posted April 2, 2008

Kelly Jacobsma Appointed Director of Libraries

Kelly Jacobsma has been appointed director of libraries at Hope College.

She succeeds David Jensen, who is retiring at the end of the school year after serving in the position since 1984. A member of the Hope library faculty herself since 1988, Jacobsma was chosen following a competitive national search during which her experience and vision made her the best choice for the position, according to the college's provost, Dr. James Boelkins, who chaired the search committee.

"Through the search process, Kelly demonstrated her understanding of the current and future challenges facing the 21st century library, a strong desire to increase the engagement of the academic program and the library, a vision for ways to strengthen the library, and a strong commitment to Van Wylen Library and the college's mission," Boelkins said. "I am confident that Kelly will provide strong leadership for Van Wylen Library and help take it to the next level of excellence."

Jacobsma, who will assume her new responsibilities on July 1, is currently serving as librarian with the rank of associate professor and as head of public services at the library. Her responsibilities have included coordinating all aspects of public services, including teaching, reference, media services, the technology laboratory, circulation, interlibrary loan and library policy, in addition to collaborating with campus curriculum committees to implement course-integrated library instruction, and implementing new technologies in support of the library program.

Jacobsma joined the library staff in 1988 as a reference librarian, and was promoted to head of public services in 1990 and associate professor in 1995. She served as the library's acting director from January to August of 1994 while Jensen was on a sabbatical leave. Among other grant projects, she was co-director during 2001-02 of a joint initiative with the department of English focused on information and literacy writing funded through an SBC Ameritech Partnership Award for Independent Colleges.

Her ongoing professional activities have included serving on committees and in elected positions with the Michigan Library Association and the American Library Association, and as a MeL (Michigan Electronic Library) trainer on behalf of the Michigan Library Consortium. She is a member of the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Prior to coming to Hope, Jacobsma was with CentralMichiganUniversity for six years, first as a regional librarian and then as manager of off-campus library services. She holds her bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University, and an MILS degree from the University of Michigan.

The Hope library has 21 full- and part-time staff, who during the school year are assisted by approximately 100 part-time student employees. The five-story Van Wylen Library building, which opened in 1988, is named for the college's ninth president and his wife, Dr. Gordon J. and Dr. Margaret D. Van Wylen. The library provides 24/7 access to thousands of digital scholarly resources including electronic journals, books, reference works, images, music and databases in addition to housing more than 370,000 volumes at the Van Wylen Library and the Nykerk Hall of Music library.

In 2004, the Van Wylen Library was named the national winner in the college category of the "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award" presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).