Feb. 20, 2007

Perkins School of Theology names
new director of Bridwell Library

Roberta A. SchaafsmaDallas (SMU) – Roberta A. Schaafsma will be the new Director of Bridwell Library at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She will assume the role of J. S. Bridwell Endowed Librarian on April 1, 2007.

Schaafsma is currently the associate director of the Duke Divinity School Library, where she has served since 1993. She will bring a broad range of experience to her new responsibilities at Perkins School of Theology.

A distinguished leader among theological librarians,Schaafsma was elected to theboard of directors of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) in 2004 and is currently secretary of the board. She also has led the Public Services Interest Group, servedas chair of theEducation Committee and as president of the Methodist Librarians Fellowship within ATLA.Schaafsma also has been an accreditation visiting team memberfor the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

“We are exceptionally pleased to be welcoming an outstanding leader in theological education as the new director of the J. S. Bridwell Library at Perkins School of Theology,” says Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence. “Roberta Schaafsma has a profound appreciation for the multiple responsibilities of a truly great theological library. Bridwell houses a remarkable collection of the most important resources for academic research needed by faculty and Bridwell has a strong commitment to public service for the education of the community. Roberta Schaafsma will bring a unique combination of academic training, professional experience, and university leadership which will enable her to achieve great success as the leader of Bridwell Library.”

At Duke Divinity School, Schaafsma’s responsibilities have included the supervision of library reference services. In her work there, she improved the quantity and quality of reference service offered to library users byextending reference service hours and creating new library instruction sessions and outreach activities to students and faculty. She also strengthened the institution’s electronic and print reference collections through enhanced inventory management and systematic purchasing. In addition, Schaafsma participated in planning renovation of the library’s main service floor.

Schaafsma earned an M.A. degree in Theology from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1992. She earned an A.M.L.S. (Library Science) degree in 1980 from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and she is a magna cum laude graduate of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., where she earned a B.A. degree in 1975 in History and Education.

Schaafsma has worked on numerous publications, including an entry for “Reference Works” with Martha Alt in the Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2005).

Bridwell Library of the Perkins School of Theology is the principal bibliographic resource for the fields of theology and religious studies at Southern Methodist University. The collections of Bridwell include a broad general collection, primary and secondary source material for Methodist studies, as well as rare books and manuscripts.

Perkins School of Theology is one of five University-related official schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. The school was founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Church Ministries, Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, and Doctor of Ministry degree, as well as the Ph.D. in cooperation with SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

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