Over the past decade libraries have changed from being quiet repositories of books to active community centers "filled" with both physical and digital materials. How can libraries grow to meet changing needs while still fulfilling their original missions? How can librarians be trained to handle the unknown needs of the future? In this month's interview we talk with Jennifer Paustenbaugh, head of Brigham Young University's library.
Andrew Hibel, HigherEdJobs: Dr. Paustenbaugh, please briefly explain your path that led you to your current position as well as some of your duties as University Librarian for Brigham Young University.
Jennifer Paustenbaugh, University Librarian, Brigham Young University: I was fortunate that my first professional position after graduating from Indiana University with my M.L.S. was as assistant to the dean of university libraries. I learned from, and worked with, a number of very talented people and got a wide variety of assignments. It gave me the big picture view of what large research libraries do. My husband is also a librarian; I followed him to Oklahoma State University (OSU) where he was recruited as a department head by the OSU library. We ended up staying there for 23 years because we both had great opportunities. I had four very different positions in the library that gave me experience running several specialized reference and research services, raising money, and finally serving as associate dean for planning and assessment. A last-minute opportunity to attend a two-day workshop at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2006 allowed me to see what a fantastic physical facility and collections they have. I already knew from being active in professional organizations that they had some remarkably talented and innovative librarians on staff who were working on really interesting projects. I also came away impressed that BYU as an institution is so mission driven. So when I was invited to apply for the position of university librarian in 2012, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. ...more
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