Sue Polanka, University Librarian, has been named dean of Libraries and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor for library and information studies at Appalachian State University, effective September 13, 2021.
During her time with the University Libraries, Sue has served in many roles. She came to Wright State University in September 2004 as the head of reference and instruction. In September 2016, she was promoted to associate university librarian for public services and was appointed university librarian in January 2018.
Sue has accomplished many things for the libraries, including securing capital funding to modernize Dunbar Library with new furniture, carpet, and study rooms and secured the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence – Outstanding Unit for the WSU Libraries. When the pandemic hit, Sue immediately jumped into action to keep library services accessible to WSU students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community by implementing curbside service and increasing the chat services. During the pandemic months of July and August 2020, the Charles and Renate Frydman Educational Resource Center which had formerly been maintained by the College of Education and Human Services, became a part of the libraries’ collections. Sue recruited UL staff and teamed up with Facilities Services to move the collection to the Dunbar Library. After an extensive inventory, and over 250 trips through the tunnels, the move was completed in approximately five weeks.
During her leadership with the Friends of the Libraries Board of Directors, the Friends purchased FitDesk Bikes for the Dunbar Library, updated their strategic plan to include diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and secured ongoing professional development funding for University Libraries staff. In partnership with the Wright State University Retirees’ Association and the WSU Alumni Association, the Friends also sponsored the book club that meets five times each academic year.
She has accomplished many other projects including winning several statewide awards, serving as president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio and as a member on several OhioLINK committees, and supporting the local branch of the Patent and Trademark Resource Center. She has published and presented internationally, including seven edited books and special journal issues, and created the “No Shelf Required” blog and book series.
The University Libraries staff thank Sue for her leadership and wish her all the best in her new position at Appalachian State University.