Welcome and welcome back! It’s mid-August as I write and every day I’m seeing more students, faculty and staff around The Hilltop – the campus is quickly returning to the vibrant, dynamic place we all enjoy. I am truly excited that there is so much news to share from Gleeson. While there were a number of important developments that occurred over the summer, there are two I want to be sure to mention.
First, on July 27, 2022 Fr. Paul Fitzgerald S.J. announced that our library dean for over 27 years, Dr. Tyrone H. Cannon was retiring. While I’m sure most of you have seen the announcement, a few comments Fr. Paul made that I wanted to highlight:
In his long and influential career at USF, Tyrone has shaped the success of our libraries through his reenvisioning of public access to services and his encouragement of staff growth. In his first two years as library dean, he played a major role in the construction and dedication of the Geschke Learning Resource Center and later in the renovation of the Donohue Rare Book Room. He reorganized library leadership to establish the management team that would rethink support services for students and faculty, leading to the first-ever librarywide program review and strategic plan. Out of that work grew the creation of the library’s access services, institutional repository and digital collections, all open educational resources that make the scholarly and creative work of our community available globally. In his development of library staff, Tyrone has been instrumental in increasing diversity, launching new careers, and elevating staff voices, including by creating monthly town hall meetings now known as Gather and Learn. He served as president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2003-2004, where he was the first African American president in 30 years.
As Dean, Dr. Cannon was a thoughtful, engaged and creative leader. All of us at Gleeson Library will miss him dearly. I think I can speak for everyone at Gleeson when I say that we hope to build on all that he has done at USF. Together as a community of students, librarians, faculty, staff, alumni we will shape and implement a library agenda that is transformative, inclusive and impactful.
The university is planning a going away celebration for Dean Canon and event details will be posted on myUSF.
Second, Provost Chinyere announced on August 1, 2022 my appointment as the new University Library Dean. I have tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to lead at USF in new and collaborative ways.
As was noted in the announcement from Provost Chinyere, I will prioritize fostering effective shared governance, collaborative leadership and transparency, student success, and advancing antiracism and DEI through library collections and services. I’m truly excited about co-creating the next chapter at Gleeson with the terrific colleagues at USF with whom I share a passion for libraries.
While there have been significant changes to library leadership, know that I, along with all the amazing staff and librarians who work at Gleeson, remain completely committed to helping you. From our 24/7 online research support and dynamic in person & online reference services, instruction and outreach to the teams of librarians and staff who bring together our digital collections, print collections, online databases and journals and a host of other services, we are here in person and online for YOU.
Please stop by the library, give us a call or send a text, reachout on social media, or try our long list of online services. The professionals who make the library come alive are here and excited to start this new semester with you.
Shawn P. Calhoun
University Library Dean