My name is Karen Sobel. I serve as the Research & Instruction Librarian for Art, Architecture, Music, and Urban Planning at the Auraria Library in downtown Denver. The Auraria Library serves the populations of the University of Colorado Denver (my official employer), Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver, as well as the public. I have worked for Auraria since January 2008.

In December 2017, I received a Travel Grant from the University of Colorado Denver’s Office of Research Services. This will support my presentation at the BOBCATSSS 2018 conference in Riga, Latvia.

In 2017, I also received the Auraria Library’s Excellence in Research/Creative Activities Award. I am the library’s candidate for the university-level award. Thank you to my colleagues for honoring me in this way!

At Auraria, I perform library instruction sessions for art, architecture, music, urban planning, and related courses. Although much of my work focuses on librarianship in architecture and the fine arts, I maintain a strong interest in core curriculum requirements for undergraduate students, as well as in helping students build skills for college success.

In summer 2016, I began a doctoral program in the field of education. I have enjoyed delving deeply into issues of diversity in education — a major focus of CU Denver’s doctorate in education program. I look forward to researching information literacy as it crosses boundaries of discipline and experience in higher education.


My background:
I hold a Master of Science in Library Science and a Master of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I have also earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors, plus a minor in Psychology, from the Pennsylvania State University. I want to thank both of those institutions for teaching me things that matter, and for never letting me take the easy way out. Mentors in both of my Master’s programs taught me to teach, and to teach well. Both of my English programs gave me a solid background in postcolonial literature — my passion — as well as all the beautiful literatures leading up to it. Penn State gave me an interdisciplinary education. I studied and worked in the UK and India, took physics and physiology, rehearsed with musical groups nearly every day, took three courses in crunching statistics, and learned astronomy on icy nights at the university’s observatory. It really was the most remarkable training for a reference librarian.

Would you like to get in touch? Please send me an email using the contact form.