With a dedication to diversity and inclusion, it is no surprise many women are in key leadership positions at Methodist University. What you probably did not realize is that MU has at least one department composed entirely of women.
With a dedication to diversity and inclusion, it is no surprise many women are in key leadership positions at Methodist University – including Provost Suzanne Blum Malley, Chief of Staff Sheila Carr Kinsey, Vice President for Mission Integration and Student Well-Being Kelli Taylor, Vice President for Business Affairs Dawn Ausborn and many more.
What you probably did not realize is that MU has at least one department composed entirely of women. The Davis Memorial Library includes:
- Tracey Sherrod, director
- Arleen Fields, associate director & archives librarian
- Apryl Rosser, instruction/reference librarian
- Jennifer Taft, instruction/reference librarian
- Melissa Cannon, circulation manager
- Vickie Gettleman, library assistant
- Tri’Near Young, library assistant
- Charity Lemons, interlibrary loan assistant
Sherrod, who has been leading Davis Memorial Library for more than 16 years, said she is proud to work with a strong, hard-working group of women – especially as MU celebrates National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in March.
“This country is a melting pot and while we should meld, we should also take the time to celebrate every group for everything they’ve contributed. For women, we’ve come such a long way in voting rights and equality for Black women,” Sherrod said. “It helps me appreciate working with a group of women who have such a big heart for our students.”
Davis Memorial Library oversees a variety of tasks including the circulation of its physical books, helping students reserve study rooms and providing access to the University’s databases and online catalog. However, there are also other behind-the-scenes services many people in the MU community may not be aware of.
For example, the librarians have faculty status and some of them teach a few classes for MU Journey, the Reading Circle and the University’s Library Competency class, ensuring every student is aware of the services Davis Memorial Library provides. They also visit classes to provide curated instructions on how students can research specific projects.
“I love being in the classroom,” said Taft. “Being able to work directly with the students is by far my favorite part of this job. We have such a great group of students and community at Methodist University that I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
From writing a paper as a student to conducting research as a faculty, the Davis Memorial Library staff is available for scheduled, one-on-one appointments to help guide students and staff in the right direction. Davis Memorial Library also archives important documents, photos and other special collections to safeguard the history of the University.
However, one of the largest projects the department recently tackled was the deselection program – a thoughtful, organized process of trimming down the University’s physical collection from more than 100,000 books to 30,000 books.
“We wanted a leaner, tighter collection to make it easier for our entire campus to find the book they are looking for,” Sherrod said. “Before, some students would become overwhelmed with the number of books and it was taking up a lot of space. Now, there’s more space for our students and we’re seeing more students in the library than before.”
The Davis Memorial Library space also saw the addition of One Stop, the University’s new “one-stop” shop for academic support and academic and career advising – helping attract even more students to the building recently.
“I truly believe we’re the heart of the campus,” Sherrod added. “Not only are we at the center of campus, but we always have the interests of all of our students and faculty in mind. Every day is a joy to work at Davis Memorial Library.”
Normally, Davis Memorial Library is open during the following hours (visit the DML webpage for Spring Break hours):
- Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m.-Midnight
- Friday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Saturday: 1-5 p.m.
- Sunday: 3 p.m.-Midnight
By visiting the Davis Memorial Library webpage, you can learn more about all of the services it provides, make an appointment for assistance, access the online catalog and more.
Pictured above: Melissa Cannon, Charity Lemons, Victoria Gettleman, Tri’Near Young, Tracey Sherrod, Arleen Fields, Apryl Rosser & Jennifer Taft