Catawba Announces New Director of Campus Library, Earl Givens, Jr.
December 7, 2017
Earl Givens, Jr. has been appointed the director of Catawba College's Corriher-Linn-Black Library, after serving in the role as interim director. His appointment was announced in early December by College Provost, Dr. J. Michael Bitzer.
Givens' appointment comes at an opportune time for the library, which is beginning the re-evaluation of its mission and activities for the campus and college community. After serving for the past six months as interim, Givens has already been instrumental in initiating programs and technology to advance the changing future of the campus library for the 21st century. He has also continued his research in augmented reality and is working closely with the campus to implement this technology in marketing and public relations.
In reflecting on Givens' interim role, his colleagues in the library lauded his leadership skills, noting that: he "has a true drive to evolve the library into what best fits our students' needs, as well as staff's needs;" he "has a breadth of experiences in fields that further enhances his ability to lead us forward, and continually is adding to his knowledge, experience, and additionally fits well into our Catawba family;" "(h)e has a strong vision for the future of the library and its role as an integral part of the college;" "(h)e leads by example with his proactive approach to public service;" and "(h)e has a strong vision for the library's future and has provided positive direction to move forward."
In conjunction with Givens' appointment, the library staff will be working with Suzanne Bartels of Guilford College, along with other Catawba officials, in developing a new vision and approach for the Corriher-Linn-Black Library at Catawba.
Givens earned both his undergraduate degree in American History with an emphasis in Museums Studies and his Masters of Library Science and Technology M.L.S. from Emporia State University. Thereafter, he accepted a position as the statewide Technology Consultant with the State Library of Kansas. This was a role he served for almost two years before entering higher education.
Departing the State Library of Kansas, Givens joined the faculty at Emporia State University as an assistant professor of Information Literacy & Technology. As a faculty member, he was a contributor in the development of Emporia State's First-Year-Seminar program. In addition to teaching, he also served as the Digital Resources Librarian and worked closely with county and institutional archives to develop a 21st century approach to archival practices and community engagement. That archival partnership led Givens to conduct cutting edge research in augmented reality and its implementation in higher education; he has produced three international, five national, two regional, and 10 local presentations along with five articles.
Seeking to be closer to family, Givens joined Catawba College in 2015 as the Systems and Technology Librarian, before being named acting director in May 2017.
It is worth noting that while an undergraduate, Givens obtained a license in ministry and was ordained in 2006. With over 12 years of ministry experience, including nine years of pastoring, he continues to serve in his local community in Rowan County. Additionally, with his training as a leadership coach and consultant in Harvard's Adaptive Leadership model, he has collaborated to provide leadership training to the community at large. In his spare time, he enjoys playing jazz piano and guitar, working in the community, and exploring North Carolina with his wife and two sons.