Charles Hanson

New Kettering University library services director envisions bright future for library and archives

Charles Hanson has always believed in the concept of lifelong learning as a means of improving and growing during one's life and career. This is the primary reason why he recently accepted an appointment at Kettering University as director of Library Services.

"One of the most fascinating aspects about this institution is the concept of co-op," explained the tall, congenial director. "The school has an excellent reputation in terms of academics, cooperative experience, quality of students, faculty and staff. I enjoy learning and this setting offers a great deal of intellectual stimulation and activity in that regard."

Intellectual stimulation and activity is exactly what Hanson will encounter. As Kettering's director of Library Services, he will oversee both the nationally known Scharchburg Archives and the Kettering University Library, a combination that perfectly compliments his interests.

On a deeper level, one look at his educational and professional background reveals a man who loves to read and an individual who believes in the importance of preserving the tangible products of our history. Some of his many achievements during his 25-year career include a Ph.D. in English from Bowling Green State University, where he focused on poetry, with emphasis on William Butler Yeats. Prior to joining Kettering, Hanson served as archivist for DaimlerChrysler Archives in Detroit, and from 1995 to1999 he headed Access Services and the Research Center Library at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn. His impressive vita also includes 10 years as director of the library system for Gross Pointe Public Library and he currently teaches library science courses as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit.

His plans for Kettering are directed toward the exploration and implementation of new resources for faculty, staff, students and independent researchers. For example, he and his staff expect to develop new library services such as electronic enhancements that will provide users the ability to obtain resources and information on-line. In addition, he hopes to increase Kettering's book collection and offer e-books through Access Michigan, a service that assists libraries in making resources available electronically. Yet despite these technological goals for the library, Hanson believes that printed books will never disappear.

"People like the printed book "it's tangible, easy to reference and study without the barrier of a screen," he explained. "Thee-books will help expand our services and provide an additional resource for those individuals who prefer the electronic availability of material and information."

Hanson's plans for the Scharchburg Archives are just as ambitious as those set forth for the library. Kettering recently hired David White, who will serve as archivist for the collection and work closely with Hanson in further developing the archives. Some of their future plans include making the recent SAE collection accessible; attending to environmental issues to preserve papers and other materials housed in the archives; taking steps to protect the increasing value of the archives while making materials available to a wider audience; and solidifying policies and procedures for use of the collection and its resources. According to Hanson, he and White will sit down and "review the mission and focus of the archives in terms of material acquisition. We will look at the acquisition of additional collections and determine if they fit with the University's goals and mission."

And in light of all the opportunity to further learn and grow he sees here at Kettering, Hanson is quick to describe one other notable aspect about the University: "Kettering is a very friendly place," he said. "Faculty, staff and students are very nice. This makes learning more enjoyable for all involved and I'm glad to be a part of it."