Tutt Library Stays on Course Despite Director Departure

Written by Maximilian Dunham

This past spring, Ivan Gaetz announced his resignation as the Director of Tutt Library at Colorado College. Gaetz was offered a job as the Dean of the University of Wyoming Libraries. Gaetz accepted the position in March with a start date of late June.

“I am thrilled at the prospects of joining the team of educators at the University of Wyoming and of leading its libraries in the next phase of development that advances the mission of the university,” said Gaetz in an interview earlier this year.

Meanwhile, a search team was put together led by the Dean of CC, Sandra Wong.

The search was initiated soon after Gaetz announced his resignation and the position was offered to a candidate last May; however, the offer was turned down. The failed search did not allow enough time to acquire a new library director before Gaetz’s departure in June, prompting Wong to approach the most senior librarian on campus, Lisa Lister, about the position of Interim Library Director.

“I was about to retire,” said Lister with a  chuckle. “I was supposed to retire in July.”

Despite this, Lister decided to accept Wong’s offer for a number of reasons. Her qualification for the job played a part in prompting her to accept the position.

“Because I was planning to leave anyway and we were going to fill my old position, it meant I was free to do the interim director job,” said Lister. “I’ve been here 18 years and I’ve done lots of different jobs here and I know all the staff. I know a lot about how things operate here so I think it was a logical thing.”

Former Director of Tutt Library Ivan Gaetz reccently accepted a position at the University of Wyoming.  Photo Courtesy of Colorado College.
Former Director of Tutt Library Ivan Gaetz reccently accepted a position at the University of Wyoming. Photo Courtesy of Colorado College.

Lister believes that by stepping in she allowed for a smooth transition during a hectic time for the library department.

“I really felt like, this being a transition year and the staff being dispersed, I couldn’t leave the staff,” said Lister. “That’s why I agreed to stay.”

According to Lister, her duties are about to ramp up as the department begins planning its move back into Tutt Library.

“The building will be functional by Block 1 of 2017, so that means the materials have to come back, the building has to be done, we have to figure out what move order makes sense,” said Lister. “I’m still involved in a lot of planning. I may not be around when it actually happens, but I’ll have done some leg work.”

Lister worked closely with Gaetz and has been involved with the planning of the new building as well as the logistics surrounding it.

“I kind of knew how things worked and the operations, so I feel like it’s been a pretty smooth transition and that was the whole reason I agreed. I wanted it to be smooth,” said Lister.

While Lister says she has a different style than Gaetz, she believes that she has been able to maintain quality service for CC students and an easy transition for staff. 

The search for a new library director is currently underway. According to Lister, the search team is moving as fast as possible to hire a new library director but an exact timetable is unavailable. Wong allowed some insight into the search process.

“We have been receiving applications since early September and have selected a short list of applicants for Skype interviews,” said Wong. “In the next few weeks we will select a smaller group of candidates to bring to campus for interviews and a presentation. We will invite faculty, students, and staff to attend the presentations.”

The search team is made up of nine CC faculty members: Owen Cramer (Professor of Classics), Pamela Reaves (Assistant Professor of Religion), Sanjaya Thakur (Associate Professor of Classics), Steve Lawson (Humanities Librarian), Jeremy Nelson (Metadata and Systems Librarian), Jessy Randall (Archivist and Curator of Special Collections), Mike Siddoway (Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science), Sandi Wong (Dean of the College and Dean of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Sociology) and Brian Young (Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer).

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