University announces new dean of library

The longtime search is over, and Sonoma State University has appointed a new dean of the library. Karen G. Schneider will officially take on this position Jan. 12, 2015. 

Schneider will be coming to Sonoma State from Holy Names University in Oakland, where she was the university librarian for the past five years. Prior to working there, she held numerous positions in libraries including multiple senior leadership roles and being library director. 

Sonoma State’s new dean of library received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, her Master of Fine Arts from the University of San Francisco in 2006 and is a doctoral student in the Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions program at Simmons College. Schneider also completed the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute in August 2011. With such experience in higher education, Schneider has become very successful in other aspects of her career. 

She has published more than 100 articles and two books relating to library science. One of these published works was titled “A Practical Guide to Internet Filters” and led to her being a key witness in the First Amendment case of Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 1998. 

Schneider has also served on numerous American Library Association committees including, the association’s Web Advisory Committee, the Library and Information Technology Association Nominating Committee and the ALA Nominating Committee. She is now serving her fourth term on the American Library Association Council. Throughout her time at Holy Names University, she was actively involved in the Institutional Planning Council. While working with this council, Schneider served on committees focusing on diversity, affordable textbooks and scholarships. 

“She seems to be very much on the cutting edge of Library Science,” said Mike Kiraly, director of library operations.

SSU has wanted to find a new dean of the library after the previous one, Barbara Butler, retired in early 2012. While searching, Brandon Dudley stepped up from his position as the director of Library Technology and became the interim dean. 

Dudley received his undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz, then spent 10 years as an information technology professional and decided to go back to school to earn his masters in library and information science in 2004. Dudley held his previous position, director of library technology, for seven years and has held the interim position for nearly two years. 

Dudley said the position has entailed a mixture of project direction and administrative work for not only SSU, but also California State University libraries as a whole. Kiraly greatly appreciated Dudley stepping up as the university conducted their nation-wide search for a new dean and said it’s both an honor and a pleasure to work with him.

“My previous role in the library kept me behind the scenes for the most part and I welcomed the opportunity to work with students and faculty outside the library during my last 18 months,” said Dudley.

Although he enjoyed his time as interim dean of the library, Dudley is excited for Schneider to begin and for him to continue on in his career.