Catawba announces new director of campus library

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2017

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — Earl Givens Jr. has been appointed director of Catawba College’s Corriher-Linn-Black Library, a job he has filled on an interim basis.

His appointment was announced in early December by college Provost J. Michael Bitzer.

Givens’ appointment comes at an opportune time for the library, which is beginning the re-evaluation of its mission and activities for the college community. As interim director for six months, Givens has been instrumental in initiating programs and technology to advance the changing nature of campus libraries in the 21st century.

He has continued his research in augmented reality and is working to implement this technology in marketing and public relations.

Givens’ colleagues at the library lauded his leadership skills, noting that he “has a true drive to evolve the library into what best fits our students’ needs, as well as staff’s needs;” “has a breadth of experiences in fields that further enhances his ability to lead us forward, and continually is adding to his knowledge, experience, and additionally fits well into our Catawba family;” “has a strong vision for the future of the library and its role as an integral part of the college;” “leads by example with his proactive approach to public service;” and “has a strong vision for the library’s future and has provided positive direction to move forward.”

The library staff will work with Suzanne Bartels of Guilford College, along with other Catawba officials, to develop a new vision and approach for the Corriher-Linn-Black Library.

Givens earned both his undergraduate degree in American history with an emphasis in museums studies and his master’s in library science and technology from Emporia State University. He became the statewide technology consultant with the State Library of Kansas, a job he held for almost two years before entering higher education.

Givens joined the faculty at Emporia State University as an assistant professor of information literacy and technology. He was a contributor in the development of Emporia State’s first-year seminar program.

In addition to teaching, he was the digital resources librarian and worked closely with county and institutional archives to develop a 21st-century approach to archival practices and community engagement. That archival partnership led Givens to pursue research in augmented reality and its implementation in higher education; he has produced three international, five national, two regional and 10 local presentations along with five articles.

Seeking to be closer to family, Givens joined Catawba College in 2015 as the systems and technology librarian, before being named acting director in May.

While an undergraduate, Givens obtained a license in ministry and was ordained in 2006. With over 12 years of ministry experience, including nine years of pastoring, he continues to serve in the Rowan County community.

Additionally, with his training as a leadership coach and consultant in Harvard’s Adaptive Leadership model, he has collaborated to provide leadership training to the community at large.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing jazz piano and guitar and exploring North Carolina with his wife and two sons.