BG dean leaving for Kansas

The University’s dean of libraries recently accepted a position at the University of Kansas as their new dean of libraries.

Lorraine Haricombe, who has been the University’s library dean since 2001, will leave July 15.

UK selected five finalists – with Haricombe among them – from a larger pool of candidates.

Haricombe was invited to apply for the position in January and went to Kansas for an interview April 12 through 14.

The University was informed of Haricombe’s new position Wednesday, according to the University’s executive vice president, Linda Dobb.

Dobb, who all deans at the University report to, will work with the library staff from “now until the end of the fiscal year” – June 30 – to determine what the library envisions for a new dean.

“We’re hoping to get someone as good as Lorraine – but I don’t know if that’s gonna be possible,” she said with a laugh. “This is a really big opportunity [for her]. It’s a research library that’s two or three times the size of Bowling Green’s.”

Haricombe said she’s delighted to move to a large research library like UK’s, which is a member of the Association of Research Libraries.

“Since Kansas’ library is an ARL library,” Haricombe said, “it has those certain benchmarks for research libraries that they evaluate based on the size of their collection, budget and staff.”

Denise Stephens, UK’s information services vice provost, said they’re excited to get Haricombe based on her experience at the University.

“We think that Dr. Haricombe has spoken compellingly about the importance of libraries as a fabric of academic institutions,” Stephens said in a phone interview. ” She’s steeped in knowledge about the need to develop staff, and how to lead organizations like libraries that are very unique.”

During her five years at the University, Haricombe has started programs to raise funds and make improvements to the library.

Among those initiatives, she began the Library Advocacy Board, which raises funds; refurbished the seventh floor as a study area; began an effort to digitize library materials; and began the Libraries’ Centennial Campaign, a program to accept cash donations.

“I move with mixed feelings because Bowling Green has given me a lot of very good experience,” Haricombe said. “I’ve certainly developed experience and skills as a dean here that will serve me well at an ARL library.”