University of South Carolina names dean of libraries
Thomas McNally, who has served as interim dean of the University of South Carolina libraries since 2007, has been named to the post permanently.
Dr. William T. Moore, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost (interim), made the announcement Monday (Feb. 16).
McNally, who joined the libraries nearly 19 years ago as university librarian for public services, said strong libraries are essential to the university’s success.
“The library plays a key role in the process of teaching, learning and research,” McNally said. “We must continue to build and conserve our collections. We must work every day to develop services that keep pace with the technologies that our users are employing. We must remodel our libraries to reflect the changes in the ways our students learn and interact with one another. Each librarian we recruit must be a leader capable of creating initiatives and moving them into daily practice.”
McNally earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University and a master’s in library science from the University of Washington. He was a librarian at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and Loyola University in Chicago before joining the University of South Carolina’s library staff in 1991. McNally served as director of Thomas Cooper Library from 2003 until he was named interim dean of libraries in 2007, replacing Paul Willis, who retired.
McNally has worked tirelessly to provide innovative library services to the university community, moving the library into the area of electronic resources and services and developing statewide partnerships and negotiating statewide database contracts.
“Tom McNally’s leadership will undoubtedly enhance the well-established reputation of the USC libraries and promote the development of even stronger collections and services in support of scholarship, teaching and learning,” said Dr. Deborah Jakubs, vice provost for library affairs at Duke University who has worked with McNally through the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). “His broad expertise and his dedication to collaborative approaches in addressing the most pressing library issues combine to make him an excellent choice to lead the libraries at the University of South Carolina.”
For more than 200 years, the University of South Carolina libraries have grown and matured from humble beginnings in Rutledge Hall on the historic Horseshoe. Today, the collections span eight buildings and include tens of millions of items, which are viewed by more than a million visitors each year.
Beginning in 1805 with Elisha Hammond, the university libraries have been led by a distinguished group of individuals. Thomas Park led the library twice in the 1800s for a total of 20 years. In 1875, Richard Greener became the first African American to lead a major U.S. research library. Margaret Rion began the 20th century, leading the library for 12 years. The second half of the 20th century marked the greatest growth for the libraries. Alfred Rawlinson and Kenneth Toombs directed the libraries for 20 years each, with George Terry and Willis serving at the helm in the last 20 years.
“This is a time of transformation in our libraries, and I am honored and humbled to be following the footsteps of so many individuals who have done so much for our university,” McNally said.