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Photo of Dempsey, Paula

Paula Dempsey

Associate Professor and Head Librarian, Research Services & Resources


Building & Room:

Richard J. Daley Library

Office Phone:



I joined the Library Faculty in February 2014, charged with shaping the library liaison program to provide innovative, user-centered services in collections development, reference, and information literacy instruction.

Previously, I served in a number of capacities at DePaul University Library, including management of reference, instruction, inter library loan, reserves services, circulation, and the library assessment program at both the John T. Richardson Library in Lincoln Park and the Loop Library. During my service at DePaul, I also earned a PhD in sociology at Loyola University Chicago, with special interest in the sociology of religion and work and occupations.

At DePaul I also taught Sociology 101 and graduate courses in research methods for the School of Public Service.

My research has focused on twin streams of interest in the sociology of religion and the profession of librarianship. As a primarily qualitative researcher interested in American religion, I performed documentary analysis of the publications of the largest U.S. Christian denominations concerning any aspect of money and money management. This research led to a post-graduate association with the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at IUPUI.

My interest in the sociology of work and occupations led to a study of professional identity among librarians. I am currently engaged in analyzing the balance between service and information literacy instruction in the context of instant messaging (IM) chat reference transactions between library faculty/staff and students and other library users.