University officials have chosen Chris Shaffer as the New Dean of Library Services. Shaffer has been a part of the University’s staff since 2005 and has served as the Director of the Dothan Campus Library since 2007.
He follows longtime dean, Henry Stewart.
“The Dean oversees all aspects of library services,” Chaffer said. “I was the director of the Dothan campus, so part of the deal here is I will continue to directly oversee the Dothan library.”
As for the Troy Campus library, Shaffer plans to emphasize student involvement and what he calls “outreach.”
While he acknowledges the library is already widely used by the student population, Shaffer believes there is potential to attract an even greater number of students.
A remodeling of the library, aimed at increasing student volume and interaction, is being looked at as a possibility.
“One of the things we’re going to be looking at is maybe rearranging things in here. You can have more opportunities for group discussion and group projects, that kind of thing.”
Shaffer has also lined up several events for students.
“We have a book discussion series coming up this fall called Muslim Journeys, ” he said. “Books are free to the first twenty-five students who want one. The only agreement is you have to come to the discussions.”
In addition, the library will be showing three different exhibits, which will begin next week and run until the Thanksgiving holidays.
The exhibits will be shown in six-week intervals and will cover a selection of topics, including the Holocaust, the Tuskegee Airmen and the experiences of women entering the workforce during World War II.
Shaffer thinks students will respond well to these outreach and diverse learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
“I think they’re going to respond very positively because I think students naturally want to learn,”Shaffer said. “That’s why they’re here. I think students want to be actively engaged.”