Gale Etschmaier plans to use technology and cross-campus collaboration to enhance SDSU's library.
Upon assuming the position of SDSU Dean of Library & Information Access on June 30, Gale Etschmaier immediately had big plans for the library that will benefit the entire campus.
“San Diego State is positioned in a terrific place,” said Etschmaier. “As the university continues to emphasize research and increased graduation rates, the library can play a key role.”
For Etschmaier, cross-campus collaboration is an important key to success. Her first goal is to meet with faculty and staff across campus and eventually put together a shared vision.
“It’s critical to align the work and goals of the library with that of the campus, and I am looking for opportunities to collaborate in order to develop that shared mission. The library can play a bridge role by bringing people together in a unique way, blending academics, student services and business services. I’m really looking forward to integrating the library across campus.”
Fostering student success
Etschmaier sees the library as a place to bring students in and foster their success—especially for at-risk students. Among potential plans for the library are incorporating tutoring centers and blended learning environments in order to create a sense of community and excitement about learning.
She also pointed out the unique physical beauty of the library and campus and expressed interest in enhancing the outdoor area with added learning spaces, as well as meeting spaces for students and faculty.
Role of technology
As media becomes more important in teaching and learning, Etschmaier believes that libraries are in a distinct position to use technology.
“There is a strong information technology component at SDSU. We have unique research collections, rare materials and papers from scholars—digitizing these creates access and provides resources to people worldwide. Making these materials more visible in turn makes the university more visible.”
Prior to arriving at SDSU, Etschmaier served as the associate university librarian for public service at George Washington University in Washington D.C. since 2001. During this time she also held one-year appointments as the acting associate university librarian for collection development and acting associate university librarian for library information technology.
Etschmaier received a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York Stony Brook, a master’s degree in library science from SUNY Albany and a doctor of education degree from the University of Pennsylvania.