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Introducing the Interim Dean of Libraries, and Interim Director of Libraries Operations and Head of Music/Media

Please see the revised version of this article: Meet the Libraries' Leadership Team! The version here excluded a key member of the Libraries’ leadership team, Associate Dean Sandy Rodriguez, who took on significant additional responsibilities upon Dean Emerita Postlethwaite’s retirement. We would also like to acknowledge that many others in the library have taken on additional responsibilities in connection to the Dean’s retirement. The Libraries’ recent Call to Action asked for all of us to “Educate Yourself, Challenge Yourself and Challenge Each Other” so we acknowledge and apologize for this act of erasure. In order to redress this act, we have revised the post to more accurately reflect the full scope of changes in leadership.


With Dean Bonnie Postlethwaite’s retirement July 11th, the Libraries need strong, dedicated leadership from individuals committed to the same level of excellence and progress. Fortunately, the Libraries’ own Cindy Thompson and Nara Newcomer have answered that call.

Cindy Thompson is Interim Dean of Libraries at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s University Libraries. She began at UMKC in 2006 as the Interlibrary Loan Librarian and took on increasing responsibilities until she attained her current position. As Dean, Cindy oversees strategy and operations for both the general and health sciences campuses of UMKC. Cindy received her PhD in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations, and Public Affairs and Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2014, her MA in Information Science and Learning Technology with an emphasis in Library Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2006, and her BA in Oxbridge History from William Jewell College in 2004. She is President-Elect of the Missouri Library Association and chair of the UMKC Institutional Review Board. Cindy lives in Kansas City’s northland with her dashing husband and adorable children, loves spreadsheets (truly!), and bakes whenever she can.

In order to ensure that Cindy’s duties as Assistant Dean are covered, someone else was needed to share the load and add even more new ideas and perspectives. Nara Newcomer, Head of Music/Media, is a natural fit for that interim position.

Nara came to UMKC as Head of the Music/Media Library in 2013, and will continue in this role in addition to serving as the Interim Director of Libraries Operations. Her work at UMKC has included leading all aspects of Music/Media Library operations; collection development for music, media, and humanities; serving on the Libraries’ Copyright Team; library instruction and reference; and working closely with UMKC Conservatory students and faculty. Nara is also a regular adjunct instructor for the UMKC Conservatory’s graduate Music Research and Bibliography course. Her research interests include music student research behaviors and the intricacies of finding music in online library catalogs, and she has published in Music Reference Services Quarterly, Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association, Common-place, and Forum Musikbibliothek. Professionally, Nara is an active member of the Music Library Association, Music OCLC Users Group, and American Guild of Organists, and is Parish Musician at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Olathe, KS.

Join us in welcoming Cindy and Nara in their new roles!

Posted: July 22, 2020