As many of you know, the Dean of the Leatherby Libraries, Charlene Baldwin, announced at the beginning of 2020 that she would be retiring soon. This summer marks the beginning of her transition, as she will take a year-long sabbatical beginning on September 1st and ending August 31st, 2021, with her official retirement. While we eagerly await the opportunity to properly celebrate her extraordinary efforts and achievements at the Leatherby Libraries and Chapman University, please continue reading for a message from Dean Baldwin included in the July 2020 Leatherby Libraries newsletter. (To subscribe to our newsletter, click here.)

Dear Leatherby Libraries friends, faculty, students, librarians, and staff:

A person in a Pete the Panther mascot costume and a red Chapman University t-shirt poses with Dean Baldwin, who is wearing a black blouse, in front of a table filled with cupcakes, set in front of the elevator bay.

Dean Baldwin with Pete the Panther at the cupcake celebration for the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Leatherby Libraries

As I wind down my professional career, I want to take a moment and reflect on the value of the academic library and the incredibly dedicated people who provide instruction, services, and content that all support academic success. My career started 53 years ago when I, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village in western Nigeria, worked with the community to create a reading room for its citizens. That was in 1966. I have served Chapman University since 2000. I was tagged as the “Millennial Dean” as we concluded a successful capital campaign to design and build the new Leatherby Libraries. Opened on the first day of classes in 2004, it remains an important intellectual center of campus.

The Leatherby Libraries, library services at the Rinker Health Sciences campus, and our collaboration with Brandman University and the Fowler School of Law Library model these goals:

To be a Gathering Place

To be a Marketplace of Ideas

To be a Crossroads of Information

We accomplished this with opportunities for Collaboration, relevant and accessible Content, state-of-the-art Connections, and ultimately the resulting Consolidation to inform and reinforce the creation of new Knowledge, uniting Campus and Community.

I am extremely proud to have been a part of the transformation of Chapman University into a world-class institution of higher education and the development of the library to meet the university’s needs. On September 1st, I will begin a year’s sabbatical to investigate ways that I might be able to continue to serve this campus.  My sabbatical will culminate with my official retirement on August 31, 2021. The librarians and library staff will continue to provide the exceptional and enlightened service that we expect. I want to thank everyone who has supported my work at Chapman; it has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.