Central University Libraries

Holly Jeffcoat named dean of SMU Libraries

Holly Jeffcoat

University of Connecticut Associate Dean of Libraries Holly Jeffcoat, a leader in the use of technology in instruction and library services, has been selected as the next dean of SMU Libraries. She will assume her new duties Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

“Holly Jeffcoat has deep leadership skills, as well as broad administrative experience in the library system of a highly ranked research institution,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “She will lead SMU Libraries in forging a collective vision in line with SMU’s goals for even greater academic quality.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner lauded Jeffcoat’s strategic vision.

“Holly is wonderfully forward-thinking in her understanding of the role of technology in libraries now and in the future,” Turner said.

As associate dean of UConn Library, Jeffcoat leads core library operations that include access services, administration, marketing, development, facilities, finance, human resources, information technology and strategic planning. She oversees a $22 million budget, and leads the Library’s five-year, $20 million master plan renovation effort.

She is a key contributor to One UConn Library, an endeavor that ultimately will align systems across all UConn libraries. She also serves as interim leader of the strategic library areas of research, teaching, service and outreach. Previously at UConn, she served as the interim vice provost (the head UConn librarian), the assistant vice provost, and as the associate university librarian of planning, finance and assessment.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the SMU community as the new dean of SMU Libraries,” Jeffcoat said. “This is an exciting time of change and growth in academic research libraries and at SMU. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with world-changing faculty, students, staff, and the broader SMU community to create a shared 21st-century vision for SMU Libraries built upon the existing strengths of dedicated library professionals, outstanding special collections, and inspiring facilities.”

Prior to an international search for a new dean, Currall convened a task force to review existing university library organizational structures and processes, and to make recommendations for a new structure favorable to coordination among the libraries, and conducive to future strategic planning. A new unified organization model will take effect when Jeffcoat begins her new post.

As SMU Libraries dean, Jeffcoat will oversee DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, science and technology; Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; the Hamon Arts Library; Bridwell Library, which supports theological education and scholarship; the Business Library; and human resources needs for the libraries. She will serve as ex officio member of the SMU Libraries Executive Board and the Friends of the SMU Libraries.

“Holly understands modern research libraries from the ground up and across all disciplines,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, who chaired the 15-member search committee. “Her terrific strategic planning experience will help her lead collaborations across SMU Libraries.”

Prior to UConn, Jeffcoat held positions at the University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences as well as the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. Her library leadership career began in Galápagos, Ecuador, as the director of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Jeffcoat has published and presented on translational science support, use of virtual reality in education, collection development in health sciences, and numerous scholarly communication topics.

Jeffcoat is a founding creator of BLC Leads, a Boston-based leadership program for mid-career librarians, and serves as a program mentor. She is a 2018-19 fellow in the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Library Leadership Fellows program.

She earned B.A. degree in psychology from Greensboro College, where she minored in sociology and French. She earned an M.S. degree in sociology from Utah State University, and an M.A. degree in library and information sciences from the University of Arizona.

Currall thanked Elizabeth Killingsworth, who has served as interim dean since July 2017, for her leadership. “Elizabeth guided us through this period of transition extremely well,” he said. “She’s a wonderful asset to SMU Libraries and the University.”

Get a preview of the 2018 Common Reading, Lab Girl, at an SMU Reads live launch Friday, May 4

LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren, book cover, SMU common reading 2018Join Central University Libraries for the return of an annual tradition as SMU Reads launches the University’s 2018 Common Reading. Learn more about Lab Girl at festivities on Friday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Starbucks at Fondren Library Center. The event is supported by Friends of the SMU Libraries.

Free flowers will be available for all students who come to the event, as well as free copies of the book for discussion leaders and free plants for the first 10 staff and faculty members who sign up to be discussion leaders at the preview. Barnes and Noble will also have copies of Lab Girl available for sale.

