BGSU has chosen Kay Flowers as its next dean of University Libraries, Dr. Kenneth Borland, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, has announced. Flowers, currently University Librarian and dean of the library faculty at Idaho State University, will begin her BGSU appointment as dean on July 12.
“We are very excited about what her expertise, leadership experience, and passion for our strategic plan and student success will add to our future,” Borland said in making the announcement.
Flowers was selected following a national search. She has more than 30 years’ experience in university libraries. At Idaho State, a campus of about 13,000 students, she oversees the main library collection, the Idaho Health Sciences Library, the Oliver Law Library, the University Library Center in Idaho Falls and a joint library project with an area school district. Flowers has planning responsibility for budgets, collections, facilities and personnel. Her staff includes 15 faculty members, 22 classified staff members and a number of student employees.
Flowers has been active in the first-year experience program, similar to Bowling Green’s, and is committed to shared governance, transitioning the decision-making process in the libraries to a more collaborative model.
In her 12 years at Idaho, she doubled the number of the library’s endowments, created a “friends” group of supporters and began an outreach program to donors and alumni. She also procured a grant for the library related to digital collections standards, which have become increasingly important as libraries become digital repositories of the intellectual output of the institution, she noted.
"I have been very impressed with everyone I have met at Bowling Green State University,” Flowers said. “BGSU has a strong commitment to the success of undergraduates, and I am pleased to join a library that plays an important role in that effort. I am also impressed by the library's strong electronic and special collections that offer opportunities for researchers. The BGSU University Libraries are well-positioned for a changing future, and I am looking forward to being a part of it."
Flowers began her library career at Rice University’s Fondren Library, serving as assistant university librarian for library information technology and, before that, assistant University librarian for automated services and head of circulation. She interrupted her work at Rice, from 1983-84, to obtain a master of library science degree from the University of Illinois.
She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rice and has nearly completed a doctorate of education at Idaho State.
The BGSU University Libraries provide a gateway to several million items on site and online, including resources of the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives, Browne Popular Culture Library, Curriculum Resource Center, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes and Center for Archival Collections.
The Browne Popular Culture Library is known worldwide for its vast collection of materials in a wide array of genres and is a rich resource for scholars. Likewise, with almost a million recordings, the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives is the largest collection of recorded popular music in an academic library in North America and supports studies in American culture studies, music and popular culture.