Interim Leader Named Permanent Dean of UToledo Libraries

June 16, 2022 | News, UToday, Library
By Christine Billau

Thomas Atwood, a professor and interim dean of University Libraries at The University of Toledo focused on enhancing the learning environment and student success, has been selected to lead University Libraries as dean.

Atwood, whose appointment is effective July 1, has served as interim dean since Beau Case accepted a position at the University of Central Florida at the end of 2021.

“Thomas has been doing an excellent job as the interim dean and has strong support from library faculty and staff,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “He is very focused on making sure that the libraries are ‘go-to’ places for our students, and that they simultaneously support our education and research missions. I am confident that under his leadership, the UToledo Libraries will continue to thrive.”

Thomas Atwood


Atwood had served as associate dean of University Libraries since 2018. He began his UToledo career in 2004 as an information literacy librarian and later served as coordinator of information literacy and library instruction.

University Libraries includes Carlson Library, Canaday Center for Special Collections and Mulford Health Science Library.

“I’m very proud and happy to serve in this role, and I’m extremely fortunate to have the support of faculty and staff,” Atwood said. “I’ve always thought that the library is the largest classroom on campus. Library spaces are learning spaces. University libraries enhance the teaching, learning and research mission of the University. We play a critical role in recruitment, retention and student success.”

Atwood said he hopes to expand the libraries’ experiential and service-learning opportunities.

“We’ve been doing great programming with outside gardens and inside murals,” Atwood said. “One of the things that we also do well is we are creating safe and inclusive spaces that support all different learning styles. We’re always trying to meet the needs of diverse populations. The library has been a leader in that area through active outreach — from engaging student veterans to improving the college experience for transfer students. Everyone knows their place in the library.”

Atwood has a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Youngstown State University.

He is a coach in the American Library Association’s and Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Your Research Coach” program, the chair of UToledo’s Student Grievance Council and a member of UToledo’s Online Faculty Advisory Board and the University Research Council. Atwood also serves as director of The University of Toledo Press.

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