Karla J. Strand is a librarian, writer, and historian dedicated to using libraries and information for the empowerment of women and girls around the world. She’s a queer, feminist, trans-inclusive booknerd who’s continuously sharpening her disruptive skills as an anti-oppression accomplice in service to others.
Ms. Magazine both online, with the series “Feminist Know-It-All,” and in print, writing the “Bookmarks” column. She has articles and book reviews in Library Management, Journal of American History, Canadian Journal of History, Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review, Fearless She Wrote, The Startup, Invisible Illness, and Pulp Magazine, among others.
Strand’s first book, a history of the Office of the GWSL Librarian, is scheduled for publication in 2021 (Litwin Books). Other research interests include the missing and murdered Indigenous women’s movement, global library history, and white women’s roles in white supremacy, with geographic emphasis on the US, Nicaragua, and South Africa.
For a more detailed look at her experience, take a look at Strand CV 2019 (last updated October 2019).
About the GWSL
Created in 1977, the Office of the GWSL is one of the premier resources for support of gender and women’s studies and LGBTQ+ scholarship and librarianship in the US. From a base at UW-Madison’s Memorial Library, the Office serves the UW System and beyond in many ways, including with the publication of a GWS-focused journal and open-access resources.
Strand provides research assistance, creative cooperation, information sharing, and advocacy to scholars and activists whose work is focused on gender equality, women’s history, feminism, girls’ studies, and LGBTQ+ studies. She coordinates projects such as Wisconsin Women Making History and Women’s Knowledge Digital Library (WKDL). She is currently serving on the national boards of the Women’s Centennial Vote Initiative and Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association as well as the editorial board of Reveal Digital.
About the reviews
In her position as GWSL, Dr. Strand reviews nonfiction resources focused on gender, women, and queer issues and communities, especially reference items, scholarly books, digital resources, and films. A selection of these citations of reviews, print publications, and resource guides can be found on the Writing pages. She also reviews fiction and nonfiction books for the Ms. Magazine blog, her own blog, and for other publications.
Dr. Strand is focused on the work of women writers — more specifically, writing by women from historically underrepresented backgrounds including, but not limited to: Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) writers; queer, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, aromantic, asexual, and transgender/gender nonconforming (TGNC) writers; women writers from the Global South; women writers who are disabled, neurodivergent, fat, immigrants, justice-involved, or living in poverty.
See the Review Policy for more information on having Dr. Strand review your book.
About the person
Highly driven and focused on smashing goals, Karla still carves out time to travel, binge Peaky Blinders, learn Spanish with her partner, and drink gin and tonics. An open book, she deals with persistent depression and anxiety, wicked periods and anemia, and bouts of imposter syndrome but manages to be positive and hilarious much of the time. Karla prefers animals to people, is an outgoing introvert, and has a killer record collection.