April 16, 2012

Forums set for Library Affairs dean finalists

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The three finalists for the position of dean of Library Affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will meet with the campus community in a series of open forums that begin this week.

The candidates are:  Anne Cooper Moore, dean of University Libraries at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion; Beth McNeil, associate dean for academic affairs and professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.; and Sha Li Zhang, assistant dean for collections and technical services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries. 

The dean is the chief administrative officer of library affairs and reports to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.  Library services, based in Morris Library, incorporates a number of units including Information Services, Support Services, the Special Collections Research Center and more. 

The open forums, which are part of an overall interview process for the position, offer University students, staff and faculty the opportunity to meet the candidates, ask questions and hear the candidates’ thoughts about the position and how they would address its responsibilities.  Each forum will take place in the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.

The schedule for the forums is:

            •  Moore’s presentation and open forum is 1-1:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.

            •  McNeil’s presentation and open forum is 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 2. 

            •  Zhang’s presentation and open forum is 1-1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.

Moore completed her doctorate in educational management and development with concentration in higher education administration and technology integration at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces in 2001.  She also holds a master’s in education from Boston University and a master of science in library and information science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a bachelor’s in Spanish and English from Duke University at Durham, N.C.

Moore has about two decades of experience in public university and community college libraries.  While in her current position since 2008, she has also served as director of the Wegner Health Sciences Information Center at Sioux Falls, S.D., and as associate professor in the education school since 2009.

She was adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College of Boston and South Hadley, Mass., associate director for user services and head of reference services at W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and branch librarian/library director for New Mexico State University at Alamogordo. 

Her previous experience includes working as electronic resources librarian at New Mexico State University library in Las Cruces, Prince William Librarian at George Mason University libraries, university center librarian for operations at George Mason University libraries, teacher and tutor in Hawaii, center director at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United Kingdom, catalog librarian/assistant librarian at the University of Arizona library in Tucson and in a variety of other library, and writing/advertising positions.

With extensive publications and presentations in the library affairs, Moore has also taught and is active in a number of professional organizations in the education and libraries fields.  She has served on various national and regional library committees and been active in community service and volunteer work.  In addition, she has participated in professional development conferences and activities and is fluent in Spanish with knowledge of Italian, French, German and Portuguese as well. 

McNeil is enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln doctoral program in human sciences with a leadership studies focus and all her coursework is completed.  She is a double alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning her master’s in library and information science in 1989 and her bachelor’s in English there in 1987.

She became associate dean for academic affairs at Purdue in 2009 and was previously the associate dean for information resources and scholarly communication there.  She also served as associate dean of university libraries, assistant dean and executive assistant to the dean for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln between 2000 and 2007. 

Previously, at the Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University in Peoria, she was reference services librarian and serials and collection management librarian.  Her experience includes working as a newspaper librarian and a library graduate assistant as well. 

McNeil has a number of published journal articles, book chapters and other writings and has made many presentations in the field of library affairs.  She is active in various professional organizations, serving in leadership roles too.  She has been involved in community and university service and won awards that include the Runza Spirit of Service Award for faculty volunteer service and the CAMRE (Creating an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect) Award at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She has participated in workshops and training seminars and helped secure substantial external grants and endowments, particularly involving archivists and librarianship recruitment.

Zhang holds a doctorate in education, completed in 2004 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., along with a 1988 master’s of library science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a bachelor’s in literature and linguistics from Lanzhou University in China.

Prior to taking her current position in 2005, Zhang served as professor and head of the technical services division at Wichita State University libraries.  Her previous experience also includes serving as collection management librarian at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg library, head of technical services and coordinator for collection development at Ohio Wesleyan University libraries, head librarian at the University of Kentucky/Southeast Community College and Kentucky Tech at Middlesboro, Ky., technical services librarian at the University of Kentucky/Southeast Community College and reference librarian at Lanzhou University library, one of the 13 largest research libraries in China.

Zhang, whose language skills include English, Chinese, Spanish and French, is the recipient of a number of academic and professional awards including the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the Chinese American Librarians Association and has received several research and program grants, including some to recruit culturally diverse students into library master’s programs. 

She has published numerous articles and writings and made many presentations in the field of library sciences. Long active in state, regional, national and international professional organizations, Zhang has held a number of leadership roles.