University Librarian Moving to New Department After 11 Years of Service

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. – Gail Sheehy

Stephen FosterEffective December 31, 2013 Dr. Stephen Foster resigned his position as University Librarian in order to focus his efforts on his role as Associate Vice President for International Affairs in charge of the University Center for International Education (UCIE). He has divided his time between the two positions since August, 2007.

There were a few not-so-dry eyes in the room as Dr. Foster addressed the Libraries staff at a meeting in December, following the announcement of his departure. Stephen shared that in his years at WSU he has consistently heard high praise across the campus for the fine work of the library’s staff. In fact, he says the staff is what he will miss most about being University Librarian. “We’ve been able to host a lot of great lectures and projects, renovations and more,” Stephen reflected. “It’s been very gratifying.” His advice for the libraries’ staff moving forward is to, “keep the great service attitude and willingness to try new things. It’s worked wonderfully!”

“I had interviewed at several other locations before I came here,” Stephen said of his decision to come to WSU in July of 2002. “But my wife pointed out that when I talked about Wright State, I was always enthusiastic.”

Stephen FosterDr. Foster had previously served as Associate Dean of Libraries for Central Michigan University for twelve years. In addition to academic librarianship, his scholarly interests include political philosophy and the history of communism. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University. His most recent work, Desolation’s March: The Rise of Personalism and the Reign of Amusement in 21-st Century America, was published by Academica Press in 2003.

In his new role, Stephen is most looking forward to having the opportunity to increase WSU’s international visibility and facilitate exchanges and agreements that leverage the strength of WSU’s faculty and academic programs. As Associate Vice President, he is responsible for coordinating all international activities on campus, increasing institutional partnerships, and seeking additional funding for international programs and scholarships. Stephen, who travels regularly on behalf of WSU, is looking forward to a trip to India in February.

Sheila ShellabargerWhile Stephen settles into his new position, Sheila Shellabarger will take the helm as Interim University Librarian. Sheila has been with Wright State University Libraries for over 21 years and most recently served as Assistant University Librarian for Public Services. Previously, Sheila was the Head of Reference and Instruction and then Associate University Librarian for the former Fordham Health Sciences Library at Wright State. Before that, she was Library Director at Kettering College. Sheila holds a Master of Library Science degree from Kent State University, a Master of Education from Wright State and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for her undergraduate degree.

Having worked with many of the WSU Libraries staff members for years, Sheila’s knowledge and experience are invaluable in this time of change. She believes her biggest challenge in her new role as Interim University Librarian will be taking on aspects of the library her previous position didn’t include, such as budget, Friends of the Libraries, Special Collections and Archives, and more. The aspect of her new position she’s most looking forward to is representing and promoting the library to others on campus and raising awareness about the library’s services, resources and staff.

Sheila plans to assess library use, resources and services to determine how the library is meeting students’ and faculty’s needs and in what ways the library can improve. She also aims to determine how the library’s plan will fit within the University’s 2013-2018 “Empower” Strategic Plan.

Sheila looks forward to continuing her work with a supportive staff, “We have an excellent team of people working in the library, so I’m confident that we will continue to move forward together.”

Dr. Foster will be greatly missed, but the library staff wish him all the best in his new role and take comfort in the knowledge that he will not be far away in his new office in the Student Union. They plan to visit him often.