Centenary welcomes new director of library reference and instruction

SHREVEPORT, LA — Patrick Morgan has joined Centenary’s Magale Library as director of library reference and instruction. Morgan will work to increase student and faculty engagement with the library and to improve information literacy across campus.

“I'm here to grow the Library's involvement in student success and faculty engagement in ways that are universally beneficial and measurable,” explained Morgan. “In the longer term, this will mean transforming the way students think about the place of the Library in their academic trajectory (i.e., less as a place with tools and more of a human-based problem-solving environment), and the ways we collaborate across the College's constituencies.”

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor of arts in linguistics and a master of arts in Near Eastern Studies. He also earned a master of science in library and information science from Drexel University and has worked in a variety of roles in academic libraries at the University of the Ozarks, Hope College, and Savannah State University. In addition to his work in library access and outreach, student success, and reference and instruction, Morgan has taught courses in comparative religion, history, linguistics, literature, and first year experience. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal College & Undergraduate Libraries and maintains an active scholarly presence with invited lectures, conference presentations, and articles.

During the spring 2022 semester, Morgan plans to visit as many classes as possible in order to start making connections with students and faculty.

“I'm eager to collaborate with my faculty colleagues, and their students, at all levels, across the disciplines, in nearly limitless ways,” said Morgan. “One thing that I have learned is that the single most important element of successful library interventions is that they simply take place to begin with. Whether it's a longstanding project, a new information literacy component, or a brand-new collaboration to figure out as we go, I consider all of this to be within my job description. I am particularly keen on exploring ways to document, measure, and improve course- and curriculum-level library/information literacy interventions, and to develop meaningful ways of identifying the ways these interventions promote student success.”

Morgan’s experience as both a college instructor and a college librarian has given him important insight into the role that libraries can and should play for today’s students.

“Libraries need to meet students where they're at,” said Morgan. “This means being realistic about today's information environment, which elides sources of information by the power of the screen. Libraries need to both lean into and help channel this internet-facilitated blurring by actively engaging students in the research process in all its messiness.”

Morgan also has wisdom to share with students about the benefits and possibilities inherent in a career in academic librarianship, especially because this career took him somewhat by surprise.

“It was really in the course of using my own college library that I began to see just how multifaceted and intellectually rewarding living as a librarian could be,” explained Morgan. “When I started library school afterward, I felt like I was learning to do magic, in a way, because I had been carrying around so many unresolved questions about how to search, find, and navigate a very complex information landscape. This feeling has never left me. When I further realized that there were so many applications of an MLIS (Library and Information Science) degree, career-wise, I was shocked. I really believe training as a librarian, a practitioner of information science, if you will, equips a person for a variety of professional pathways.”


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