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UIC Library Faculty Profile: Jeff Wheeler, Reference and Liaison Librarian for History, Anthropology, and Criminology, Law and Justice: Home


Jeff Wheeler is Liaison Librarian to the University of Illinois at Chicago's History; Anthropology; and Criminology, Law and Justice Departments. He earned his Master's in Library Science from Drexel University in 2007, has over 6 years professional librarian experience, and is finishing his PhD in History here at UIC.

Before coming to UIC, he worked as a music librarian and neighborhood library branch manager at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and a library assistant at Drexel University's Health Sciences Library. Jeff had been a teaching assistant in UIC's History Department, and a Graduate Assistant in the Richard J Daley Library IDEA Commons, since he began the PhD program in 2014. 


I investigate transformations in urban library services in the late-20th century as a window into the cultural and political history of education, philanthropy, and social services after the mid-1960s. Engaging urban history, labor history, and the history of education, my research critically examines shifts in the practice of public librarianship in relation to federal education and economic policy and demographic change. After completing the PhD, I hope to extend my research to contextualize the evolution of academic librarianship in the late-20th century within the larger information economy and history of education.


Wheeler, J. (2021). “How Much Is Not Enough?”: Public Library Outreach to “Disadvantaged” Communities in the War on Poverty. The Library Quarterly (Chicago)91(2), 190–208.

"The 'Poor Man's University' and the 'War on Poverty': Public Libraries Confront Social Inequality." Paper presented at Labor and Working-Class History Association Conference, Duke University, Panel: Approaching the Public Sector in the Late Twentieth-Century, May 30-June 1, 2019.

“Library Worker Activism and the Politics of Class in Public Sector Unions.” Paper presented at North American Labor History Conference, Wayne State University, Panel: Organizing and Activism by Public Employees, October 20, 2017.

Reference & Liaison Librarian

Curricula Vitae