In the course of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the building named “Preus Library,” we should also recognize and honor the ten head librarians who either worked in the building or developed the library program leading up to the construction of the building. The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science (1983) defines head librarian as “a modifier used to designate the individual in charge of a library…” That definition encompasses more than a title by implying an enormous range of responsibilities for the individual occupying the position.
The Luther College Library, whether located in Main, the Chicken Coop, Koren or Preus Library, has been and is an assemblage of spaces, collections, services, and staff. Head Librarians have directed use of the library by planning and designing the library spaces, anticipating changes in needs as much as possible. Spaces for library materials, offices, and classrooms were carefully considered. Building the collections and making them accessible was a significant goal of all the head librarians who made it a priority to gather and catalog materials, often with serious budget constraints, to support the curriculum. Services offered by the library have evolved over time but during the past 40 years in Preus Library, were marked strongly by their evolving variety. Head librarians hired and directed library faculty and staff, continually endeavoring to strengthen the skills and abilities of these individuals. In addition, these leaders inspired numerous students to enter the library profession, many of whom became distinguished librarians in their own right.
The head librarians at Luther College are marked also by their longevity of service since only ten people have held that title in over 135 years. The biographical profiles for the individuals listed here attest to their expertise, capabilities, and service qualities.
In 1997, the Library and Computer Center administratively merged to become a new organization providing integrated library and information technology services, Library and Information Services (LIS) led by an Executive Director. LIS was reorganized into distinct Library and Information Technology Services (ITS) departments in Spring 2016. The library is led by a director, appointed by the Dean of the College from the roster of Luther librarians for a three-year renewable term.