OBU has named Paul W. Roberts as dean of library services. Roberts succeeds Richard Cheek, who retired in June after serving seven years in the role.
Roberts earned a bachelor's degree in biblical studies from Central Bible College in Conway, Ark. He earned a master of divinity degree in biblical and theological studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; a master of theology degree in Reformation studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla.; and a master of science in library science degree from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He currently is pursuing a doctorate in church history from the Theologische Universiteit Kampen voor de Gereformeerde Kerken in The Netherlands.
"In our search for a new dean of library services, we knew we needed to find someone with the mind of an academic, the heart for patron services and the eye of a true visionary," said Dr. Debbie Blue, senior vice president for academic services and dean of the Hurley College of Science and Mathematics. "We all know that the library of today is a much different place than that of even 10 or 15 years ago, and the library of the next 10 years will need to change even more dramatically to be responsive to the needs of its patrons."
Blue said one member of the search committee reported, "In Paul Roberts, we have found a person committed to a 'patron-centered' library."
"Paul sees the library as the heart of the university campus," Blue said. "His willingness to work with faculty to build collections, his clear understanding of academic work and the purpose of the library match the University's Vision 2020. We are very happy to have him here."
Since 2008, Roberts has served as director of patron services for the James P. Boyce Centennial Library at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served at the library as reference librarian and systems coordinator and archival assistant.
Roberts was a member of the Quality Enhancement Plan Leadership Team at Southern Seminary as part of the institution's 2012 accreditation reaffirmation review. He has served as an instructor of the Graduate Research Seminar for the seminary's Department of Research Doctoral Studies and an instructor of Project Methodology for the seminary's Department of Professional Doctoral Studies. He has been a guest lecturer in library introduction and English I and II at Boyce College since 2007. For two years, he served as professor of biblical languages, including Greek and Hebrew, at Simmons College of Kentucky.
Since 2006, Roberts served as preaching pastor in a bi-vocational role at Grace Fellowship Church in Louisville. He was pastor of Hubbard Lake Baptist Church in Alpena, Mich., from 2001-05; associate pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Louisville from 1999-2001; and a pastoral intern at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., in 1999.
He is the author of numerous academic publications and papers, as well as numerous library publications and presentations. He is a member of the American Theological Library Association, Association of Christian Librarians, Sixteenth Century Society, and the Reciprocal Borrowing Committee of the Federation of Kentucky Academic Libraries.
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