Skip redundant pieces
KU Home  :  KU News

KU News Release

More Information


University Relations

p (785) 864-3256
f (785) 864-3339
October 6, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

KU dean of libraries Stella Bentley announces plans to retire in 2006

LAWRENCE -- Stella Bentley, dean of libraries at the University of Kansas since 2001, announced today that she will retire at the end of June 2006.

"Dean Bentley has skillfully guided the Libraries through the challenging demands of change, leaving the KU Libraries well-positioned for continued success in the future. I greatly appreciate her contributions to KU and wish her all the best in her future endeavors," said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger.

During Bentley's tenure as dean, the KU Libraries has grown to include more than 4 million printed volumes and more than 100 searchable electronic databases. The Libraries catalogs 33,000 serials annually and houses more than 500,000 maps and 1 million photographic images. A $5.8 million library annex is under construction on KU's west campus.

"We are delivering more electronic information to library users' desktops than ever before, and our staff is working successfully with faculty to develop digital resources like KU ScholarWorks," Bentley said. "It's been an invigorating time to be dean at KU. But after more than 20 years in university library leadership, I'm ready to shift my energies to travel and pursuing other interests."

Bentley, who came to KU after four years as dean of libraries at Auburn University, leads KU's extensive library system that includes seven facilities on the Lawrence campus and one on the Edwards campus in Overland Park. The KU Libraries has a $15 million annual budget, 180 staff members and employs 250 students annually. KU intends to name a new dean by June 2006 following a national search.

"Dean Bentley has provided clear and forward-looking leadership for the KU Libraries. During her tenure, the Libraries have built upon a base of strong collections while creatively responding to the university's diverse and continuously changing needs for scholarly information and supporting services," said Denise Stephens, vice provost for information services. "She has effectively led the introduction of flexible and collaborative learning spaces to the Libraries, facilitating group and individual work as required in today's academy."

During Bentley's deanship, the Libraries has accomplished the following:

-- Gained university approval for the construction of the $5.8 million Library Annex on west campus, a high-density storage facility with a capacity of 1.6 million printed volumes, scheduled for completion in April 2006.
-- Launched KU ScholarWorks, a digital repository for scholarly work created by KU faculty and staff.
-- Launched the Information Gateway as the primary tool for searching the Libraries' proprietary online resources including databases, journals and images.
-- Opened a digital projects workplace in Budig Hall to support faculty and graduate students in the development of digital content for teaching and research in partnership with Instructional Development and Support.
-- Reconfigured and refurbished major public spaces in Watson, Anschutz and Spahr Engineering libraries to provide more user-friendly environments for individual and group study.
-- Initiated an assessment program to measure user satisfaction and ensure accountability to library users.
-- Integrated KU Info into the Libraries' comprehensive information service in partnership with Student Success and Information Technology.
-- Consolidated public service desks in Watson and Anschutz libraries to provide reference assistance, materials check-out and interlibrary loan services in one location.
-- Installed wireless Internet access in all libraries.
-- Added 200 computer workstations and 60 wireless laptops.
-- Working in partnership with Kansas Memorial Unions, added beverage and food service in Anschutz and Spahr Engineering libraries.
-- Created two new technology-equipped instructional classrooms in Watson Library.
-- Developed an integrated instruction program in collaboration with Information Technology to deliver customized reference instruction and technology training to students, faculty and staff.
-- Initiated electronic submission for theses and dissertations in partnership with UMI/ProQuest and the Graduate School.
-- Created electronic records for hundreds of thousands of items that were previously inaccessible to library users.

A California native, Bentley held previous library leadership positions at University of California, Santa Barbara; Case Western Reserve University; and Indiana University, where she earlier received her doctorate. She is a member of the board of the Kansas State Library Advisory Commission and an advisory board member for the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University. She is past chair of the Diversity Committee of the Association of Research Libraries, past chair of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries Executive Board and past chair of the Alabama Virtual Library. She has published extensively on library organization.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045