Best wishes to Debra Shapiro

picture of debra shapiro

Best Wishes to Debra Shapiro Congratulations to Debra Shapiro, who will retire from the iSchool on June 30. Shapiro (MA LIS ’91) joined the department professionally in 2000 to work in continuing education services, and became the coordinator of the online master of arts program in 2006. Her previous experience included working as a reference and instruction librarian, photo archivist, picture researcher at Pleasant Company in Middleton, Wisconsin, and internet cataloger at the Scout Project. “I was attracted back to the iSchool because of my interest in teaching and developing online courses,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro’s many achievements include developing, redeveloping, and managing the school’s website as the technology evolved from hand-coded HTML to a content management system and finally to WordPress, organizing the online master of arts “Bootcamp” orientation, and matching hundreds of students with practicum experiences. Additionally, Shapiro was integral in the creation of the iSchool core course — Information: Organization and Search, which she has taught each fall. Shapiro’s work extended beyond the department with her involvement in shared governance at UW. She first served as an Academic Staff Assembly rep and then as a member of the Academic Staff Executive Committee from 2013–2021. Beyond the university, Shapiro has been active in professional associations, particularly the American Library Association’s technology division (Library Information Technology Association, now Core).

“During my career I always tried to share practical advice with students to help them apply their unique talents in the profession, and I always encouraged students to join professional associations and attend conferences, for the valuable networking and a better view of the bigger picture.”

When asked what she will miss most, Shapiro says, “My wonderful colleagues, of course, but also the feeling of optimism I have when I update a course for a new semester and think this version of the course is really going to work for students!” You will be missed, Deb!

Interested in making a donation to the iSchool in Deb’s honor? Visit Please specify your gift is in her honor. All gifts will be used to support students attending conferences and professional events.