Deborah H. Charbonneau (ao8245)

University information

Title: Professor
Unit: School of Library & Information Sci
Department: University Libraries

Contact information

School of Library and Information Science
106 Kresge Library
Detroit, 48202

School of Information Sciences

Phone: 888-497-8754 FREE ext. 709

Deborah Charbonneau is a Professor in the School of Information Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty, she held positions at the Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library at Wayne State University and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. She also served as Principal Investigator for the Urban Health Partners program, a public health outreach project funded by the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health where she facilitated partnerships between the library and community agencies to address issues of health equity and health disparities. Her research has been funded by various government organizations and encompasses investigations into how information technologies can be effective in enhancing the skills of health providers serving historically underrepresented communities.

Her recent peer-reviewed published journal articles focus on emerging library services during the COVID-19 pandemic and evidence syntheses to combat pandemic misinformation. In one study currently in progress, Dr. Charbonneau is exploring the experiences of disabled and neurodiverse PhD students in LIS programs in the United States and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic (along with Dr. Keren Dali from the University of Denver). Additionally, Deborah currently serves as a Research Advisor for a project with the WSU Institute of Gerontology examining health care access, social isolation, and digital exclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic among older African American adults in the city of Detroit. She has been an invited guest speaker to health departments, community groups, and public libraries.

Deborah was a visiting Research Fellow at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in Fall 2018. She was selected as the 2015-2017 New Leader for the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). Deborah also received the 2014 Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship from the Medical Library Association. She is the recipient of the 2023 ALISE/ProQuest Methodology Paper Competition (co-authored with Dr. Keren Dali from the University of Denver).

Research Interests

Dr. Charbonneau is currently working on research projects that investigate the following:  

1. Adoption and acceptance of interactive health technologies among cancer survivors

2. Retracted publications in autism research

3. Digital health literacy skills among older adults

4. Programs and practices related to health misinformation in communities


Teaching Responsibilities

Management and Leadership (INF 7040), Health Informatics (INF 7620), Research Methods (INF 7996), and Information Policy (INF 8000).

Community Engagement Activities

Dr. Charbonneau does significant work in capacity building through collaborations with professional organizations such as the Medical Library Association and Ontario Health Libraries Association. She also coordinates a book donation program for residents in nursing homes in the Detroit area.

Degrees and Certifications:


  • Ph.D., Sociology, Wayne State University
  • Master of Library Science (M.L.S.), University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., English Literature, University of Pittsburgh
Title: Professor and Chair of MLIS Program
Awards and Honors:
  • Recipient of the ALISE/ProQuest Methodology Paper Competition (co-authored with Dr. Keren Dali from the University of Denver), 2023
  • Faculty Accessibility Fellow, Wayne State University, 2022
  • Research Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Fall 2018
  • Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) New Leaders Award, 2015-17
  • Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship, Medical Library Association, 2014
  • Featured during National Medical Librarians Month
  • Awarded a scholarship to attend the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (Harvard University)
  • Awarded National Library of Medicine Medical Informatics Fellowship to attend training at the Marine Biological Institute (Woods Hole, Massachusetts)
  • Invited to attend the Library Leadership Institute at Snowbird, Utah


Homepage URL:
Academic Interests:

Health sciences librarianship, health science information research, academic librarianship, outreach, library management, leadership, information seeking, health literacy, health communication, consumer health, accessibility in libraries, scientific data sharing, open science, public access, health informatics, health disparities, information privacy, research methods, copyright, and scholarly communication issues.

Office Hours:

Wednesdays from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET and By Appointment.

Recent Publications:

Charbonneau, D.H., D’Arpa, C., & Belz, S. (2024). Community health programs and partnerships: Perspectives from public library directors. Journal of Library Administration, 64(4), 481-494. DOI:10.1080/01930826.2024.2330864


Dali, K. & Charbonneau, D.H. (2024). Academic ableism and the experiences of disabled and neurodiverse Ph.D. students in LIS programs (Part 2). Education for Information. DOI: 10.3233/EFI-240001

Dali, K. Charbonneau, D.H., & Zhu, Y. (2024). Scientific empathy and the 12 principles for evaluating hermeneutic phenomenological research. Library Quarterly. Forthcoming.


