MSU Libraries Discover Impact.

December, 2014

Seasons Greetings!


I hope once again that this message finds you well. As we wrap up a highly successful semester, I wanted to personally touch base with some of the University Libraries' most ardent supporters and tell you about some of our key activities from the fall semester.

On a more personal note, I also wanted to let you know that I have accepted another position, as Dean of Libraries & Educational Technologies at James Madison University. I have cherished my time at Murray State, and believe that the work we have done here, with the help of a great team, has positioned the University Libraries well for the future. I have enjoyed working with the many supporters the University Libraries have among MSU graduates and the region, and I hope that you will continue to lend your support to the University Libraries, its faculty and staff, and its in-coming dean.

Provost Jay Morgan has indicated his desire to get a national search up and running as quickly as possible, but in the meantime, he has asked Ashley Ireland to serve as Interim Dean following my departure in June. Ashley has my whole-hearted support, as she currently serves as the Director of User and Instruction Services and has been a critical component of the University Libraries' transformation these last seven years. She will provide excellent leadership of the University Libraries while the search moves forward.

Once again, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each of you, and I hope that I may see you at various events throughout the spring semester. Have a safe, peaceful, and happy Holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.

Adam Murray

Lana Porter Funds Open Access Initiative

Murray State University alumna Lana Garner Porter will donate $30,000 to the University Libraries to create an endowment fund to support the development of an Open Access Repository through the MSU Libraries. Lana, who earned the B.S. (1965) and M.A.T. (1972) degrees from Murray State is a long-time generous supporter of the university. An Open Access Repository offers an opportunity for Murray State researchers to load a freely accessible copy of their research, letting their findings more readily available on a global scale.

Lana, who served as CEO of the world’s largest library software company until her retirement in 2002, has a deep understanding of the importance of open access.

“I believe this will set Murray State apart from other universities and will help attract more faculty who see the benefit of being at an institution that is helping them to not only publish, but also providing them with a tool that allows them to control their own research in a more effective way.”

Though donors tend to contribute to the departments or schools from which they received their degrees, Lana shared the necessity of including libraries in those gifts. “Libraries support all of the university — students, faculty and staff — so they need contributions to both maintain current services and expand resources to meet ever-changing needs,” Lana stressed. This latest gift is just one of many the university has received through Porter and her husband, Dr. Michael Porter, who is also a Murray State graduate (B.S. 1964, M.S. 1969). Lana was named an MSU Distinguished Alumnus in 2002, and served on the Campaign Cabinet for Murray State’s recent comprehensive fundraising campaign, Hold Thy Banner High: The Campaign for the Students of Murray State University.

Wells Studio Negatives

Jill Celaya, owner of Wells Studio in Mayfield, KY., has donated 300,000 photographic negatives to the University Libraries that were taken by studio founder Kenneth Wells. The negatives, which cover the years 1938-79, offer a rare glimpse into earlier days at the university and the region surrounding it.

Kenneth Wells established the studio in 1939, after deciding to change from a nine-year teaching career at Mayfield High School (band and orchestra) to photography, a much-loved hobby of his from his own school days. He became a full-time portrait photographer, using his interest in chemistry to develop and print his own images. Additionally, Wells served as the official photographer for the Murray State Shield yearbook from 1942-56. He continued to provide special feature photographs for the Shield into the early 1960s. Wells sold his business and its contents to David and Jill Celaya of Mayfield in 1979. The Celayas continued to operate Wells Studio, eventually moving it to an historic location on the court square — the former Rhodes-Burford Furniture building. David spent six months creating his dream studio, but sadly, he passed away shortly after business began at its new location. Today, Jill and daughter, Lacey Celaya, continue the award-winning legacy of photography at Wells Studio.

The collection will be housed on campus in historic Pogue Library. It will be sorted and placed in long-term preservation storage. After safeguarding the collection of negatives, they will become accessible to those visiting Pogue. Plans also include future digitization of the collection to make it available through the library's online repository.

We are grateful for this gift because it allows Pogue Library to expand its service as a library that preserves and makes accessible the history of the region. This collection provides a fantastic visual history of the region and will be a great asset to provide to the Murray State University community.

Partnership with Racer Athletics

Libraries and athletics tend to occupy very different portions of any university, which is what makes them perfect for partnership opportunities.

The University Libraries are providing a dedicated Research & Instruction Librarian, Jeffrey Henry, to provide mentoring services to student athletes in the Weaver Center for Academic Enhancement. The University Libraries were highlighted at a recent football game for their evolving contributions to the academic mission of the university, with my 5-year old son having the opportunity to do the coin flip. These efforts represent the first of a long-term relationship between Racer Athletics and the University Libraries, strengthening the academic and extracurricular bonds of units serving MSU students.

Murray State University Libraries

Please feel free to contact me with any input or thoughts you might have for improving the MSU Libraries, or for cultivating a community of supporters for the MSU Libraries