Studies Association annual conference, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, June 16, 2000.

LaFond, Deborah M. “Using Feminist Pedagogy to Teach about Classism, Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism,” Using Interactive Learning, Intensive Writing, and Computer Technology to Teach about Inequality panel, National Women’s Studies Association annual conference, Oswego, New York, June 11, 1998.


Recipient of the Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Diversity Affirmative Action Leave Award, State of New York/United University Professions. for a research leave (Spring 2001). Toured select African libraries; interviewed librarians at the Library of Congress (Nairobi Office) and at academic libraries in Kenya and South Africa.

Exhibitions, Public Conference or Symposia Coordination

AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA: AGENTS FOR CHANGE An Interdisciplinary Conference The Consortium on Africa, University at Albany Friday March 24th, 2006 SUNY Albany Campus Center Ballroom, Program Coordinator, Deborah M. LaFond.

LaFond, Deborah M., Gerald Burke, and Brenda Hazard. “Threads of Scholarship: History and Storytelling in African-American Quilts.” University at Albany Libraries’ 2-Millionth-Volume Celebration. Permanent Exhibit, University Library Periodicals Room. Symposium, May 3, 2001. University Library, University at Albany.

LaFond, Deborah M., Anthony Howell, and Karen L. Starr.(co-curators) “Know Thy Family, Know Thyself: Piecing Together the Past Through Oral Histories, Archival Research and African Slave Naming Practices.” Exhibit, Science Library Lobby, University at Albany, March 28 – May 10, 2002.

LaFond, Deborah M., Donald R. Juedes, Rosemary Hennessy, and Vivien Ng. “Seeing Women Transnationally” (Campus video and discussion series). University at Albany, 1997-1998.

Instruction Web Pages

Women's Studies Resources

Africana Studies Resources

Psychology Resources

Finding and Interpreting Historical Threads and Patterns through Archival Research, Primary Source Documentation: A Primer Focusing on the Underground Railroad

Global Citizenship Through a Race, Gender, Class Lens

Threads of Scholarship:History and Storytelling in African American Quilts and bibliography

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