Tennessee Tech University has appointed Douglas Bates, university librarian at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, to the newly expanded role of dean of Library and Learning Assistance at Tennessee Tech University. His appointment is effective July 1 and he will report directly to TTU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jack Armistead. Bates will lead a partnership involving staff members of the Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library and Media Center, all TTU learning assistance programs, the academic support function of Information Technology Services and the Technology Institute. Among his first items of business is to develop and implement a learning assistance commons on the first floor of the library. The learning commons as envisioned by the TTU Library Redesign Committee is among several strategies aimed at improving the university’s student retention rate. Bates holds a doctorate in educational administration from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a master of library and information science from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Bates. He was the search committee’s top choice, and he brings experience and expertise in both of the areas encompassed by his new title: the library itself and the rapidly developing area of learning assistance,” Armistead said. “We were especially attracted to his understanding of what we are calling the learning commons. He will be in charge this year as we transform the main floor of the Volpe library into a space that integrates academic assistance, information services, technology access, and versatile study spaces to best meet the learning and information needs of TTU students.”
Bates said he’s enthusiastic about his new role because he sees it as precisely the right direction for libraries of the future.
“I’m looking forward to getting everybody together and creating a plan for a set of services that will enhance the ability of the library and all these other services to add value and make a difference in the lives of the students and faculty,” Bates said. “We want to give students a richer experience when it comes to information and learning support services. Libraries need to change, and the way they need to change is dependant on what students and faculty need. We need to prepare ourselves to offer services and resources that will be of benefit to them.”
Bates comes to TTU with 23 years of experience working at university libraries in roles of increasing responsibility. He has served as university librarian at BYU-Hawaii since 2002, providing that library’s executive leadership, vision, direction and managing all aspects of the library’s programs and services. Prior to his position at BYU-Hawaii, Bates held a variety of positions at the Hale Library at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. There, he was chairperson of the access service department, administrator for the library’s information management system, director of instruction support services and head of the documents unit. He began his university library career at Texas Tech University in documents reference and served as cataloger. Bates will move from Laie, Hawaii, to Cookeville with his family this month.