Library announces new dean

By Senah Yeboah-Sampong

Columbia’s Library has undergone its second change in two months.

Jan Chindlund has been promoted from Columbia’s library director to dean of the library amid plans to move the facility to the former Johnson Publishing Co. Building, 820 S. Michigan Ave.

“Because of this new opportunity in this new building, I think the library is going to become even more involved in the life of the college because of the opportunity to use those spaces in new and creative ways,” Chindlund said.

She added that her new role will allow her to continue her previous work while she focuses on the college’s needs on a broader scale.

“I will still be leading efforts to make the library the best resource it can possibly be to the college, with more and more responsibilities having to do with planning and integrating those services into the larger picture for the whole college,” Chindlund said.

Besides handling day-to-day operations, she will focus on moving the library to its new location by summer 2015, as reported by The Chronicle Sept 10. Her leadership style has served her well, according to Opal Anderson, assistant to the library dean, who called Chindlund a credit to her profession.

“She tries to implement a lot of  changes and improvements  the staff would like to see,” Anderson said.

In the past week, six focus groups of students, faculty and staff have  been formed to determine what the college wants to see in the new library, Chindlund said. Along with hundreds of surveys, these focus groups will help determine the character of the new library,

she added.

“We have to sift through all that and see where the [similar] ideas are and do affinity-grouping of all of the content to understand what is being told [to] us by these various groups,” she said.

Chindlund said she sees possibilities for the library to be used for cross-disciplinary and classroom work.

In addition to her official role, Chindlund served on many college wide committees, including the Self-Assessment Academic Team, which participated in the process formerly known as prioritization.

Chindlund has an Innovation and Technology degree from Benedictine University and a Library and Information Science degree from Dominican University. She is also the founder and former head of McDonald’s Global Business Research Information Center, the company’s corporate library. She became the college’s library director in 2007.

The library was established in 1890 by Mary Blood and Ida Riley, Columbia’s founders, and it became a venue for intellectual and artistic expression, according to Heidi Marshall, head of College Archives & Digital Collections.

The department supports the college’s academic programs by providing access to information resources and teaching students to use them in preparation for lifelong learning.

Jo Cates became library dean in 2005 and was promoted  as vice president of Academic Research, holding both positions until June 2012.

The library has since gone through multiple shifts in leadership, such as with Kim Hale,  who was acting director of the facility from Aug. 2005 to July 2006.  When she became head of collection management, Conrad Winke, associate dean of the library & academic research took over as

acting director.

“We’ve always worked under a dean of the library, so I’m very glad to have that position filled with another good person,” Marshall said.