Chris Dames Named Dean of Libraries at UMSL
Once upon a time, library walls contained signs that read “Shhhhh!” Pretty soon, at least one library sign will read “Cappuccino.”
By the end of 2012, the Thomas Jefferson Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will sport a new cafe featuring Starbucks coffees, pastries, sandwiches and salads. And no one is happier about that than Christopher Dames, the new dean of libraries, who lives just outside of Maryland Heights, Mo.
“We are improving the library’s physical space and one of those improvements is a café on the main floor,” Dames said. “Right now you can’t eat in the library. You can drink, but not near any computers. And students don’t want to have to get up and leave when they’re studying.”
Dames started work as a UMSL librarian in 1998, but he had been a familiar face at the library for nearly a decade. He arrived at UMSL in 1988 as an undergraduate student majoring in physics. He went on to earn a master’s degree and was well on his way to completing his doctorate in physics when he changed course. He earned a degree in library science from Kent State University in Ohio and returned to St. Louis. He has served as interim dean since the death of Amy Arnott in 2008.
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