Letter From the Dean
Interim Dean of Libraries
I hope you and your loved ones are well. While 2020 has presented challenges to health and wellbeing, University of Houston Libraries has adapted to our collective “new normal.” With the start of the fall semester, and following the practical guidance of the University and our local and state officials, our spaces re-opened, at a limited capacity and with safety protocols in place, to the UH community. Our librarians and staff, many working remotely, continued providing students and faculty with expert help and resources, including research support and access to collections.
We continue to assess our ability to meet academic and research needs while operating safely as we enter the spring 2021 semester. If University guidance, campus conditions, or library use requires restrictions on physical access, the Libraries can return to remote service only.
I began my tenure as interim dean of UH Libraries in February following the departure of Lisa German, former UH Libraries dean and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair, who began a new role as dean at University of Minnesota Libraries. The University launched a search for a replacement and three candidates have been invited to interview.
Last year, the John P. McGovern Foundation generously offered support for three projects proposed by UH Libraries, including expansion of the 24-hour student study space in MD Anderson Library. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was placed on hold as we reassessed priorities. With the McGovern Foundation’s approval, we’ve redirected these funds toward outfitting all four libraries with the technology, equipment, and protections necessary for safe use of our spaces. Expenditures include a locker system which will allow users to have contactless pick-up for items requested. Users will swipe their ID cards and the appropriate locker slot will open providing them access to their requested materials, including books and equipment. Other enhancements included plexi-glass shields for library service desks and necessary sanitization equipment for circulating print materials and handling of special collections items.
On behalf of the Libraries, thank you for your support which makes so many of our efforts possible. By supporting the Libraries, you are contributing to our mission of advancing student success, knowledge creation and preservation, and globally competitive research.