Van Houlson

Journalism and Strategic Communication Librarian

About me

I am the librarian for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, who can provide faculty and students with research and instructional support. Contact me with any questions about newspaper collections, news analysis, media studies, product analysis, consumer demographics, advertising campaigns, public relations, or business research.

Available by email, phone, appointments, or during office hours at the Sevareid Journalism Library


  • Monday       2-4 pm
  • Wednesday  10-noon
  • Thursday     2-4 pm

In addition to developing collections and providing reference services, I facilitate support from the University Libraries to promote alternatives to academic publishing, educate users about copyright, and support instructional efforts that build information and research competencies among students.

Advertising and market research
Career information
Company and industry information
Consumer demographics and product usage
Literature searching for articles and books
Newspaper archives

Bibliographic software (RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley)
Video capture software (Camtasia Studio, Adobe Captivate, Snag-It)


B.A. Philosophy, Iowa State University
M.A. Library Science, University of Iowa

Selected Presentations and Publications

"Getting Results from One-Shot Instruction: A Workshop for First-Year Students" College & Undergraduate Libraries; 2007, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p89-108

Co-authored with Kate McCready and Carla Steinberg Pfahl "Window into Our Patron's Needs: Analyzing Data from Chat Transcripts" Internet Reference Services Quarterly; 2006, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p19-39