> Sign up to be a 2018 SMU Reads discussion leader

Lab Girl is the autobiography of scientist Hope Jahren, who has pursued independent research in paleobiology since 1996. She takes the reader back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours playing in her father’s college physics laboratory, and tells how she found a sanctuary in science. Jahren also explores the intricacies and complications of academic life as she learns to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” The memoir won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and was named a New York Times Notable Book.

The book recounts a life spent studying the natural world, “but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that inspires every scientist,” wrote Peter K. Moore, SMU associate provost for curricular innovation and policy, in a letter to the SMU community. “Jahren invites her audience to revel in the science of everyday life, to share her love of science, observations of the plant world, and hopes for protecting our environment. Lab Girl is an engaging, lyrical, and luminous read and reminds us that we can achieve great things when passions and work come together.”

The University intends to use the book as a launching point “toward a larger campus-wide discussion on science, sustainability, and mental health issues at SMU through panels, programs, and events,” Moore added. A visiting lecture by the book’s author will be part of the First Five Initiative for first-year students in Fall 2018.

The SMU Common Reading discussion for the incoming class of 2022 will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at 2 p.m. Locations are to be determined; keep up with the latest news at the SMU Common Reading homepage.

> Watch for more about Lab Girl panels, programs and events at smu.edu/smureads

Deadline to participate in SMU CUL survey is Thursday, March 1, 2018

Students Studying in Fondren Library CenterAttention SMU faculty members: Central University Libraries is seeking your input on the journals and publications you consider essential to your teaching and research.

CUL is preparing its annual budget and wants to identify the most used, most cited, and most valued content among its subscription services. Take their survey and let them know which journals and resources are most important to your work.

The survey is open through Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Take the SMU CUL Library Plan Survey online

Congressman Sam Johnson ’51 creates scholarship fund, donates archive to SMU

Rep. Sam Johnson, SMU Class of 1951As Congressman and war hero Sam Johnson ’51 prepares to retire from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, he is making two gifts to SMU that will support the education of military veterans and preserve for future study papers and materials from a 29-year military career and 26 years in Congress.

A gift of $100,000 will establish The Hon. Sam Johnson Endowed Military Scholarship Fund, with the Collin County Business Alliance (CCBA) providing seed funding to make the scholarship operational for the 2018-19 academic year. Members of the student U.S. Military Veterans of SMU (SMU MilVets) joined the CCBA for the scholarship gift announcement in early October.

SMU’s Board of Trustees and President R. Gerald Turner will celebrate both the scholarship and the donation of Rep. Johnson’s papers and other materials to the University during an on-campus reception at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Fondren Library.

“SMU helped shape me into the person I am today, and I can’t think of a better way to say thank you to my alma mater than with this scholarship and library gift,” Johnson said. “I’m grateful to join SMU in making a commitment to the military and its families by helping these deserving individuals achieve their higher education. And I’m hopeful that this library archive will help inspire future generations to build a legacy of service on behalf of others and our great nation.”

Johnson’s archive will be housed in DeGolyer Library, SMU’s special collections repository.

“We have always been proud to hold up Sam Johnson as an example to our students,” Turner said.  “His courage and strength of character helped him survive nearly seven years as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. The military veterans on our campus who benefit from his support will be doubly proud that their scholarships carry his name, and we will all benefit from the donation of his archive.”

“Congressman Sam Johnson has made a tremendous, positive impact on our community that will continue to be felt by generations to come. His distinguished legacy endures with his scholarship for military students, which will widen opportunities for deserving men and women who have unselfishly served our country,” said CCBA Chairman and President, Capital One Financial Services, Sanjiv Yajnik.

Johnson received a Distinguished Alumni Award from SMU in 1994, the highest honor the University bestows on its graduates.

Johnson, 86, grew up in Dallas.  He began his career in public service in ROTC at SMU, where he also was a member of Delta Chi and Alpha Kappa Psi fraternities, and graduated in 1951 with a B.B.A. degree in insurance and real estate. He and Shirley Melton Johnson ’51 married the year before they graduated. Mrs. Johnson passed away in 2015.

