Spotlight shines on SMU during ALA conference

Lattes in the library
Gillian M. McCombs (left), Dean and Director of Central University Libraries, addressed the College Library Directors Mentor Program seminar held at Hamon Arts Library January 18-20.

SMU Libraries rolled out the red carpet for library professionals from around the world, introducing them to faculty experts, special collections and other star attractions at the University during the annual American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference.

More than 10,000 library staff members and supporters converged in Dallas for the conference January 20-24. Several of the 1,200 events were hosted by SMU Libraries, beginning with the College Library Directors Mentor Program seminar at Hamon Arts Library January 18-20.

Fourteen new college library directors were provided with opportunities to network and learn from experienced colleagues, including Gillian M. McCombs, Dean and Director of SMU's Central University Libraries. In her welcoming address, McCombs explained how strong advocates provide the backbone for robust libraries.

"One of the first challenges of a library director is attracting people with integrity to be compelling voices for the library," she said. "I'm very fortunate to work with a staff that is passionate about serving the SMU community and a board that is equally passionate about our libraries."

The seminar attendees also gained insight into the role of university libraries from the faculty perspective during a presentation by SMU Associate Provost Linda Eads; Crista DeLuzio, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Clements Department of History, Dedman College; and Professor Beth Thornburg, Dedman School of Law.

Thornburg applauded the role of librarians in teaching students how to find and use Internet resources wisely.

DeLuzio said students gain crucial analytical and research skills through their library research experiences that serve them well beyond the classroom

Other ALA events held on campus included: