Patricia Mileham, interim dean of library services, director of research services and associate professor of library services, has been selected to be a Library Senior Fellow at UCLA.

This international cohort of 17 top managers of academic libraries will visit UCLA in August for a three-week residential program that combines management perspectives, strategic thinking and practical and theoretical approaches to the issues confronting academic institutions and their libraries.

“The best library administrators will serve as the mediators in this environment, for their personnel, their students, their faculty and their campuses,” Mileham said. “I see this experience providing me with a rich opportunity for developing the skills, making the connections and providing the best leadership I am capable of for our library and our campus.”

Mileham joined Valpo’s faculty in 1998, earning promotion to associate professor in 2004 followed by tenure in 2005. In 2008, she was named director of research services, managing the team-based department that encompasses library instruction, reference, circulation, programming and outreach services.

“Our library is passionate about student learning, and in that construct we consider all that we do tying directly back to the students,” Mileham said. “While we are in a time in higher education where we need to be especially proactive in discerning the next best steps, it is incumbent on those of us in administration to continue to lead and support our librarians and staff who keep our work at the forefront of student learning.

The program’s broad curriculum considers academic library leadership and management within higher education’s current challenges and pressures. Mileham said each cohort has individualized planning, with particular courses of study designed to accommodate fellows’ backgrounds and experiences.

“I see the biggest opportunities and challenges for libraries in meeting students’ traditional learning support needs while leading them — and our campuses — forward,” Mileham said. “Being forward-thinking and acting doesn’t mean abandoning students’ traditional needs; it may mean providing support in unexpected ways just now glimmering on the horizon.”

Mileham holds a master of arts in library and information science from the University of Iowa and a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and actively involved with ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries, Library Leadership and Management Association and Reference and User Services Association.

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