ATG Star of the Week: Mark Y. Herring, Dean of Library Services, Winthrop University

by | Dec 6, 2012 | 0 comments

Name: Mark Y. Herring
Title: Dean of Library Services
Organization: Ida Jane Dacus Library/ Winthrop University
Address: 824 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC 29733
Phone: 803.323.2232
Fax: 803.323.2215


Born and lived: 1952; Dothan, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Bristol, Tennessee; Shawnee, Oklahoma; and Rock Hill, South Carolina

Early life: Nashville, Tennessee, public schools

Professional career and activities: King College, Bristol, TN,

Family: Identical twin (he passed away early in life); 3 older brothers (one deceased) a younger sister. Married 39 years; 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren

In my spare time: read, write, attempt to collect fine wines

Favorite authors: Dostoyevsky; Flannery O’Connor; G.K. Chesterton; C. S. Lewis; biographies in general

Pet peeves: people who hyperventilate over words they do not know but someone else has dared to use

Most memorable career achievement: Friends program that brought in Alex Haley, John Erlichman; Michael Novak, Kathryn Koob, Madeline L ‘Engle, William F. Buckley Jr., Arthur Schlesinger Jr.; an IMLS appointment; and eight books.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now: retirement

How/where do I see the industry in five years (please answer this question if you answer none of the others):  Defunct, or nearly so, unless we change our approach radically.  It will likely be ten years, but we will be in a serious decline if we continue to preserve the status quo.  We’re in our grand climacteric now but few realize it.  Mind you, I’m not so much in favor of this.  But too many others have now usurped information access for their own ends, bypassing libraries entirely.  Already, even our most targeted clientele seeks out two or three other avenues before even thinking of us, according to the recent OCLC survey.  That does not bode well for our future.  We must be willing to repurpose ourselves, but from the ground up, not just the window dressing on the periphery.  Only then might we save ourselves from going out of print entirely.

(Editor’s Note: Among his many other accomplishments, Mark is also a regular contributor to Against the Grain.)

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