New Library Dean Aims to Connect Campus

SUNY New Paltz recently named W. Mark Colvson as the new dean of the Sojourner Truth Library.

Following the retirement of Dean Chui Chun Lee in 2011 and the six-month term of Interim Dean Bill Connor, Colvson joined the Sojourner Truth Library staff on July 9.

As dean, Colvson is responsible for leading the library and making sure the library staff is working together toward serving the mission of the college.

Colvson said he is looking forward to meeting people and making connections with faculty and students. He said he plans to spend time learning about how the New Paltz community works and how the library fits into it.

“A big challenge for libraries is having people really understand what a library does,” Colvson said.

He said he hopes to raise the visibility of the dean so that people will be more aware of the role of the library in the community.

Colvson said he plans to meet with numerous students, faculty and staff and to support the research and learning needs of the students.

“My office door will be open to as many visitors as possible, and I’ll be looking for other ways to connect with the community,” Colvson said.

Ashley Rosado, a fourth-year communications disorder major, said she was impressed with the new dean’s commitment to the students.

“Not every school has a dedicated dean who will take time out of their busy schedule to meet with students,” said Rosado. “It means a lot to students to know that their input is considered helpful.”

Besides citing Colvson’s dedication, Rosado said she was excited about the future of the library.

“SUNY New Paltz is undergoing many changes right now and it is exciting to see the library be a part of that,” Rosado said. “Not only is the library undergoing renovations, but they have brought in a good leader who cares about the students.”

Colvson said he is very excited about the ongoing library renovations scheduled for completion in the winter of 2013. In addition to the renovations, Colvson said he aims to continue improving the library’s connection with the young alumni.

SUNY New Paltz alumnas Tracy Tamucci said she was excited to hear about Colvson’s plan to connect the library with its recent graduates.

“The Sojourner Truth Library is a great resource for students and community members,” Tamucci said. “It would be valuable for alumni like myself to be able to utilize the library and its many resources.”

Colvson previously held library administrative positions at Marist College, where he served as associate director of the Cannavino Library and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he served as the associate director for Library Systems. He also spent 12 years at Bryn Mawr College working in various library positions, was senior assistant librarian at Binghamton University and was a librarian at the University of Pennsylvania.

Colvson said he was drawn to New Paltz because of the strong sense of collaboration that the community and school share. Through his past experiences, Colvson said he learned the value of building collaborative relationships.

“I just love learning and love meeting people and making connections with people,” Colvson said. “I look forward to making connections with the faculty here, the students here, and learning how this community works,——I hope to find out what will really help the students.”