Allison Estell

Allison N. Estell, M.L.I.S., M.Phil., J.D.

Dean of the University Library



  • M.S. Library and Information Science, Simmons College
  • M.Phil. Musicology, Yale University
  • J.D., Duke University School of Law
  • A.B. Music, Middlebury College


Allison Estell is the Dean of the University Library. She started her work in libraries at Simmons College (now Simmons University), first as the Library Assistant for Research Services and then as the Learning Commons Librarian. More recently, she has worked at Wentworth Institute of Technology as the Associate Director for Access & Organization. As a librarian, she strives to provide equitable and meaningful access to the information and opportunities that enable people to achieve their goals.

An avid lifelong learner, Allison became interested in librarianship because of the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the LIS field and the opportunities it presents to continue to learn while also supporting the lifelong, often self-directed, learning of others. Allison has published papers on copyright literacy and on self-directed learning (SDL). Her research explores the role of SDL theory in information literacy education, professional development, and lifelong learning, and the ways that librarians and libraries can support self-directed learners, especially those choosing academic careers.