Felicia A. Smith, MLIS, is the inaugural Racial Justice and Social Equity Librarian at Stanford Libraries. Felicia is responsible for outreach to faculty and students interested in issues of race, ethnicity, and social equity across all schools and departments including the Department of African and African American Studies, as well as the Equity, Community, Leadership (ECL) centers. Felicia is responsible for collection development of research materials in all formats that support the research and teaching needs of scholars working on those issues. She works with other bibliographers to identify publishers and data sources that expand the breadth of Stanford’s collections.

Felicia believes that as an African American librarian, she is charged with the awesome responsibility of being a keeper of the light and protector of our shared memories.

Felicia was the visionary for Stanford University Libraries' exhibit titled, Say Their Names – No More Names. This forget-me-not exhibit highlights 65 names of recognizable victims who represent larger groups of lesser-known victims. This exhibit includes the names of 330 victims, 3 admitted cases of governmental systemic racism and is online at

In addition to her numerous national and international presentations, Felicia has published several peer-reviewed articles as well as a book, Cybrarian Extraordinaire, detailing her highly successful and unique approach to library instruction. Felicia created a program that taught Information Literacy using Kindles for inmates in a Juvenile Jail. Previously, Felicia was as a Criminal Defense Private Investigator in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in homicide and narcotics. Her motto is, "I make the unknown, known."

Felicia received a Master of Library Science degree, from Dominican University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her past positions include serving as the Latino Studies Subject Specialist as an Assistant Librarian, at the University of Notre Dame.

Current Role at Stanford

Racial Justice and Social Equity Librarian at Stanford Libraries.

Honors & Awards

  • Black Community Service Center (BCSC) Community Service Award Nominee, Stanford University's Black Community Service Center (BCSC) (May 28, 2021)

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, Public Relations/ Communications (1994)
  • MLIS, Dominican University, Master of Library Science (2004)


  • Rainbow Coalition Alumni Panel, Stanford University (October 24, 2023 - 10/24/2023)

    Felicia Smith moderated a panel of former activist alumni who were a part of the original Take Back the Mic protest and Rainbow Coalition at Stanford. Listen to their experience and learn how their activism changed Stanford as we know it today.


    Stanford, CA

  • KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) Project, Stanford University

    Stanford Libraries is supporting the mission of individuals working to end systemic racism by creating a searchable database—called KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR)—that helps people at Stanford and beyond to:

    Discover and critically evaluate data regarding systemic racism against people of African descent across U.S. institutions,
    Trace the historical formation and interconnections of institutional discrimination,
    Take action by (a) knowing their rights and (b) identifying and connecting with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and grassroots groups that address racism.
    The KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) tool will collect, digitize and archive data that is evidence of systemic racism, oral histories and personal narratives documenting discrimination for use in racial and social justice research. The KSR will also cultivate a local network of Stanford scholars and community organizers to identify ways to ameliorate racial discriminatory practices in the Bay Area.

    Freely accessible to the general public, the KSR database will have a user-friendly web interface that is tailored to people with different needs and skill levels—from faculty to community activists, from individual citizens to classroom users. The intricate work of collecting, curating, and preserving data will be done by librarians, in concert with faculty advisors and our counterpart academic librarians at other institutions. The KSR’s Police Training Manual collection is currently being duplicated by Howard University’s Law Library which is just one of our partners at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). These manuals include important policies such as Use of Force and/or Chokeholds.

    To limit the universe of possible issues, we have decided to focus in this prototype development phase on (1) housing and neighborhood conditions and (2) policing and the criminal "legal" system in the San Francisco Bay Area, after which we may expand to other topics. The term criminal "justice" system is too often unjust so is referred to as the "legal" system instead. Stanford’s KSR will serve as a prototype for other academic libraries to adopt and adapt in their regions, thus enabling the KSR to increase its scale through a sustainable and egalitarian collaborative network that furthers social justice.

    Our project does much more than simply “track” racism, so we changed the same from the Systemic Racism Tracker (SRT). The KSR name also works great as a way to connect with our KNOW Justice, KNOW Peace Banner that usually hangs outside of Green Library as part of our aforementioned Say Their Names – No More Names exhibit.

    KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) will be unique in its focus on interconnections of discriminatory systems that impact different areas of people's lives.

    As the Racial Justice Social & Equity Librarian, I hope to assemble a Stanford Justice League of like-minded thought-warriors who are willing to join our efforts to build the KSR.

    We are hoping the initial prototype will secure funding so we can help society KNOW about the harm caused by systemic racism and help usher in a world where all people Know Justice, Know Peace and where there is "NO" Systemic Racism.


    stanford, ca

  • Say Their Names – No More Names, Stanford University (9/4/2020 - Present)

    Felicia created a new exhibit titled Say Their Names--No More Names, which highlights sixty-five people, chosen because they represent a variety of Black Americans whose lives were taken, or impacted, by violent attacks. The exhibit is meant to inspire discussions, raise questions and stimulate research on the topic of systemic racism in the United States.


    stanford, ca

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Fair, Stanford University (10/24/2023 - 10/25/2023)

    The third annual Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Fair sponsored by Stanford Libraries took place on October 25 on the East Wing patio of Green Library. “We use the acronym JEDI rather than the conventional DEI to emphasize that diversity programs must put Justice first to be effective,” said the event organizers, Racial Justice & Social Equity Librarian Felicia A. Smith and User Experience Designer for Digital Library Systems & Services Astrid M. Usong.

    Exhibitors at the JEDI Fair showcased social justice archives from the library and distributed information about DEI initiatives happening around campus, with a goal of empowering students to get involved in making the university and community more just and equitable. Afterwards, fairgoers enjoyed listening to selections from the recently acquired Dijkstra Black Music Collection, a vast collection of Black music on vinyl spanning a wide range of genres.

