Dean of Libraries
Kevin L. Smith
As the dean, Kevin advocates on behalf of the libraries, positioning the libraries as an integral partner with the university’s academic and administrative units and ensuring the organization’s continued leadership in advancing research, teaching, inclusivity and global initiatives. The dean also facilitates external relations through outreach development and engaging in donor relations to solidify fundraising efforts.
Associate Deans of Libraries
The associate deans provide leadership on administrative and operational duties, including the evaluation and implementation of strategic goals and objectives, prioritizing work to align with wider university initiatives. In addition, the associate deans evaluate the viability of current programs and services, providing guidance to sustain an organizational culture that embraces learning, growth and diversity.
Office of Administrative Services
The Office of Administrative Services, led by Executive Director Mike Broadwell, oversees human resources/organizational development, faculty development processes, campus mail, fiscal services and some aspects of library facilities and space management, as well as other administrative actions aimed at strengthening the libraries’ support within the campus community.
Office of Communications & Advancement
The Office of Communications & Advancement (OCA), led by Executive Director Rebecca Smith, provides leadership on organizational strategy, communications and advancement.
The office establishes priorities for the dean’s activities, consults and contributes on organizational issues and efforts, and advises in aligning organizational assets and activity with priorities. Additionally, OCA leads all internal and external marketing and communications efforts, including development and implementation of all strategic communications plans. The team serves as the primary media contact for KU Libraries, and develops public relations and marketing plans, as well as associated tactics, including events. OCA manages all social media channels on behalf of KU Libraries. The office establishes and communicates development priorities, identifies and cultivates potential donors and partners with KU Endowment on major gift solicitation. This team manages the 30+ member Board of Advocates, leads corporate relations efforts, and oversees annual giving through the Friends of KU Libraries and other special campaigns.
Content & Access Services Division
The three departments in the Content and Access Services Division are responsible for acquiring and stewarding resources to support research and teaching at the university’s schools and centers. Acquisitions & Resource Sharing acquires, borrows and lends materials in all formats and manages access or problems with request fulfillment. Payments, renewals and licensing associated with content activities are completed in this department. Content Development provides oversight for the budgeting, analysis, management and development of library collections in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. User Services provides frontline customer service and public operations support across six campus locations including a remote storage facility.
Distinctive Collections Division
The Distinctive Collections Division acquires, preserves and promotes rare books, manuscripts, archives and specialized foreign language collections to meet the needs of the university, students, faculty and researchers around the world. Collaborating with colleagues across the libraries, the campus and the community, Distinctive Collections integrates these valuable collections into the strategic discovery, teaching, learning and research efforts of the libraries and the university.
Assistant Dean Beth Whittaker leads the following areas within the division: Kenneth Spencer Research Library, International Collections and Conservation Services.
Digital Initiatives & Discovery Services Division
The Digital Initiatives & Discovery Services Division collaborates with colleagues in the libraries, across campus and beyond to create and maintain systems and processes that make resources and services findable, accessible and usable for KU and the greater scholarly community. Faculty and staff in the division use their expertise to fulfill an array of important functions within the libraries, including repository, digital collection and publishing services; digitization; project management; data management consultation and instruction; user experience and discovery services; metadata creation and curation; archival processing; and bibliographic description and inventory.
Led by Assistant Dean Scott Hanrath, the division is comprised of the Cataloging and Archival Processing and Digital Initiatives units. Division staff closely collaborate with KU Information Technology's Libraries’ Applications and Development Support team, who provide application administration, programming and web development support to the Libraries.
Research & Learning Division
Research & Learning actively engages students, scholars and citizens to enhance their research and learning experiences and to elevate the position and impact of the libraries on campus and in the community. Librarians in this division utilize a vast range of skills to support users and to provide strategic visioning, policy, and program development that embeds the libraries in the KU community and beyond.
The division ensures integration of library expertise and resources into a new signature student experience initiative, explores digital technologies that capture new scholarship, and partners with academic departments, research centers and university programs to foster and promote critical inquiry.
The user-focused division, led by Assistant Dean Erin Ellis, is organized around three centers: the Center for Faculty and Staff Initiatives & Engagement, the Center for Graduate Initiatives & Engagement and the Center for Undergraduate Initiatives & Engagement; as well as the Community Engagement unit. The Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright is also located in this division.