Technological advancements, structural and service improvements are just some of the high points on the agenda for Felix Unaeze, new director of library services at the A. C. Lewis Memorial Library.”We are trying to elevate this library from where it is right now to another level,” the enthused library director said.
He joined the faculty in September 2009 and brings a wealth of experience and qualifications.
He last worked at the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where he held positions as library director and lately as associate professor and research librarian at the Library Science Program of the same institution.
Prior to that, Unaeze was the director of public services at Chicago State University Library from 2004 to 2007.
He also worked at Ferris State University in Michigan as the head of reference and institutional services in the library.
He was an employee at Northern Illinois University, New Mexico State and Lincoln University of Missouri.
Unaeze is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in journalism, master of arts in political science and an MBA in management. He also holds a master of arts in library science from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
As a new library services director, Unaeze seeks to improve the facade of the facility, reorganize and enlarge the periodical department, create new reading areas, improve restroom facilities, and upgrade the technological capacity of the library.
“We are now preparing for all the accreditation visits that will be coming up. (Preparing to) answer all the questions that will be asked, along with improving our services,” said Unaeze.
The library workers are also working on getting assistance through grants.
“The library staff is trying to write some grant proposals in order to help us improve our technology here,” Unaeze said.
Recently, a grant proposal was submitted to the Collaboration Learning Spaces for the Conceited Generation.
The director credits the hard work of librarian Rhonda Rolen and her colleagues in ensuring that the proposal was completed and submitted.
High on the list of challenges faced by the new director is funding.
“We are facing budget problems, and we have a challenge of getting vacant positions replaced,” he said.
Unaeze said he had spoken to the college administration and is awaiting now a response.
He also said that he is an optimist and has no doubt that he will receive the necessary support once the new college president is appointed.
“The way the change of president will affect the college is in the decision making process. Because we have to wait for the new leadership, it slows down on the requests we have made.”
“However, it does not mean that the university will not support us, as the library plays an important role in supporting the mission of the university. I am optimistic that things will work well for us,” the director said.
According to him, there are plans for the construction of a new library building, but those are still in the early stages.
The former acting director of library services, Dr. Rosemary Mokia, is now the head of acquisitions and serial department in the library.