    On the prior day in conjunction with the JEDI Fair, the Rainbow Coalition Alumni Panel, consisting of former student activists who participated in the original Take Back the Mic protest and Rainbow Coalition, took place. “Stanford’s new African & African American Studies Department is a direct result of the Take Back the Mic protest,” Smith said. “The issues raised by the Rainbow Agenda were listed in the ‘University Committee on Minority Affairs’ Final Report’ and we continue to seek measurable progress on them.”


    Stanford, CA

  • "The 2020 Project" by the African & African American Studies (AAAS) Program, Stanford University (10/19/2020 - Present)

    "The 2020 Project" is a Special Issue publication coordinated by the African & African American Studies Program at Stanford University (AAAS). aims to help illuminate the significance of this moment and the collective struggles faced by Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Stanford. We grapple with anti-blackness and its implications on climate on and off campus. Drawing inspiration from The 1619 Project, “The 2020 Project” is named for all that this year lays bare about power, crisis, and the im/possibilities of being Black at Stanford, in America, and across the world.

    Felicia Smith's Juneteenth video essay is included in the Videos/Audios section.


    stanford, ca

  • Community College students pursue DH research through CESTA partnership with OCE and SUL, Stanford University (4/13/1972 - 4/13/1972)

    Thanks to an award from the Office of Community Engagement (OCE) and our partner at Foothill College, Dr. Falk Cammin, KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) was able to work with CESTA’s Community College Summer Internship to fund twelve interns this summer—and added De Anza College students. The eight-week long summer program provided the student interns with training in Digital Humanities-related skills, such as computational text analysis, spatial analysis, and data visualization, all through hands-on and project-focused research experience. The students, grouped into three research teams, all worked on the KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) project, created and led in the Stanford Libraries by Felicia Smith, the Racial Justice and Social Equity Librarian. SUL Digital Research Architect and CESTA affiliate Nicole Coleman led the students in their summer project research.



  • Stanford makes community college connections, Stanford University (7/18/2022 - 8/18/2022)

    In April 2022, Stanford’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) and OSO created a new community of practice, bringing together faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and staff who work with community college programs and students. The formation of the group facilitates idea exchange, more coordinated planning, and shared problem-solving.

    Nearly 30 offices across Stanford now have programs for community college students to participate in research and education opportunities. From the social sciences to neuroscience, from humanities to nanotechnology and beyond, units at Stanford are connecting with community colleges to illuminate academic paths that students might not have glimpsed before.

    Four programs received funding from Stanford’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE), including the following Digital Humanities Research and Training program:

    The Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) partnered with Foothill College, College of San Mateo, and De Anza College to develop a summer quarter 2022 program for Bay Area community college students interested in pursuing humanities-adjacent careers or courses of study. OCE funding supported 12 summer research internships for an eight-week program. The interns, paired with Stanford humanities doctoral students, worked on digital humanities projects that advance Stanford Libraries’ KNOW Systemic Racism project. Interns learned skills such as research design, data analysis and visualization techniques, and digital publication strategies. Feedback will support CESTA’s ongoing development of broader partnerships in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.


    stanford, ca

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • People of Color in Technology Advisory Group, Stanford University (8/30/2019 - Present)

    IDEAL IT is a CIO Council-sponsored program that promotes and advances the Stanford Presidential IDEAL initiative within the IT Community at Stanford. IDEAL stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Community, and is a cornerstone of Stanford’s diversity initiatives. The sub-programs that make up IDEAL IT reflect our commitment to providing opportunities where individuals with diverse backgrounds can collaborate, grow, and excel across different functions and disciplines. POC-IT is one of those sub-programs or Affinity Groups. Stanford POC-IT is a university-wide program that advances representation, engagement, and support for people of color in technology roles.


    stanford, ca

  • ‘Say Their Names — No More Names’ Black Lives Matter Exhibit, Stanford University (September 4, 2020 - Present)


    stanford, california

  • Rise Up for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Stanford University (May 10, 2021 - Present)

    Felicia Smith helped create Rise Up exhibit in 2021. Similar to the Say Their Names exhibit, in 2020, Stanford Libraries wanted this effort to be a beacon of hope to all those in the AAPI community who ever felt like they did not belong or did not matter.


    Stanford, CA

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • Virtual Reality in Libraries is Common Sense Library Hi Tech New Smith, F. A. 2019; 36 (6): 10-13
  • Linguistic Diversity in Libraries LIBRARY JOURNAL Smith, F. A. 2018; 143 (11): 17
  • Evaluating the Options for Virtual Reality in Literacy Instruction Computers in Libraries Smith, F. A. 2018
  • Artificial Intelligence & Malicious Steganography Computers in Libraries, Smith, F. A. 2018
  • Should Libraries Even Consider Hacking Back If Attacked? Computers in Libraries Smith, F. A. 2017; 37 (1): 14-16
  • The Amazing Library Titles Race LIBRARY JOURNAL Smith, F. A. 2015; 140 (15): 20
  • In Praise of Helicopter Librarians LIBRARY JOURNAL Smith, F. A. 2012; 137 (18): 42
  • Perspectives on . . . The pirate-teacher JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIANSHIP Smith, F. A. 2007; 33 (2): 276–88
  • J.A.W.S. -- A Historical Perspective The Journal of Electronic Publishing Smith, F. A. 2007; 10 (2)

    View details for DOI 10.3998/3336451.0010.209

  • Games for Teaching Information Literacy Skills. Library Philosophy and Practice Smith, F. A. 2007; 9 (2)