During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Johnson served as the director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and was one of two authors of the air tactics manual that is still used today. After retiring as a colonel from the Air Force in 1979, Johnson started a home-building business in North Dallas. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1985, where he served until winning the race for Texas’ 3rd congressional district in 1991. Johnson announced in a January letter to his constituents that he plans to retire at the end of his term in 2018.

SMU and the Johnson family welcome additional contributions to The Hon. Sam Johnson Endowed Military Scholarship Fund. Gifts may be made here.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Read the full story from SMU News

Save your CUL My List data before June 2017

My List save and exportSMU Libraries will launch the new Ex Libris Alma library management system and online catalog in June 2017, and My List data from the current system will disappear. Here’s how University faculty, staff and students can save their data before the switch:

  1. Go to libcat.smu.edu
  2. Select “My List” at the bottom of the page
  3. Log in using your SMU ID or library card account
  4. Click “Select All,” then, choose Print, Export* (Exports to RefWorks or EndNote only), or Email

* The Export option only exports 10 items at a time. Please double-check to be sure all your items have been exported.

> Find complete instructions with illustrations at the Central University Libraries news blog

By | 2017-05-25T11:37:19+00:00 May 25, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Elizabeth Killingsworth named interim dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries

Elizabeth KillingsworthElizabeth Killingsworth, director of SMU’s Fondren Library Center and head of Research Services, has been named interim dean and director of Central University Libraries (CUL). Killingsworth, an expert on teaching with technology and a longtime advocate for information literacy, will begin her new duties effective July 1, 2017, as the University begins a national search for a permanent dean.

“The breadth and depth of Elizabeth Killingsworth’s experience equips her to be the ideal leader for Central University Libraries during the next academic year,” said Steven C. Currall, University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has the respect of SMU’s faculty and staff, and, importantly, librarians from across the SMU campus. She has both wisdom about operational matters regarding delivery of library services and ambition to ensure that CUL is progressive and innovative in its evolution to become a library system for the 21st century. I have every confidence in Elizabeth’s leadership during the interim period as we search for a permanent dean and director of CUL. I am grateful to her for assuming this important campus leadership role.”

Killingsworth joined SMU in 2013 as head of Research Services in Fondren Library. She became Fondren Library director and head of Research Services in January 2015. In those roles, Killingsworth oversees all public services at SMU’s largest library — with a general collection of nearly two million volumes covering the humanities, social sciences, business, education, science and engineering, as well as a selective depository of government documents and an extensive map collection. She guides the Information Literacy Program, Access Services (circulation, interlibrary loan/document delivery, and stacks management), the Marketing Team, the User Experience Team, the Initiative for Spatial Literacy, and the library’s web presence.

She also led Fondren Library public services through a major 16-month building renovation. Killingsworth kept all library services running throughout a project that culminated in the opening of the Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, as well as the renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Gillian M. McCombs Special Collections Reading Room, and more than a dozen renovated classrooms, conference rooms and offices.

As interim dean, Killingsworth, who will not be a candidate for the permanent deanship, will oversee three libraries on the main campus – Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, and the history of science and technology; and the Hamon Arts Library in Meadows School of the Arts. In addition, she will lead the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

Killingsworth has more than 27 years of experience as a professional librarian. She began her career as a medical librarian at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Hartford Hospital, before joining the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando as Health Sciences Librarian. She co-authored UCF’s successful Quality Enhancement Plan proposal on information fluency and became the first head of Information Literacy and Outreach at the university’s John C. Hitt Library.

While at UCF, she co-led a team to create 14 online Information Literacy Modules, built within an authenticated system with assessment components for each module. In addition, she was appointed Senior Faculty Fellow to the UCF provost and worked on the university’s strategic planning team.

Killingsworth’s research and scholarly activities focus on information literacy and the impact and interplay of online components to increase student learning, as well as analysis of legislation that impacts reading in early childhood. Her current work centers on textual analysis and comparison of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

She has written and presented extensively on research techniques and evaluation, teaching with technology, and the acquisition and support of information fluency. Her work has been published in Childhood Education, the Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences, among others.

