Carrie Cooper has been named the next dean of university libraries at the College of William & Mary. Cooper – who has served the past 13 years in library leadership at Eastern Kentucky University including the past five years as dean of the university’s libraries – will begin her new position August 1, 2011.
Cooper will succeed Connie McCarthy, who retired last summer following 13 years at the helm of Earl Gregg Swem Library. Bea Hardy, the Marian and Alan McLeod Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Swem Library, served as interim dean while the search was underway.
“We are delighted that Carrie Cooper will be our next dean of university libraries,” said President Taylor Reveley. “She brings experience, enthusiasm and vision to the job. Carrie understands the central role our libraries play in the success of William & Mary. We are also very grateful to Bea Hardy for her excellent stewardship of Swem during the past year.”
During her time as dean of libraries at Eastern Kentucky, Cooper is credited with revitalizing the library’s fundraising program – including securing the largest private gift in the university’s history – and overseeing a major renovation of Eastern Kentucky’s Crabbe Library. Completed in September 2010, the renovation project included the relocation of the existing University Writing Center, a new oral communication center, and the integration of research assistance into the processes related to helping students with their academic related assignments. The project also included re-opening the library’s historic main entrance. In her current role, Cooper is responsible for a team of approximately 69 professionals and support staff.
“Carrie is considered a rising star among university librarians and was very well received by members of the College community during the search process,” said Provost Michael R. Halleran. “We’re thrilled she will be our next dean. I am confident she is the right person to lead our libraries to the next level.”
Cooper has been at Eastern Kentucky since 1998 when she was appointed the team leader of the Learning Resources at Crabbe Library. In 2002, she was named the library’s coordinator of research and instruction. In that role, she oversaw everything from reference, library instruction and university archives to government documents, the learning resource center and distance education services. In 2005, she was named interim dean of libraries and dean in 2006.
Cooper’s career in education began as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher in Florida. She later served as a high-school librarian before beginning her career in university libraries in 1998. Since arriving at Eastern Kentucky, building collaborations between instructional faculty and librarians has been a focus for Cooper. In 2000, she was awarded the American Library Association’s HW Wilson Professional Development Grant, “Librarians and Faculty Collaborating for Student Success.” Incorporating media and technology into the library experience is also an area of focus for Cooper. At Eastern Kentucky, she led a multimedia project intended to celebrate the scholarly and creative achievements of faculty and staff.
“The digital age presents many opportunities for librarians to support and enhance an academic community,” Cooper said. “In this evolving environment, I look forward to leading one of the country’s most prestigious academic libraries.”
An active writer, Cooper has co-authored and edited several articles on children’s literature and faculty-library collaboration and also published a number of book reviews in the School Library Journal. A native of Florida, Cooper received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University in 1992 and her master’s degree in library and informational services from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997.