Letter from the Dean

Dear Friends,

Although all the Keywords newsletters are meaningful to me, this one is particularly special. Our cover article reports on the 75th anniversary of the Friends of the Libraries. What a wonderful occasion. So many people over the years have been Friends and have helped sustain the library during good and not-so-good times. The library would not have the rich book collection it does today without ongoing contributions from Friends; those contributions really helped to supplement decreased state funding.

The organization’s success is due to the leadership of the Friends board, ably led for many years by John Pilkington and, of course, his good neighbor and English department colleague Chuck Noyes. So please join me in celebrating the past 75 years. The Friends, led by its president, Stephen Monroe, have some exciting events planned for this anniversary year, and all are welcome to attend.

This issue also celebrates generous donors and recent collection gifts. We have been fortunate over the years to have many people who care so much about our libraries. We also highlight the rollout of our new Studio One service and the introduction of our Pop Up Library, a new way of taking some library services outside the library walls.

We also mark the passing of one of Mississippi’s greatest artists, B.B King, whose personal record collection formed the foundation for our world-famous blues collection.

Finally, an article is included in this issue on my retirement, which occurs in December 2015. This is my final Keywords letter. It has been a rare privilege to serve as dean these past years. With the help of wonderful staff, a supportive administration and a terrific network of people who care about this library, I think we have achieved a lot. We have much stronger collections and services, and we have remodeled much of our space to meet the changing needs of our users. We are also doing a better job of serving our users and are fortunate to have hardworking, talented library staff who will continue making improvements; so, the best is yet to come!


Julia Rholes
Dean of University Libraries