Among her professional honors, Killingsworth received the Dean’s Eureka Award and the CUL Team Award in 2016, as well as UCF’s Excellence in Librarianship Award in 2005. She was elected Vice President and President of the Florida Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries and was elected Region 3 Director of the Florida Library Association Executive Board.

Killingsworth graduated with a B.S. degree in political science from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1987. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas in 1989.

Site Spotlight: Handy tips from SMU Libraries as 2017 Fair Use Week begins

ARL Fair Use Week infographicThe Association of Research Libraries observes 2017 Fair Use Week Feb. 20-24, and SMU’s Central University Libraries is celebrating with handy resources for students and other University community members.

Dillon Wackerman, SMU’s Digital Repository librarian, has answered some questions about fair use in honor of the week, which is organized to “celebrate the important doctrines of fair use in the United States” and “promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories and explain the doctrine.”

Share the link to spread the word.

> Read and share via the SMU CUL News blog

Take a last look at these 2016 SMU exhibitions before they’re gone

The Fall 2016 term is winding down, but you still have time to visit two exceptional (and free) exhibitions, which will run through Friday, Dec 16. Take a moment to enjoy them (again):

  • The State Fair of Texas, 1886-2016 – documenting 130 years of the “Great State Fair,” including vintage State Fair items such as badges, buttons and a felt cowboy hat signed in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s children Anna and James, as well as 60 historic photographs by Lynn Lennon. Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Fondren Library
  • Inscribed Illuminations and Inspirations – illuminations and illustrations representing the Christian, Judaic and Islamic traditions, including items dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries, Bridwell Library

SMU CUL Dean Gillian McCombs announces her retirement, effective summer 2017

Gillian M. McCombs, Dean and Director, SMU Central University LibrariesGillian McCombs, dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries, has announced her retirement from that position effective in summer 2017.

SMU Provost Steven Currall will announce the timeframe for the search for a new permanent dean and director this fall.

McCombs joined SMU in 1998 and guided the University’s central library system through a transformation of resources, facilities and services in response to changing student and faculty needs. One of the most visible examples of her leadership is the Fondren Library Center renovation. The Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room and new Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall opened April 15, marking the completion of the first phase. The final phase includes a Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, which will open with a student-centered celebration in September 2016.

> SMU News: SMU celebrates Fondren Library transformation

“Great libraries are the heart of the University, and at the heart of Dean McCombs’ leadership of SMU Central University Libraries has been an unwavering focus on our library users’ evolving needs, particularly those of our students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “A prime example is the CUL Student Advisory Council she created to provide the student perspective as library staff shapes programs, services and spaces that enhance the user experience and support academic achievement. Gillian has been a passionate advocate for CUL, and we are grateful for her many contributions to the University.”

McCombs oversees three libraries on the main campus – Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, and the history of science and technology; and the Hamon Arts Library in Meadows School of the Arts – as well as the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

“Dean McCombs has had a longstanding and distinguished career leading Central University Libraries at SMU. In addition to being an insightful voice about advancing libraries at SMU, Gillian is a globally recognized intellectual leader about the future of libraries, digitization of documents, and the creative use of library buildings to foster innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall. “One of the crowning achievements of her career was the recent renovation of SMU’s Fondren Library to ensure that it meets the current and future needs of SMU faculty and students. Gillian has been an inspiring leader of the CUL staff, a true academic partner with SMU’s other deans, and an invaluable colleague in advancing SMU.”

