URI names new director of Graduate School of Library and Information Science

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KINGSTON, R.I. — September 14, 2006 — Gale Eaton, who has taught at the University of Rhode Island since 1988, has been named the new director of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS).

A resident of Wakefield, Eaton had served as assistant director and coordinator of the school’s distance learning program since 2003. She succeeds W. Michael Havener, who served as director for eight years and will remain as a professor in the school.

“Dr. Eaton is highly respected for her knowledge, dedication, and talent,” said Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in making the appointment. “She possesses the integrity, interpersonal skills, and broad experience needed for this position.”

Eaton is well known in the regional library community as a leader in the use of technology to expand the reach of the URI library school’s graduate program. In 1996 Eaton taught the school’s first on-line courses with students in New Hampshire. Since 1970, library school faculty have taught the program’s courses at campuses throughout the New England area. She also wrote the self-study report for the University’s American Library Association accreditation in 1996.

“Mike [Havener] is a gifted leader, and will be a hard act to follow,” said Eaton. “GSLIS is healthy and is moving in directions consistent with our long-term commitments. I look forward to working with faculty, students, administrators, and friends to further the School’s growth.”

In addition to her teaching, Eaton is also known for her research of biographies of women that were written for school-age children and teens. Scarecrow Press published her book, Well-Dressed Role Models: Portrayals of Women in Biographies for Youth, in June.

Eaton earned her undergraduate degree in English from Smith College, her Master of Library Science degree from URI, and her doctorate in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies offers the largest Master’s Degree program at URI, serving students in a six state region. Founded in 1963, the program is accredited by the American Library Association, NCATE, and the Rhode Island Department of Education. Over the years, the school has graduated about 3,000 students who have become leading librarians and information specialists throughout the nation.

URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.