Pia Russell


Pia Russell, BA MISt MEd
Education, Children's Literature, Gender Studies, and Indigenous Studies Librarian

Welcome to UVic Libraries!  If you are a new or returning student in the Faculty of Education or the Department of Gender Studies please let me know if I can assist you with your research, my contact information is below. 

Office and Reference Hours:
- By appointment in my office in McPherson Library (email me to set up a time)
- You may also contact McPherson Library's Research Help Desk for research assistance.

Office A225
McPherson Library
3800 Finnerty Road
Victoria, BC  V8P 5C2
Tel. 250.721.8259 (Local: 8259)
Email: prussell (at) uvic (dot) ca
Twitter: @LibrarianPia

Mailing address:
University of Victoria Libraries
PO Box 1800 STN CSC
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3H5 

If you are a student or instructor studying education, gender studies, or children's literature you may find it helpful to consult some of the UVic Libraries' subject guides I have created.  These guides are a good starting point for your library research.  It would also be a pleasure to meet with you during my office hours.

Consult UVic Libraries' subject guides on topics in Indigenous Studies:

Consult UVic Libraries' subject guides on topics in Gender Studies:

Consult UVic Libraries' subject guides on topics in Education:


Consult UVic Libraries' subject guide on Children's Literature:

UVic's Music Librarian, Bill Blair, has developed a subject guide for Music Education:

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  For urgent questions during the evenings and weekends please contact McPherson Library's Research Help Desk.

Libraries are my professional passion and I have worked in this field since 1997.  Currently, I am UVic's librarian for Education, Children's Literature, and Gender Studies.  Since arriving at UVic in 2006, I have held numerous positions such as: Head of the Curriculum Library; Assessment Projects Librarian; Learning Commons Librarian; Teaching and Learning Librarian; and, Information Literacy Librarian.  In 2006 I received my Master of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), where I specialized in mixed methods research, program evaluation, and assessment for learning.  I graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information Studies with my Master of Information Studies in 2004 with a concentration in both Archival and Library Studies; my thesis was titled 'Information Literacy and Education Policy: An Instrumental Case Study of the Ontario Public School Curriculum.'  I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia, where I completed a year abroad at the University of Copenhagen. 

I have held previous positions as a librarian or a library assistant at the University of Toronto Libraries, The Globe and Mail Editorial Reference Library, and the University of British Columbia.  Additionally, I have been a Research or Teaching Assistant at the University of Victoria, the University of Washington's iSchool, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.  I have published in scholarly and professional journals such as School Libraries Worldwide, The Journal of Mixed Methods Research, and Feliciter, provided research consultation on large-scale library assessment projects such as the British Columbia Library Association's Professional Learning Assessment survey, and have served as an academic and programme reviewer.  Additionally, I have presented on the topics of historic education publications, library assessment, information literacy, mixed methods research, and school libraries at conferences such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA), the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), the Canadian Association of Information Science (CAIS), the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), the Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX), the Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), and the Ontario Library Association (OLA).  I frequently serve as a reviewer for journals in the fields of librarianship, information studies, history, and education.

In September 2016 I began studies in the Master of Arts in Public History program at the University of Victoria's Department of History under the supervision of Prof. Lynne Marks.  My studies in history focus on public history, museum studies, heritage conservation, digital humanities (particularly text encoding or TEI), the history of nineteenth and early twentieth-century British Columbia, Indigenous studies, and the history of education.  These studies inform my research interest in BC's textbook history and my work with the UVic Libraries' collection of historic textbooks.  To learn more about this project, please consult the UVic Libraries' British Columbia Historical Textbooks digital collection.  You can also learn more about this project by watching my Faces of UVic Research video or listening to a CBC Radio One segment about this unique collection of historical textbooks which aired the week of September 4th, 2018 as part of a special series about Indigenous curriculum in BC titled 'Beyond Beads and Bannock'.

My research interests include:

  • Academic libraries as sites for truth, reconciliation, and resurgence.  Libraries, Indigeniety, and decolonization
  • Public history, digital scholarship, and text-encoding
  • Educational documents and publications as historical sources, particularly textbooks
  • The role of information in social justice contexts, particularly for women and children
  • Social Science research methodology, particularly mixed-methods and longitudinal research applications
  • Library assessment, program evaluation, and performance measurement, particularly with educational initiatives