Skip to Content

College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Jennifer Weil Arns, Ph.D.

Title: Professor Emerita
Department: School of Information Science
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-2319
Fax: 803-777-7938

School of Information Science
Davis College, Room 202
1501 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Jennifer Arns


B.A., Latin American Studies, Syracuse University
M.L.S., Library Science, University of California, Berkeley
M.P.A., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Ph.D., Library and Information Science, UNC. Chapel Hill


Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Jennifer Arns was an information specialist, programmer-analyst, and senior evaluator at the U.S. General Accounting Office, where she managed and contributed to evaluations related to national defense, information policy and public health. She is now interested in the contributions that public organizations make to the prosperity of their communities.


Arns’ research interests include the construction of knowledge in public settings, organizational theory, communication theory, public library governance and operations, program planning and evaluation, economics and cultural heritage institutions.

Funded Research

2010, The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership:  An Experiment in Responsive Doctoral Studies. Co-Principal Investigator, $931,313. 

2008, The Institute of Museum and Library Services. META: Assessing the Economic Value of Public Library Services: A Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis. Principal Investigator, $207,000. 

2006, The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Creating the Next Generation of Teacher Scholars for Library and Information Science Education in the Area of Children, Families, and Literacy. Co-Principal Investigator, $1,400,000.  

2006, The University of South Carolina. Office of Research and Health Sciences. Communication Patterns and Knowledge Gaps among Evacuees in Baton Rouge Before and After Hurricane Katrina. Co-Principal Investigator. J. Arns.  $24,980. 


Dr. Arns teaches master’s and doctoral degree courses in four areas: research methods, public libraries, information practices, and cultural heritage institutions. She approaches her work with three primary objectives: promoting intellectual independence, encouraging the analytical and forward-thinking skills that mark successful personal performance, and fostering the behaviors that mark successful career advancement. Her courses include SLIS 705, SLIS 766, SLIS 755, SLIS801, SLIS 802, SLIS803, and SLIS806.

Recent Publications

Arns, J. (2015). (Ed.) Annual Review of Cultural History Informatics, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Arns, J. (2013). Assessing the value of public library services: Promises and prospects. University of South Carolina. School of Information Science.

Williams, R.V., Arns, J. W., Roughen, P., & Miller, K. (2013). Religious attitudes and attitudes about scientific issues: An analysis of their social context in the United States. Third Annual Conference on Information and Religion. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Published in Advances in the Study of Information and Religion, 3. Available at

Arns, J. (2012). Assessing the economic value of public library collections and services: A timely review and Meta-Analysis. International Association of Library Associations and Institutions Satellite Meeting. Statistics and Evaluation Section. University of Turku, Turku, Finland. August 9, 2012. 

Arns, J. (2012). A penny earned: making the case for public library investment using the results of recent research and meta-analysis. 4th Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Libraries International Conference. Limerick, Ireland. May 22 – May 25.

Arns, J. & Daniel, E. (2011). Cutback management in U.S public libraries: Deliberations, decision spaces, and reflections. In Anne Woodsworth (ed.) Librarianship in Times of Crisis (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 34), Emerald Group Publishing, 37-58.


Doctoral committee chairman, School of Information Science

Member, American Library Association

American Library Association representative, Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums

President and president-elect, Library Research Roundtable

External review panelist, Office of Accreditation

Member, International Federation of Library Associations

Steering committee, Library Theory and Research Section

Former grant review panelist, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian and National Leadership Grant Programs, U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services

Former grant review panelist, U. S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program


Arns has recently traveled to Ireland, Singapore, Finland, Demark, and Cape Town; and she enjoys visiting family and friends in New England and Charleston. In her spare time, she reads euro-crime fiction, The Economist, and Cat Fancy. When she was younger, she raced sailboats at the national level.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.