NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz announces the appointment of W. Mark Colvson as its new dean of the Sojourner Truth Library. Colvson is currently the associate director of the James A. Cannavino Library at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. His new appointment is effective July 9.
In his role as dean, Colvson will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for the library. He will work with faculty, staff and students to build connections college-wide, integrating library resources and services with academic departments and support services; support students and faculty in personal and collaborative research and scholarship; work closely with staff to improve library services including the continued integration and use of information technology; and will support and initiate regional partnerships. In addition, Colvson will maintain library services during the ongoing $14.3 million library renovation scheduled for completion in winter 2013.
Commenting on his appointment, Colvson stated, “I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to join and serve this vibrant community. I look forward with great optimism to addressing the challenges facing Sojourner Truth Library and all academic libraries in the 21st century: the rapidly evolving ecosystem of academic publishing and research and the resulting demands to rethink traditional library space.” He added, “The library has the strong foundation – excellent collections, visionary senior leadership, the obvious respect and support of students and faculty, and a strong and talented staff – upon which we will continue to build a truly exceptional center for collaborative learning and rigorous scholarship.”
President Donald P. Christian said Colvson has the knowledge and experience to successfully transition the library through the major renovation and into the future. “I am pleased that we have been able to attract Mark Colvson to join us,” said the president. “He brings a wealth of leadership and supervisory experience in academic libraries at three leading liberal arts institutions. He is well regarded by colleagues as a thoughtful, collaborative leader, and his experience and perspective on the use of information technology in academic libraries will be a real asset as we move into the future,” added Christian.
Prior to his position at Marist College, Colvson was the associate director for library systems at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. Previously, he also spent 12 years at Bryn Mawr College in various library positions including the coordinator for curriculum and research support. In addition, Colvson was a senior assistant librarian at Binghamton University and a librarian at the University of Pennsylvania.
Colvson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Haverford College and a Master of Library and Information Science from Drexel University. He also attended the Frye Leadership Institute where library and information technology leaders meet to discuss key issues facing them as professionals working in higher education such as new sources of competition; use of technology to support effective teaching and learning; increasing focus on students; and the leadership skills necessary in today’s rapidly changing environment. Colvson’s professional affiliations include the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Colvson resides in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. with his wife, Debra Bucher, who is the head of collection development and research services at Vassar College, and their daughter. Their son recently graduated from Haverford College, his father’s undergraduate alma mater, and lives in Swarthmore, Pa.
The Sojourner Truth Library fosters learning and supports scholarship at New Paltz by providing an array of information resources and services. The library staff works to continuously expand information access and delivery by employing state-of-the-art technologies; instill information literacy skills in all graduates through collaborative partnerships with classroom faculty; provide a well-designed and functional facility for learning; and assess the library and information needs of faculty and students across campus in order to meet needs and the changing requirements of new academic programs.