June 16, 2006

Director of special collections named for library

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Pamela Hackbart-Dean is the new director of special collections at Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Hackbart-Dean is leaving Georgia State University, where she was head of the special collections department and director of the Southern Labor Archives. She replaces David Koch, who retired last year after more than 30 years of service at SIUC.

In her new position, Hackbart-Dean will manage Morris Library's Special Collections Research Center, which is a vast collection of rare books, manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The center also holds the University archives, made up of past legal and historical records of SIUC. The center is a world-class research facility, renowned for its signature collections in Irish literature, American philosophy and regional history and cultural items.

Hackbart-Dean, who begins her duties July 1, brings a strong record of professional preservation and description, said David Carlson, dean of library affairs at SIUC. In addition, her background includes research and interest in political science, civil rights, workers' rights, oral history and fund-raising.

Hackbart-Dean said she hopes to increase the profile and use of the Special Collections Research Center.

"Outreach and publicity are essential, both to inform the public of archival resources and services and to demonstrate responsiveness to user and potential donor needs," she said.

Hackbart-Dean's published works include civil rights, politics and labor in the South, and she hopes to continue her work in those areas. She said teamwork on the part of the Special Collections Research Center staff will be key to the center's ongoing success.

"Some members are great with attention to detail —cataloging and processing — others love technology while some love working with researchers and donors," she said. "We all have strengths. Together we can do great things."

Enhancing the library and knowledge resources are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.