Mega Subramaniam

Mega  Subramaniam

Mega Subramaniam

Associate Professor & Associate Director, Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC)
4121E Hornbake Bldg, South Wing
(301) 405-3406


Dr. Subramaniam’s research focuses on enhancing the role of libraries in fostering the mastery of information and new media literacies that are essential to STEM learning among underserved young people. Dr. Subramaniam teaches courses offered in the MLS program, specifically courses in the School Library and the Diversity and Inclusion specializations. She led the development of Youth Experience (YX), a new specialization in the MLS program that begins in Fall 2016, and a post-master’s certificate in YX that will begin in Fall 2017 that re-envisions the education of youth librarians so that youth librarians can better understand how youth learn with technology and thus integrate dynamic community partnerships, participatory design, and design thinking in their program offerings and services. Dr. Subramaniam is also co-leading the ConnectedLib project to develop a suite of professional development resources aimed at building teen librarians’ capacity to leverage digital media and connected learning principles to promote 21st century skills among the youth they serve. She serves as the co-editor of the School Library Research journal. Additionally, she currently serves as a Board Member for Young Adults Library Services Association (YALSA) and co-chairs the International Relations Committee for ASIS&T. She co-led the development of Sci-Dentity, an after-school program that encourages the acquisition of new media literacy by young people to create, remix, and write science inspired stories with different media based on real science phenomena.  She is also interested in finding new pedagogical methods to facilitate the learning of new media literacy skills. She was the lead investigator for the HackHealth after-school program, designed to devise innovative ways to assist young people with digital literacy skills that are necessary for health literacy development. Additionally, she is also interested in embedding the findings of her research into education and training of current children and teen librarians through continuing education programs such as ConnectedLib. Dr. Subramaniam’s work has been funded by the Institute of Museum & Library Services, the National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, among others. Dr. Subramaniam and her research teams have won several awards for their research papers, including the ALISE/LMC Youth paper award, ALA Library Research Round Table/Beta Phi Mu award, and the ASIST SIG-USE Best Information Behavior paper award. Dr. Subramaniam is currently on sabbatical until Summer 2017.


Ph.D. Information Studies, Florida State University, College of Information
M.S. Education (Instructional Systems Technology), Indiana University, College of Education
B.S. Education (Computing and Mathematics), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Education

Research Interests

Use of school and public libraries as effective learning environments
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) interest among underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged young adults
Socio-culturally relevant STEM learning environments in libraries
Library programs that can engage young people in scientific inquiry experiences
Facilitating the learning of new media and digital literacy skills needed to be successful in STEM environments


  • LBSC742 - Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation
  • LBSC622 - Information and Universal Usability
  • LBSC620 - Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information

Recent Publications & Products

  • Winner of the 2015 YALSA Midwinter Paper presentation award / Subramaniam, M. (2016). Designing the library of the future for and with teens: Librarians as the “connector” in connected learning. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. [Full paper]

  • Winner of the ALISE-LMC Youth Best Paper Award / Subramaniam, M., St. Jean, B., Taylor, N. G., Kodama, C., Follman, R., & Casciotti, D. (2015). Bit by bit: Using design-based research to improve young peoples’ health literacy. Journal of Medical Internet Research Protocols. [Full paper]

  • Winner of the ALA LRRT Round Table/Beta Phi Mu Best Research Paper Award / Subramaniam, M. Taylor, N. G., St. Jean, B., Follman, R., Kodama, C., & Casciotti, D. (2015). As simple as that?: Tween credibility assessment in a complex online world. Journal of Documentation [Link to full article]


Research Projects: 

Connected Learning at the Library: Developing Librarians' Capacity to Support Today's Digital Youth

Principal Investigator: Mega Subramaniam Dr. Katie Davis

This project brings together faculty members from the library and information science (LIS) schools at the University of Washington and University of Maryland and public library partners to develop a suite of professional development resources aimed at building public librarians’ capacity to leverage digital media and connected learning principles to promote 21st century skills among the youth they serve.

Embracing Participatory Design and Design Thinking in Children and Youth Librarianship

Principal Investigator: Mega Subramaniam
Investigator: Paul T. Jaeger

The iSchool and the College of Education at the University of Maryland, along with organizations within the American Library Association (ALA), are committed to advancing youth learning in libraries to develop a 12-credit online post-master’s certificate program.