Maurine McCourry, the technical services librarian at the Alex Mossey Library, will be promoted to library director after the end of the 2018 – 2019 school year.
McCourry will replace Library Director Dan Knoch, who has worked at the library since 1976. McCourry has been working under Knoch at the library since 2000 in the same position that Knoch held before his promotion to director. Provost David Whalen said McCourry will lead the library effectively when she becomes director.
“McCourry is the perfect person to maintain all the strengths so evident in our library,” Whalen said. “She is also well suited to lead it as the college continues to grow in academic strength, develop its internal and external special programs, ramp up archives and special collections, and manage developments in technology. The library is critical in all these areas, and more.”
McCourry earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and went on to earn her doctorate at Dominican University in 2014. Knoch said McCourry’s strong academic background is one of the things that sets her apart as a librarian.
“In terms of the things she’s going to add to the position, she’s going to be more scholarly and academic. She’s already that way, and she’s completed her Ph.D. and that’s really admirable,” Knoch said. “The terminal degree for a librarian is a master’s of library science, and she went beyond that, and she’s published and taught at the graduate level. I see that as a real strength that she brings.”
McCourry said she would miss some aspects of her old job, but she is excited about the prospect of facing new challenges as library director. One of those challenges will be overseeing the planned addition of a special collection area to the library and a renovation of the interior.
“It’s obvious to everyone that we need a renovation and we need an archive space,” she said. “So I anticipate, hopefully, supervising that project at some point.”
Knoch’s presence will certainly be felt in Mossey Library long after his retirement, where he has worked since 1976. Whalen said the very personality of the library has been shaped by his leadership.
“Knoch’s long history of excellent service has endowed the library with something of his own character,” Dr. Whalen said. “The library is a place where learning thrives in an atmosphere of steadiness, calm strength, humane goodwill, and quiet precision. Knoch has given deeply of himself and the library shows it.”
One of McCourry’s new responsibilities as library director will be the administration and management of library personnel. She said she has enjoyed working under the flexible management system that Knoch uses, and will try to imitate his style in her new position.
“Knoch really lets all of us do what we are best at, and lets people find their own talents and skills and kind of work with those. So he allows us to choose our own projects and our own paths and if somebody is better at one thing, someone else can do a project that they are better at,” Dr. McCourry said. “He’s just a nice guy, and everyone likes to work with him, and I hope I can emulate that.”