The Daily Gamecock

Column: The new dean of libraries is an excellent choice

<p>FILE—A photo of the exterior of the Thomas Cooper Library on January 13, 2022. Dean of Libraries David Banush began his first day as dean on Nov. 1, 2022.</p>
FILE—A photo of the exterior of the Thomas Cooper Library on January 13, 2022. Dean of Libraries David Banush began his first day as dean on Nov. 1, 2022.

The university made an excellent choice in bringing in the new Dean of Libraries David Banush. His experience, past accomplishments and expertise in the library field make him a great choice for the dean of university libraries. 

The dean of university libraries supervises the budget, recruits library staff and advocates for the libraries. Banush began his role as the dean of university libraries on Nov. 1. 

Banush previously served as the dean of libraries and academic information resources at Tulane University since 2015. 

During Banush's time at Tulane, he was successful in increasing support for research data management and faculty research impact. And he was successful in increasing grant funding, modernizing library spaces and increasing private support. He has served in leadership roles with many professional organizations, including the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries.

He is now working to try to create a layout better suited for students, add programs and resources that can help the whole population of USC.

As he steps into his new position, he is trying to fix some of the current problems that the students are facing, such as the lack of library accessibilty. 

"On Fridays they shouldn't close at 7, because some of us don't get out of our classes until 6 p.m., and have to write essays and can't focus in a loud dorm," first-year biology student Emma Shoczolek said. 

With the limited space and hours, Banush is planning to work on these problems and expand accessibility of the library to students by opening the library 24/5 or 24/7 and creating more seats or better layout of the library to accommodate more students. 

Increasing the accessibility of the library will help so many students, especially when they need to spend some late nights studying for an exam or need more space for group projects. 

By updating the spaces, he is trying to make the library more accessible for USC students and improve the use of the library for students. 

In addition to improving library access to students, he is trying to figure out ways to increase the rate of academic success for all students at USC. 

Banush said he wants to be able to provide more help for students, particularly minority groups. He said he wants to observe the current student success programs and find ways to partner up with other organizations that help these students with their academic success. 

He is not only trying to improve the library, but improve programs to help accommodate multiple students' needs. He wants to improve the academic success rate as much as possible for the students at USC.

In addition to helping students on campus, he is trying to boost library resources for faculty on campus. 

"I'd like to be able to help improve our services to faculty that include more guidance on research impact and research analysis," Banush said.  

One idea Banush has for improving digital research is providing more guidance on research impact and analysis to help faculty understand which scholarly publication would be better suited for their research. The library can suggest which publications are faster, have a broader audience and which journals are more impactful for a faculty member's research. 

This helps simplify the publication process for the faculty members and helps them accomplish their goals more easily. 

With his ideas and past success in improving the library for research for faculty, we can hope to see faculty benefiting more from the university's libraries. 

“He's got a lot of experience, including experience as a sitting dean. He brings a recent perspective from another institution," Heather Heckman, associate dean for technology, said. "He's a really prominent librarian in the field. He's been very active in professional organizations as a dean, and I'm confident that he understands libraries and is ready to lead the libraries forward. 

His experience, accomplishments and ideas for improving academic success, library accessibility and faculty research impact all contribute to making him a successful and reliable leader as he takes on his new position at USC. This will help students utilize the library better and help them reach their academic goals while at USC.  


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