Charbonneau, D.H., Vardell, E., Huber, J.T., Shapiro, R.M., & Kean, E.B. (2024). Publication output and trends of LIS faculty teaching health related courses: Connecting research, teaching, and practice. Journal of Education in Library and Information Science. DOI: 10.3138/jelis-2023-0004

Charbonneau, D.H., D'Arpa, C., & Belz, S. (2024). Partnerships for health literacy: Information access, training, and programs. In E. Vardell & D. H. Charbonneau (Eds.), Health Literacy and Libraries. Rowman & Littlefield (pp. 307-321). ISBN: 978-1-5381-8078-5. eBook: 978-1-5381-8080-8.

Dali, K. and Charbonneau, D.H. (2024). The experiences of disabled and neurodiverse Ph.D. students in LIS programs during the COVID-19 pandemic: Weathering the storm (Part 1). Education for Information, 40(2), 195-228.. DOI: 10.3233/EFI-230088

Dali, K. and Charbonneau, D.H. (2024). The holistic empowering methodological approach (HEMA): Putting participants in the driver’s seat. Journal of Education in Library and Information Science, 65(2), 182-215. DOI:10.3138/jelis-2023-0018

Vardell, E., & Charbonneau, D.H. (Eds.). (2024). Health literacy and libraries. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN: 978-1-5381-8078-5 (hardback), 978-1-5381-8079-2 (paperback), and 978-1-5381-8080-8 (eBook).

Charbonneau, D.H. and Ketcheson, L.R. (2024). Retracted publications in autism research are mostly concerned with ethical misconduct. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 41(1), 64-75. DOI: 

Wentz, C.F., Charbonneau, D.H., & Ketcheson, L.R. (2023). A scoping review of yoga interventions for school-aged individuals on the autism spectrum. Palaestra, 37(3).


Charbonneau, D.H. and Vela, K. (2023). Librarian contributions to evidence synthesis programs: Addressing the COVID-19 infodemic. Library Quarterly, 93(1), 72-85. DOI: 


Charbonneau, D.H. and Vardell, E. (2022). Health sciences librarian research and instruction services in pandemic information environments. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 48(4), 1-7. DOI: or


Charbonneau, D.H. and Vardell, E. (2022). The impact of COVID-19 on reference services: A national survey of academic health sciences librarians. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 110(1), 56-62. DOI: 


Charbonneau, D.H. and Akers, K.G. (2021). Information needs and sources for family members of individuals living with mental disorders. Library Trends, 70(2), 133-148.


Ketcheson LR, Moore EWG, Wentz CF, Zhou K, Zhang X, Charbonneau DH, Son Dang T, & Kotov A. (2021). Variables contributing to the age of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Implications for addressing diagnostic disparities. International Journal of Autism & Related Disabilities, DOI: 10.29011/2642-3227.000049


Vardell, E., & Charbonneau, D.H. (2020). Applying a Health Justice Framework to Examine Health and Social Justice in LIS Course Offerings. In B. St. Jean, G. Jindal, Y. Liao, & P. T. Jaeger (Eds.), Roles and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 47, pp. 83-100). London: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 


Charbonneau, D.H. and Rathnam, P. (2020). Memory cafés and dementia-friendly libraries: Management considerations for developing inclusive library programs. Journal of Library Administration, 60(3), 308-315.


Charbonneau, D.H., Hightower, S., Katz, A., Zhang, K., Abrams, J., Senft, N., Beebe-Dimmer, J.L., Heath, E., Eaton, T., & Thompson, H.S. (2020). Smartphone apps for cancer: A content analysis of the digital health marketplace. Digital Health, DOI:10.1177/2055207620905413


Senft, N., Abrams, J., Katz, A., Barnes, C., Charbonneau, D.H., Beebe-Dimmer, J.L., Zhang, K., Eaton, T., Heath E., & Thompson, H.S. (2020). eHealth activity among African American and White cancer survivors: A new application of theory. Health Communication, 35(3), 350-355.

Charbonneau, D.H. and James, L.N. (2019). FluView and FluNet: Tools for influenza activity and surveillance. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 38(4), 358-368.


Charbonneau, D.H. and James, L.N. (2018). DynaMed Plus®: An evidence-based clinical reference resource. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 37(2), 168-176.


Charbonneau, D.H. (2017). Online social support and privacy risks: Protecting personal health information in the digital age. Advanced Practices in Nursing, 2(3).


Thompson, H.S., Senft, N., Katz, A., Eaton, T., Charbonneau, D.H., Barnes, C.A., Beebe-Dimmer, J.L., Zhang, K., Abrams, J., & Heath, E. (2017). The ehealth activity assessment: Preliminary findings and implications for cancer survivorship and user-centered design. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51, S2012-S2013.

Vardell, E. and Charbonneau, D.H. (2017). Health insurance literacy and roles for reference librarian involvement. The Reference Librarian, 58(2), 124-135.


