Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-3635

February 13, 2008


Editor's Note: These events have been cancelled. Campus was closed on Feb. 15, and no events will be held the week of Feb. 18 due to the tragedy that took place on our campus Feb. 14, 2008.


NIU faculty, staff and students invited
to meet candidates for library dean

DeKalb, Ill. — Two public forums are scheduled to introduce members of the campus community to the finalists for the post of dean of Northern Illinois University Libraries.

The finalists are Myrna McCallister of Indiana State University and Patrick Dawson of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“The dean of University Libraries is a key position on our campus, overseeing what amounts to the knowledge center of campus life,” Provost Raymond Alden said. “We’ve attracted two very strong finalists, and I’m hopeful that faculty, staff and students will come out to meet the candidates and provide us with their input and insights.”

The dean will serve as the chief administrative officer of University Libraries, which includes Founders Memorial Library, three specialized libraries on campus and libraries at NIU outreach centers in Naperville, Rockford and Hoffman Estates. University Libraries houses 2.2 million volumes, with access to more than 22,000 periodical titles, and has an annual operation budget of about $9 million. The dean will oversee a professional staff of 30 and a support staff of 76.

The library is well known for its nationally recognized digitization unit, as well as its American popular culture collection and the Donn V. Hart Collection of Southeast Asian materials, recognized as being among the top five Southeast Asian collections nationwide.

The candidate forum schedule is as follows.

Myrna McCallister

Public forum: 10 to 10:55 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in Altgeld Hall 315.

Since 2003, McCallister has served as dean of the library at Indiana State University, where she oversees 23 faculty and 45 support staff. Her responsibilities include facilities, personnel, programming, budgeting, fundraising, community outreach and management of the university’s archives and digital imaging projects.

McCallister previously served as library director at the University of Baltimore, as library director at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Penn., as associate university librarian for technical services at Appalachian State University and as collection development and acquisitions librarian at the University of Maine Libraries.

She holds a master of library science degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in French literature from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in French literature from UCLA.

Her vita can be viewed online at

Patrick Dawson

Public forum: 10 to 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Altgeld Hall 315.

Dawson serves as associate university librarian for information and research services at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The library there holds nearly 3 million volumes. His responsibilities include developing library budgets, strategic plan implementation and supervision of operations, staffing and planning for a number of library departments.

Dawson previously worked as the head of information services within the library at the University of California and as head of its unique collection of Chicana/o and Latina/o resources and specialized reference services. He also served as reference desk coordinator.

Dawson earned his master of library science degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in history/Latin American Studies and bachelor’s degree in history from the University of New Mexico.

His vita can be viewed online at