News from the Dean: Looking Into the Crystal Ball for 2013

As 2012 recedes into the past, I find myself gazing into the crystal ball for what may be in store for the University Libraries in 2013. It promises to be an exciting year! 

A New Building and South Entrance

The most exciting news is the opening of the Miller Nichols Learning Center, the new classroom addition, in August 2013. With the opening of this addition, we will once again have an entrance to the Miller Nichols Library on the 51st Street side of the building.  Many of you have voiced your frustration with the closing of that door and we are very happy to have a welcoming entrance facing the academic areas of the campus. An added bonus—there will also be an entrance facing Swinney Recreation Center.   

In 2013, UMKC will celebrate its 80th birthday!  As part of the year-long celebration, the new Henry W. Bloch Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Miller Nichols Learning Center will jointly share the limelight with a formal opening of both facilities during Homecoming Week. The Library will also host a celebration for students and faculty of the new entrance at the start of the Fall semester.  

New Strategic Plan

As the University Library introduces its new 5-year strategic plan, you can provide your feedback to the plan.  We will be planning a number of forums for input to the plan.  As part of our desire to get input on the strategic plan as well as to regularly hear from students, we are establishing a Library Student Advisory Committee.  This parallels the existing Library Faculty Advisory Committee. I invite you to take a look at the strategic planand help us define our direction to best meet the needs of the UMKC students and faculty in whatever way works best for you.

More Renovations

The next phase of renovations at Miller Nichols Library will begin in September 2013.  This renovation will finish the work started on the 2nd floor, allowing us to consolidate all of the open stacks of books on that floor. Once the books and bookshelves have been moved off of the 3rd and 4th floors, we will renovate the 3rd floor to house the LaBudde Special Collections and Marr Sound Archives, and upgrade open spaces on the 4th floor. The severely overcrowded Special Collections will finally have the space to showcase the gems in the collections in expansive exhibit space.  Users of these collections will have ample space to spread out, relax, and do their research.  

New Staff

During the fall of 2012, the libraries were busy recruiting four new librarians.  Look forward to these fresh new faces helping you with your research.

Tom Burns was appointed the Liaison Librarian for the Humanities in September. Tom is a familiar face as he has been working for us on a part-time basis for a number of years at the Reference Desk. He will be working with the departments of Art History, History, and Philosophy to teach library skills and ensure we have the materials needed for those areas of study.

Nara Newcomer just joined us in January as the new Head of the Music/Media Library.  She has a number of years of experience as a Music Librarian at East Carolina University and is very active in the Music Library Association.  Nara will work closely with the Conservatory and the Theater Departments.

Jennifer Salvo-Eaton comes to us from NYU where she served as the head of Interlibrary Loan.  She will serve as our Head of Resource Sharing which includes interlibrary loan and other resource sharing opportunities.  She will also focus on ensuring we are meeting the specific needs of graduate students.

Finally, in March we will welcome David Lindahl as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Planning. Dave comes to us from the University of Rochester where he has been doing leading edge technology development and user experience studies to determine how people use Web pages, study and do their research.  Dave will head up our Digitial Initiatives Division and help with the technological planning for our building projects.

I am very excited to add these four creative experts to our wonderful team of librarians and library staff.