Meet your Hamersly staff: Dr. Allen McKiel

Each term, we introduce you to a few of the people who work to make Hamersly your favorite place on campus to do research, study, print your papers, meet with a group, or simply kick back and read in a quiet place.

This week, meet Dr. Allen McKiel, our Dean of the Library:

Dean McKielWhat do you do in the library? As dean of the library I am responsible to the university through the Academic Vice President for the administration of the library. My responsibilities include overseeing the library’s budget, coordinating its planning, operations, and personnel, and acting as liaison to the Academic Vice President and his management team.

How long have you worked in the library? A little over 7 years

What is your education and professional background? My undergraduate is in English Literature from Purdue University; the Master is in Library and Information Technology from Indiana University; and the Ph.D. is in Higher Education Administration from Indiana State University.

My first professional job after my Master was as a programmer for a large software development firm in Los Angeles, CA. Libraries were not hiring at the time because Proposition 13 had destroyed the tax base in California. Programming eventually took me back to libraries with programming jobs at companies that serve libraries, OCLC and then Notice at Northwestern University. Stepping out of the library realm, I worked for a few years as the Senior Systems Analyst for Planning at the Indiana Toll Road. From there I found my current career as an academic librarian, first as the Director of Libraries for Region 2 of Ivy Tech State College, then as Director of Libraries for Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, finally landing here in the most delightful of all my professional experiences at Western Oregon University.

What is one thing about the library you think everyone should know? Libraries are the collective efforts of society to provide equitable access to its intellectual and cultural heritage. They will continue indefinitely into the future albeit in forms integral to society’s evolving information and communication infrastructure.

What is the last good book you read? Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.

What was your favorite book as a kid? The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon.

Tell us a fun fact about you! I have a 2-year-old grandson that loves anything with wheels. He goes “beep, beep, beep!” when he backs up.

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