Douglas Denne will become the new director of the L.S. and Hazel C. Robson Library at University of the Ozarks, effective June 1, 2022.
Denne has served as the resource librarian at Ozarks since he joined the University in September of 2013. He replaces Stuart Stelzer, who announced his retirement recently after serving as the director of the University’s library since 1983.
“I didn’t set out to be a library director when I came to Ozarks. I was just trying to get my footing and I relish the role of resource librarian; a fluid position that embraces new opportunities to serve this community,” Denne said. “I believe that libraries are sacred vessels. They hold deep truths, waiting to be discovered by the patient and curious. They also hold terrible lies. My central role is to welcome all and impart, if I can, a sense of wonder to those who enter this place. So while I want to place in each person’s hands the practical knowledge they seek, I hope that I can also support their quest for deeper meanings about what it means to live life fully.”
Denne earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University.
Denne said he has no immediate plans for major changes to Robson Library and will work to further introduce the library’s services and resources to Ozarks students.
“I believe the very best things that we do for others are done anonymously,” Denne said. “So one of my challenges going forward is to continue to provide quiet stability while finding new ways to share our amazing print and digital resources to a community that is harried, hurried, and distracted.”
“I do not envision major changes until I have a better sense of what gifts and interests our next resource librarian brings. That said, I want to explore ways we can ensure every student has had at least one tour of our physical space and online resources. I want to invite staff and faculty to have the same opportunities in either one-on-one or group sessions. I want to build the University archives and expand general awareness about the University’s history. I also want to explore ways we can serve the larger community.”
Denne said he is grateful to have worked alongside Stelzer for the past nine years.
“John O’Donohue writes, ‘True friendship involves listening compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words,’” Denne said. “Stuart is a true friend. Despite [my] shortcomings, he has only shown me kindness, patience and wisdom. We will continue to be friends, but I will dearly miss our daily exploration of ideas together.”
Denne and his wife, Krista, reside in Clarksville.
The University will begin the search for a new resource librarian immediately.