Appointment of University Library Dean

Dear Campus Community,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tracy Elliott as dean of SJSU’s University Library, effective June 13. She will succeed Dean Ruth Kifer who will retire at the end of the spring semester.

Dr. Elliott comes to us from the State College of Florida (SCF) where she has served as the director of libraries since 2009. In her role at SCF, she gained unique experience in managing joint-use libraries that included partnerships between college campuses, dual enrollment high schools, a 6-12th grade collegiate school and an eCampus. She produced the first multi-year strategic plan; created an institutional repository; and served as the project director on a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant to improve access to data and student success analytics, among other accomplishments.

She holds a PhD in leadership and education from Barry University, in Florida; a master’s in library and information studies, and a bachelor’s in communication from Florida State University.

Dr. Elliott has more than 20 years of experience working in higher education library services. Prior to her work at SCF, she served as the head librarian at St. Petersburg College. In her capacity, she managed a partnership between the college library, the City of Seminole and the city of St. Petersburg to provide public library services. She served as dean of learning resources at Rappahannock Community College, in Virginia; as a patent librarian at the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, in Virginia; and as an information services librarian at Columbus State University, in Georgia.

During the search process, Dr. Elliott demonstrated a deep understanding of joint-use libraries that will benefit her in leading our partnership with the City of San Jose. In addition, she expressed a commitment to student success through providing engaged learning opportunities outside the classroom and to collaborating as a partner in support of research, scholarship and creative activities.

I am certain the campus community and supporters of our University Library will find Dr. Elliott to be an energetic and experienced leader. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Elliott to San Jose State.


Andy Feinstein

Library Safety Update

Dear Campus Community,

Last month a Library Safety Task Force was convened to evaluate appropriate steps to help ensure that the Dr. Martin King Jr. Library is a safe and secure setting for our students, staff and faculty members, and the public. This action was taken in the wake of recent incidents in the library that understandably elevated safety concerns.

I am writing to update you on its progress.

This task force comprises representatives from Academic Affairs; the University Police Department; Facilities, Development and Operations; Student Affairs and the City of San Jose, under the joint direction of University Library Dean Ruth Kifer and San Jose Public Library Director Jill Bourne.

Ruth and Jill recently met with the President’s Cabinet to discuss safety and security issues in the library and review a series of proposed immediate and long-term recommendations.

Since then, the following actions have been taken:

  • The University Police Department has initiated a contract with a private security firm to augment the presence of uniformed security guards in the library. Additional guards will be assigned to the second and third floors of the library. The monitoring of the sixth, seventh and eighth floors will be increased. This enhanced presence will start soon and continue through the end of May.
  • After an incident in a second floor restroom, little-used books from the second floor of the library have been relocated to the library’s lower level compact shelving. By the end of May, new lighting will be installed on the second floor and the remaining tall shelving will be removed to allow better visibility of the entire space by staff working at the service desk.
  • A student advisory group is being formed so that students can voice their concerns about library safety and make recommendations to improve the library spaces. Vice President of Student Affairs Reggie Blaylock is assisting with identifying students to serve on this task force.

We want the library to be a safe space for all users. I will continue to provide updates as the Library Safety Task Force continues with these efforts.


Andy Feinstein

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs