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Elizabeth 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.