Among her SMU career highlights:

  • McCombs led CUL’s observance of the University’s Year of the Library in 2013, joining SMU President R. Gerald Turner in welcoming the acquisition of American explorer John Maley’s travel journal (1808-1812) that represented the libraries’ four-millionth volume. The gift was made by the SMU Board of Trustees in honor of former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
  • She launched a digital collections initiative, which now numbers 51 collections comprising 50,000 images, documents, videos and other materials from SMU’s special collections, all available to the public online. CUL also scaled up its delivery of e-resources and now provides access to over one million e-books and 75,000 e-journals.
  • As dean and director, she guided CUL’s participation in several major collaborative ventures including the Greater Western Library Alliance’s Occam’s Reader Project, a groundbreaking e-book pilot program; the Association of College and Research Libraries’ three-year research initiative studying the impact of academic libraries on student achievement; and a partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to bring George Washington’s personal copy of The Acts of Congress to campus.

Throughout her service to SMU, McCombs has published extensively in the areas of organizational culture, technology and digital services, leadership and management, fundraising and historical children’s literature. She has won numerous awards in the library profession and serves on the editorial board of portal: Libraries and the Academy, a research journal focused on the evolving role of academic libraries and librarians.

Her professional affiliations include membership on the Greater Western Library Alliance Board of Directors. She has represented the United States on the International Federation of Libraries Association, Academic Libraries standing committee and has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of the American Library Association. In North Texas she has served on the Dallas Museum of Art’s Libraries, Archives and Imaging Services Committee, the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences Board of Advisors and the Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies External Constituent Board.

McCombs began her professional career in England as the music librarian at Huddersfield Public Library in her native Yorkshire. Her career in the United States started in Washington, D.C., where she worked at the Landscape Architecture and Garden Library at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as such federal libraries as the National Library of Medicine, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Prior to joining SMU, she served as assistant director of technical services and systems for 16 years at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), where she earned a master’s degree in public administration.

McCombs received a bachelor’s degree in French and European literature (honors) from the University of Warwick and a master’s degree from the Leeds School of Librarianship in England.

SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2016 April 15-16

Peruna mascot at SMU Founders Day 2015SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will kick-start the University’s second century April 15-16, 2016 with a celebration of renovated library facilities, a new book on SMU history, the dedication of a new campus walkway, and a Mustang-sized finale to the Second Century Campaign.

Saturday’s community activities will include faculty talks at Inside SMU, opportunities to explore and create at the Meadows Museum, and an afternoon of fandom and Mustang football.

> Read the full story from SMU News

“We look forward to celebrating our beginnings at Founders Day each year, but in 2016 we also celebrate a very happy ending – the April 15 finale of the $1.15 billion fundraising campaign that has changed the trajectory of SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “All of the opportunities the campaign has opened for SMU ultimately become community assets that we want to share.  We hope our North Texas neighbors will come explore the Hilltop and enjoy Community Day with us on April 16.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

• SMU will celebrate the renovation of Fondren Library, including the Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

• A 1 p.m. open house will honor the release of the new book from SMU historian Darwin Payne ’68One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University.  Signed copies are available for order online and will be shipped to purchasers after Founders’ Day Weekend.

• At 6 p.m., the University will celebrate the campaign finale on the South Plaza of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center with a salute to the campaign’s major and leadership donors, the dedication of the Crain Family Centennial Promenade and the unveiling of a campaign major donor monument, including plaques listing major donors to the Second Century Campaign. During the reception that follows, guests can stroll the promenade and view their engraved pavers.

Read some of the stories behind the Crain Family Centennial Promenade bricks

• The day ends with Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council.  Scheduled for 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, the performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales.”  Tickets are available online.

> Celebrate Peruna’s Birthday during Founders’ Day Weekend 2016, Friday, April 15

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – SMU COMMUNITY DAY

All SMU Community day activities are open to the public.

Guitarist in Meadows Museum, SMU Founders' Day 2015Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-noon in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Community Day at the Meadows Museum is from 10-1 p.m. and will enable visitors to explore its Salvador Dali exhibit, as well as participate in special activities for children.

SMU Athletics hosts afternoon events at Gerald J. Ford Stadium: Mustang Fan Fair begins at noon with inflatables and food trucks, followed by the SMU Spring Football Game at 1 p.m.

See the full schedule and register for activities

— Kimberly Cobb

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