Charbonneau, D.H. and Freeman, J.L. (2016). Succession planning for libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 56(7), 884-892.


Walster, D., Charbonneau, D.H., and Kumasi, K.D. (2016). Finding and reading reports of research: How academic librarians can help students be more successful. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(6), 732-738.


Charbonneau, D.H. (2016). Privacy practices of health social networking sites: Implications for privacy and data security in online cancer communities. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 34(8), 355-359. 


Charbonneau, D.H. and Beaudoin, J.E. (2015). State of data guidance in journal policies: A case study in oncology. International Journal of Digital Curation, 10(2), 136-156. 


Charbonneau, D.H. and Ham, K. (2015). The health insurance reference question: A step-by-step approach. In E. Vardell (Ed.), The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act (pp. 37-50). Chicago, IL: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Medical Library Association Books Series).


Charbonneau, D.H. (2015). Health disclaimers and website credibility markers: Guidance for consumer health reference in the Affordable Care Act era. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 54(3), 30-36.


Charbonneau, D.H. (2015). Consumer health reference revisited: Transforming reference services in the Affordable Care Act landscape. The Reference Librarian, 56(2), 93-101.


Charbonneau, D.H. and Priehs, M. (2014). Copyright awareness, partnerships, and training issues in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), 228-233.


Charbonneau, D.H. (2014). Public library web sites and adherence to senior-friendly guidelines. Public Library Quarterly, 33(2), 121-130.


Beaudoin, J. and Charbonneau, D. (2014). Transforming the data landscape: Connecting data, policies, and communities. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 51(1). DOI: 10.1002/meet.2014.14505101008


Charbonneau, D.H. (2013). An analysis of benefits and risk information on pharmaceutical web sites for the treatment of menopause. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 30(3), 212-219.


Kumasi, K.D., Charbonneau, D.H., & Walster, D. (2013). Theory talk in the library science scholarly literature: An exploratory analysis. Library & Information Science Research, 35(3), 175-180. 

Charbonneau, D.H. (2013). Strategies for data management engagement. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 32(3), 365-374. 

Charbonneau, D.H. (2013). Health literacy and the readability of written information for hormone therapies. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 58(3), 265-270.

Charbonneau, D.H. and McGlone J. (2013). Faculty experiences with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public access policy, compliance issues, and copyright practicesJournal of the Medical Library Association, 101(1), 21-25.

Charbonneau, D.H. (2012). Readability of menopause web sites: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Women & Aging, 24(4), 280-291.

Charbonneau, D.H. (2010). Manufacturing menopause: An analysis of the portrayal of menopause and information content on pharmaceutical web sites. Ph.D. dissertation, Wayne State University, United States -- Michigan. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text. (Publication No. AAT 3427269).

Charbonneau, D.H. (2009). Nurturing a book concept to publishing success: Lessons learned from a first-time book editor. In C. Smallwood (Ed.), Writing and publishing: The librarian's handbook (pp. 159-161). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Charbonneau, D.H. (2009). Preparing for publication: Strategies for identifying potential library journals. In C. Smallwood (Ed.), Writing and publishing: The librarian's handbook (pp. 47-48). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Charbonneau, D.H. (Ed.). (2008). Global information inequalities: Bridging the information gap. Oxford: Chandos Publishing. ISBN: 9781843343622 (hardback), ISBN: 9781843343615 (paperback).

Charbonneau, D.H. (2007). Demystifying survey research: Practical suggestions for effective question design. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 2(4), 46-56.

Charbonneau, D.H., Marks, E.B, Healy, A.M., and Croatt-Moore, C.F. (2007, July). Collaboration addresses information and education needs of an urban public health workforce. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 95(3), 352-354.

Gleason-Comstock, J., Spannaus, T., Marks, E., Charbonneau, D., and Streater, A. (2006). Public health emergency preparedness terminology: Using an interactive game to introduce complex words and definitions. Michigan Journal of Public Health, 1(1), 11-18.

Charbonneau, D.H. and Healy, A.M. (2006). Collaborating with community partners to provide health information in Arabic. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 10(2), 1-10.

Charbonneau, D.H. and Healy, A.M. (2005). Genetics home reference: Locating easy-to-understand genetics information. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 9(4), 61-68.

Charbonneau, D.H. and Workman, T.E. (2002). Providing online health information in many languages: A Utah hospital library experience. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 2(3), 39-49.


Citation Profile on Google Scholar


Deborah H. Charbonneau

Courses taught by Deborah H. Charbonneau

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