New dean makes plans for Morris Library’s future

A passion for education, understanding of student needs and a love of physical exercise are just some qualities the new library dean said she possesses.

Anne Cooper Moore, dean of library affairs, started her position July 16 and planned changes she said will better serve students inside and outside of the library. Moore said while she knows Morris Library is an excellent facility, she thinks there are many positive additions she can help the library work toward.

“We’re trying to put as much in this building as possible so that whatever you come in for you can finish … and not leave until you’re really satisfied,” Moore said.

She was hired after former dean David Carlson left July 1 to work at Texas A&M University as dean of university libraries.

The new dean said she has many plans to attract more people to the library — including completion of the sixth and seventh floors, which have remained inactive since the building’s renovation in 2008.

Anne Cooper Moore
Provided Photo

Moore said she wants to use the extra space to create more study room, bring in academic support services and make the library a place students can visit for anything school-related.

Howard Carter, associate dean for library support services, said Moore is a refreshing change, and he hopes to see her ideas implemented around the library.

He said some changes have already taken place such as the beginning phase of the One Search program, an online search engine on the Morris Library website that allows students to look up books, journals, articles and videos.

“She has some new enthusiasm,” Carter said. “She’s looking at the ways that we have done things in the past and asking questions about why things are being done the way they are and how we can do them better. She has breathed new life into the building and the staff.”

Chancellor Rita Cheng said Moore was chosen from a pool of qualified applicants because of her ability to skillfully articulate her goals and visions she has for Morris Library.

“She had a much, much stronger message than some of the other candidates,” Cheng said. “It’s a beautiful building and I’m so excited that we have a library director who wants to see the library’s use increased.”

Moore was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she was first introduced to libraries at a young age.

When Moore was a child her mother was a public library trustee and actively worked to establish a county-wide public library system. Moore said she would go with her mother to the openings of new libraries and from then on built a passion for the facilities and the way they worked.

She attended college at Duke University in North Carolina where she studied English and Spanish and spent much of her time in the university’s Perkins Library.

When Moore graduated from Duke University, she got a job at Perkins Library before attending University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she received her master’s degree in library and information sciences.

She has taken library positions in many different parts of the country with her most recent as dean of libraries at the University of South Dakota, Moore said.

Chuck Staben, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of South Dakota, said  Moore started with the University of South Dakota in 2008 and managed more than one academic library on the campus.

He said Moore made vast improvements to the libraries at the University of South Dakota; one of the most notable, he said, was when she simplified an entire collection of books into a more mangeable amount of space.

This freed up physical space in the library, Staben said, and has enabled the school to bring in more academic services such as a writing center and a study abroad office.

“It was a pleasure for me to work with her,” Staben said. “I think what you saw was that her success in South Dakota led to her being eligible to move up to a library like SIU, which is probably one of the top 100 academic libraries in the United States.”

When she is not at Morris Library, Moore said she can be found either running four miles a day with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Molly, or listening to Madonna on her treadmill.

She has three children and a grandson; 30-year-old Rider, 28-year-old Ian, 25-year-old Cassandra and 10-month-old Loren, or “Ren.”

Her daughter Cassandra may follow in her mother’s footsteps to get a master’s degree in library affairs soon, Moore said.

With some changes underway and more planned for the future, Moore said she wants to know what students want and be able to give it to them.

“One of my personal mantras is if you have to say ‘no’ repeatedly, you need to examine your policy and develop a way that you can say ‘yes’ … put things in place so it can be a positive experience rather than a negative one,” Moore said.

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About Austin Flynn

Austin Flynn can be reached at or 536-3311 ext.252.

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