Library Director Bruce Flanders has been named the December member of the month for the Association of Christian Librarians. Established in 1957, the Association of Christian Librarians is one of the oldest and largest evangelical academic library organizations in existence, with more than 550 individual and nearly 200 institutional members representing a wide spectrum of denominations.
At MNU since 2011, Flanders has more than 35 years of experience in special, public and academic library settings. Since coming to MNU Flanders has implemented many new services and has been instrumental in supporting grant writing and the acquisition of new technology for Mabee Library and Learning Commons such as the Collaboration Station.
Flanders oversees a staff of five and has empowered his staff to pursue creative non-traditional learning and scholarship resources. Currently his colleague Lauren Hays, instructional and research librarian, is project co-director for the creation of the Center for Games and Learning at MNU which will reside in the library. Ideas like the center might be considered extra work by some directors, but Flanders is known for being innovative and opening up the library to groups who haven’t used it previously.
“Bruce generates a lot of ideas,” Hays says. “He stays up-to-date with the field and works hard to think outside the box. He is always open to our new ideas and encourages us to pursue them.”
In 2014 Flanders spearheaded the creation of The Business Toolkit Workshop series in Olathe with the first workshop, The Art of Great Communication, held in November at the Olathe Community Center. During his tenure the library has worked with the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library (WHDL) publishing platform to develop an MNU Institutional Repository. The repository will contain faculty research articles and related scholarship, openly accessible to scholars via the Internet.
On a fun note, Flanders began bringing therapy dogs to the library for finals week this year. Students love the opportunity to take a break and interact with the dogs as a stress reliever.