Mardigian Library (Courtesy of Joel Seewald)
Mardigian Library (Courtesy of Joel Seewald)

BY KYLE SCHAFER, Staff Writer

Climb up four flights of stairs, make your way through a door that looks like a part of the wall, and you are into the office of the library director.  The office is of conservative décor, featuring a collection of glass and artwork from the Markowitz Gallery, along with some personal items, such as family pictures.

There is nothing lavish or bizarre, or reminiscent of the Rococo style.

Last month, the Mardigian Library hired Elaine Logan as its newest director, taking over for Tim Richards after his 22-year term.  Logan is rather small in stature, but large in atmosphere.  She projects an aura of confidence and sophistication befitting someone of her position.

Logan is not unfamiliar with the University of Michigan-Dearborn library system.  Her first tenure at the library was from 1987 to 1991, just after she had completed her master’s degree in Library Information Sciences.  She was born in Ohio, but don’t hold that against her, as she earned her master’s at Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, where she believes she was the only student in her program raising a child.

After she left Dearborn, she went back to Ann Arbor, where she worked at the Pfizer Research Library from 1991 until 2007, when Pfizer sold the research site. She was offered a job in Connecticut, but turned it down for family reasons, though was offered the position of associate dean at the library at Eastern Michigan University.

“The role of academic libraries is changing,” says Logan, who seemed to want to make it an academic “hub” for students, where writing centers and interactive technology demonstrations are offered.  Furthermore, connection with Ann Arbor and Flint will be expanded with the “One University Project” that will help share electronic resources across the three campuses.

Logan says she is, “…in listening mode.”  She has been meeting with the dean, the president of student government and other student leaders, the library staff, and other sources of influence to find out what changes are needed in the here and now, and down the road to form a 21st century library atmosphere.  The library will be working with Community Engagement and Partnership Services, Academic Service Learning, and Civic Engagement to promote interactive collaborative learning across disciplines.

For all the old-schoolers out there, the collection of microfilm and microfiche are not going anywhere.  Those resources have information that, “…we do not have in any other format,” says Logan.

Logan loves to read, but she also plays golf–apt for a woman whose maiden name is “Mulligan.”  Her handicap: that she hasn’t played enough rounds to be good, she said, going on to say jokingly, “Two things you never ask a woman are her age and her handicap.”

Off the course, she is quite musical, playing English hand bells in her church choir.  Her children have all moved out on their own and are in the workforce, leaving an empty nest at her home in the Ann Arbor area.

“I am honored and happy to be here,” said Logan. “This is a real exciting time to be at the Mardigian Library and at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.”  Keep an eye on the library in the coming months to see what new and exciting developments come about.