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Dean of libraries sails toward innovation



With a recently promoted captain at the helm, the Island University’s Mary and Jeff Bell library sails toward innovation.

Dr. Catherine Rudowsky was promoted to the dean of libraries position on Oct. 1, 2017. Rudowsky served as director of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library for three years prior to this promotion. Her goals shifted from operational management of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library to providing the campus with visionary leadership, including increased collaboration and partnership with the University’s six other deans.

“In providing strategic leadership, I am responsible for ensuring that the library is meeting the needs of the campus and the populations that we serve in a way that is engaging and forward thinking,” Rudowsky said.

The change from director to dean altered Rudowsky’s reporting structure and some of the groups and committees she was involved with. This led to partnerships that Rudowsky could use for the library’s benefit.

Her responsibility is to implement resources and services that are cutting edge, while at the same time striving for the library of the future.

“This all translates to having fun and to being able to dream along with other dreamers.” Rudowski said, “Dreams lead to greatness, for the campus and for the library.”

Rudowsky has leadership experience in academic and special libraries, including almost 15 years in public higher education. Rudowsky earned a Ph.D. in Communication Media and Instructional Technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Rudowsky is responsible for library policies and programs, the human resource program, the budget, assessment, facilities and other operational matters of the library.

“Under my direction, the library has made great strides to align itself with the strategic mission of the university and with the goal of becoming an emerging research institute,” Rudowsky said.

Some of Rudowsky’s major initiatives since starting at the Island University include a public use space remodel, a reorganization of the personnel structure, the development of a Scholarly Communications program, a stronger partnership with CBI regarding the Blucher Map Scanning project, the stewardship of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Collection through processing and selective digitization efforts and broader collection development initiatives such as video streaming and demand driven acquisitions.

Rudowsky said working in such a vibrant community makes going to work every day exciting, allowing her to flourish in her position.

“This is a special place that is on an exciting path with great energy and momentum,” Rudowsky said. “I am honored to work with the student body, the library team, and the thoughtful and visionary leadership of our campus.”


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