Florida A&M University (FAMU) has tapped Faye Watkins to serve as the new dean of libraries. In this position, Watkins will continue the mission of transforming the delivery of library resources and services and expanding access to the extensive knowledge base offered by the global academic community.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve as the dean of libraries at Florida A&M University,” said Watkins, who will begin work at FAMU in early January 2014. “The library serves a fundamental role in the process of higher education because it organizes and provides access to the information resources that support teaching, learning and research. I am looking forward to working with the staff and students and to serving their needs at the library.”
Watkins, who has more than 14 years of experience working as an academic librarian and library director, says she also looks forward to using her position to contribute in any way she can to the institution’s stalwart academic programs, research initiatives and legacy of excellence.
“I look forward to the opportunity to support the intellectual development of students and meeting the teaching and research needs of faculty within an intellectually engaging, academic environment,” Watkins said. “I have a tremendous appreciation for the value of higher education to inspire individuals and transform communities. This position offers many opportunities to cultivate and support faculty, student and community engagement at an institution of higher education that has a legacy of educational accomplishments.”
Since October of 2007, Watkins served as director of the library at Hampton University, in Hampton, Va., where she worked to ensure that the library had the necessary resources to support the university’s academic programs.
Her responsibilities included strategic leadership for the library, supervising a staff of 34 librarians and support staff, coordinating budget planning and expenditures for a total budget of $2.1 million, and developing and implementing the strategic plan for the main campus library, as well as the satellite campus library located at Virginia Beach, Va.
Watkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. In 1998, she earned a dual master’s degree in English and library and information science from the University of South Carolina.
Watkins began her professional career as the collection development librarian at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. She was promoted to systems and collection development librarian and served in this position from 1999 to 2004. She was later promoted to the position of associate director of library services in 2004. During 2006, she served as acting director of the library and, in 2007, was appointed director of the library at Johnson C. Smith University.
Watkins is a long-time advocate for library and information initiatives that focus on meeting the needs and expectations of students and faculty. She currently serves on the board of directors for the New Library Directors Mentor Program and is a mentor to up-and-coming library directors.
Samuel H. Coleman Memorial Library, the university’s main library, is named for Samuel Harrison Coleman, who served the university as general alumni president for 14 years.
Coleman Library was built in 1948, renovated in 1972 and expanded in 1990 and 2004. The 88,964-square-foot facility includes group study rooms, a student study lounge and cafe, graduate/faculty study carrels, teleconference rooms and a state-of-the-art information literacy classroom. Along with the additional 20,000-square-feet available in the branch libraries, the university libraries provide a seating capacity of 920. The libraries hold nearly two million volumes, more than 155,000 e-books and e-journals and 256,126 microforms, which are accessible to users both onsite and online.