Cunningham Library dean heads west
Alberta Comer – Collage
Alberta Comer, dean of Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library, will be leaving her position to serve as dean and director of the Willard Marriott Library and university librarian at the University of Utah.
At Indiana State since 2002, Comer has served as dean and associate dean of the library since 2004. “We wish Dean Comer the best. She will be missed,” said Jack Maynard, Indiana State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has been an excellent dean and the library has made great progress under her leadership. She has been a great colleague and team member and will be difficult to replace.”
Under Comer’s leadership, Indiana State developed a number of innovations, including an academic library consortium across Indiana State, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in partnership with the Vigo County Public Library to establish an integrated online library catalog system.
“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Utah at such an exciting time,” Comer said. “The Marriott Library is one of the nation’s premier academic libraries, and I am looking forward to leading its impressive team.”
Still, Comer said she will miss her colleagues at Cunningham Memorial Library and Indiana State. “The deans have been a great group with whom to work, and Provost Maynard has been a wonderful mentor on whom I could also turn to for wise counsel,” she said. “Working at ISU has been an amazing experience, and I am grateful for all the many opportunities that I been given.”
In announcing Comer’s appointment, Michael Hardman, interim senior vice president of academic affairs at the University of Utah said she has a national reputation as an inspiring and thoughtful leader. “She brings to the U an expansive knowledge of libraries, as well as a strong focus on students, faculty collaboration, and the cultivation of positive community and donor relations. We welcome her to Utah and the university,” he said.
The Marriott Library is the flagship academic library for the Utah State System of Higher Education and the largest state-funded academic library in the six-state region of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Its holdings include 3 million volumes and nearly 200 unique digital collections containing photographs, maps, books, audio recordings, newspaper articles and other items. The library also holds more than 1 million historical photographs and extensive film collections.
Comer holds a master of library science degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has served as editor of Indiana Libraries, published by the Indiana Library Federation, as well as editor of Cognotes, the daily paper of the American Library Association Conference. She is a member of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Indiana Library Federation. She will begin her position at Utah on Aug. 19. She replaces Joyce Ogburn, who served as dean until 2012 and recently accepted a position with the Appalachian State University libraries.
Biff Williams, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, and incoming provost at Indiana State, said a national search is planned for Comer’s successor as dean of Cunningham Library dean.
re-posted from ISU News story