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Dean Postlethwaite of University Libraries to Retire

On July 10, 2020, Bonnie Postlethwaite, UMKC's Dean of Libraries, will retire. Dean Postlethwaite joined UMKC in 2006 as the Associate Dean of Libraries and was appointed the Dean of Libraries in 2012 with overwhelming support from the Libraries’ faculty and staff. Under Dean Postlethwaite's 14 years of guidance the Libraries have been dramatically re-shaped, with the addition of the Miller Nichols Learning Center and Robot, and renovations of the first, second, and third floors of Miller Nichols Library. In addition to the changes that opened up the library physically for more student study and collaborative space, Dean Postlethwaite worked tirelessly to raise funds for the Libraries via grants, gift-in-kind donations, and monetary donations. Her work with donors has laid a foundation for future fundraising that will continue to benefit the Libraries for years to come. Dean Postlethwaite has also worked continuously to make the Libraries an inclusive place for everyone; under her leadership the Libraries created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, worked to increase diversity in faculty and staff, built more diverse collections, and developed more equitable and inclusive policies. Dean Postlethwaite's impact on the Libraries can't be overstated, and will be appreciated for years to come.

Associate Dean of Services & Resources Dr. Cindy Thompson has been appointed Interim Dean of University Libraries.

"Bonnie has a long history of administrative service and an extensive knowledge of UMKC and its complex libraries system. She will be missed and I am grateful for her leadership and university contributions,” said Jenny Lundgren, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

Dean Postlethwaite's Milestones at UMKC Libraries

  • March 2006: Hired as Associate Dean of Libraries
  • July 2006-June 2007: President of the national Library and Information Technology Association
  • 2008: UMKC Libraries awarded Andrew W. Mellon grant of $502,000 to catalog David J. Goldin Collection of Radio Transcription Discs
  • 2008: Construction begins on the Miller Nichols Library Robot addition
  • August 2010-April 2011: Miller Nichols Library renovations: First floor receives a new Information Commons, Robot Café, and service desk, second floor renovation removes book shelving, builds Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching suite, installs a new computer lab, paints and carpets study areas
  • 2011: UMKC Libraries awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grant of $127,536 to catalog and preserve the KMBC radio transcription discs
  • July 2012:  Appointed Dean of Libraries
  • March 2012-August 2013: Miller Nichols Learning Center construction adds lecture halls and new campus entrance to Miller Nichols Library
  • 2013: UMKC Libraries awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge grant of $500,000 with a $1.5M matching donation to renovate space for LaBudde Special Collections and create an endowment for Special Collections personnel
  • 2013-2014: UMKC Libraries awarded NEH-Gilder Lehrman grant of $1200 for program support of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle 4-part film series
  • April-August 2014: Completion of Miller Nichols Library second floor renovation: builds the Emeritus College, replaces HVAC, installs book shelving, adds group study room, renovates Administration and Library Technology office suites
  • 2015-2016: Awarded NEH grant of $3000 for programming support of 4-part program for Latino Americans: 500 Years of History
  • May 2018: UMKC Dental Library and Health Sciences Library merge, centralizing operations
  • January-April 2019: Richard L. Sutton, Jr. Geosciences Museum is installed in Miller Nichols Library
  • April-May 2019: Students vote for in favor of a new library fee, approved by UM System Board of Curators
  • Fall 2019: UMKC Libraries receive $3M gift from the Sunderland Foundation to create Digital and Public Humanities space, library processing work areas, and to support the addition of State Historical Society of Missouri-Kansas City Research Center

Join us in thanking Dean Postlethwaite for her dedication to the Libraries!

Posted: June 23, 2020