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About Free Range Librarian

K.G. Schneider, Librarian and Writer. Photo by Cindi Trainor

K.G. Schneider, Librarian and Writer. Photo by Cindi Trainor

Free Range Librarian comprises the public, though sadly infrequent, mumblings and grumblings of one K.G. Schneider, a writer and librarian who has published over 100 articles and essays, 2 books, a dissertation, and three unreliable beer recipes. 

About her day job (What, she doesn’t write this blog for a living?!):  Schneider (aka Karen, K.G., Kaygee, or “hey you”) is the Dean of the Library at Sonoma State University, an august entity that disavows everything written on this blog and through the wriggling of eyebrows hints around that perhaps she could be doing something better with my time like running a university library, yo. She was formerly the University Librarian at Holy Names University in Oakland, California (a place that seems remarkably similar to the “Cupcake U” she sometimes blogged about) and has managed and led nearly every type of library, though she regrets never having driven a bookmobile.

Trying to reach her? Email She is also on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin.

Her less technical writing includes essays, portraits, travelogues, video reviews, and a historically dubious account of Washington crossing the Delaware. She has been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, The Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2, Gastronomica, White Crane, Nerve, Ninth Letter,, IT Managers Journal, American Libraries, Library Journal, The Bottom Line, the dear departed Wilson Library Bulletin, a few other places she can’t remember, and has articles forthcoming elsewhere, but chooses not to jinx the process by naming the lucky publications.

Schneider’s technology writing has been recognized in a variety of venues for being both lively and learned (“venues” in this case meaning “homes of close friends or relatives”). From 2005 through 2007 she wrote at ALA Techsource, where readers showered her with compliments such as “Stop using the work ‘suck’, you tramp!” and “My cataloger can beat up your metadata specialist!” From 1995 to 2001, as the Internet Librarian columnist for American Libraries (circulation 66,000), Schneider consistently ranked in magazine surveys as AL’s most popular author. In 1998, her article “The Tao of Internet Costs,” one of the first discussions within librarianship about sustainable technology funding, was selected as an article of the year for The Bottom Line, a journal of library finances. In 1998, as author of A Practical Guide to Internet Filters, Schneider provided expert testimony for Mainstream Loudoun vs. Board of Trustees, a pivotal First Amendment case about free speech on the Internet. She also co-moderated PUBLIB, a discussion list for public librarians, for close to twenty years until gently reminding its members that she had not worked in a public library in close to a decade, and misses the days when she could goad them into their annual “Should we have Christmas trees in the library?” argument, which is almost as fun as the fine zymurgical art of homebrewing, a hobby she inflicts upon unsuspecting visitors.

Schneider is also an enthusiastic speaker, presenter, and educator who in 2000 was named by the PUBLIB as one of the top ten speakers in librarianship. She bought a few votes to get there, but still! Many of these speeches were delivered on the floor of the Council of the American Library Association, a body to which she has been inexplicably elected five times. In 2014 she was awarded the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award based in part on testimony from former library employees that the four words they feared most were Schneider saying, “I have an idea.”

A skilled treadmiller, Schneider is also an Air Force veteran (1983-1991) and a graduate of Barnard College, University of Illinois, University of San Francisco, and Simmons College, which finally got rid of her by awarding her a doctorate in library science (remember Ask Dr. Science? That kind of science).

Schneider, a world traveler who has lived in such exotic locales as Clovis, New Mexico and Tallahassee, Florida, now lives in the halcyon environ of Sonoma County with her long-suffering partner Sandy and their imperious ginger cat, Samson.