New Library Dean Evan Boyd sees ‘great opportunity’ at UNK

New Library Dean Evan Boyd sees ‘great opportunity’ at UNK
New Library Dean Evan Boyd sees ‘great opportunity’ at UNK(press release)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 2:59 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (Press Release) - Evan Boyd grew up in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota – population 2,000.

He knows a thing or two about rural, Midwest communities, but he also got a taste of big-city life while working in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago and Philadelphia.

When he applied for the library dean position at the University of Nebraska at Kearney earlier this year, Boyd wasn’t sure what to expect.

“Honestly, I was very on the fence about Kearney,” he said. “I’m from a small town, but I had not lived in one in a decade.”

It didn’t take long for the 39-year-old to recognize what he was missing.

“When I got here and I met the people on campus and the people in the community, that’s when I realized this would be a great opportunity and this is a community that I wanted to be a part of,” said Boyd, who interviewed in late March and was hired in May.

He started at UNK on Aug. 1, replacing longtime Dean of the Library Janet Wilke, who retired June 30 after 15 years in that position and 34 years total at Calvin T. Ryan Library. Boyd previously served as an assistant professor and director of library services at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and director of the Lapp Learning Commons at Chicago Theological Seminary. Most recently, he was the library director and archivist for United Lutheran Seminary, where he managed libraries at the institution’s campuses in Philadelphia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The move to Nebraska brings Boyd closer to family and allows him to join a university that’s committed to serving students.

One major project on the horizon is a $25 million renovation that will modernize the 59-year-old campus library.

“There will be no more orange carpet in the building when we are done,” Boyd said with a smile.

The renovation is planned as a multiphase project, allowing library operations to continue during the work. It’s expected to be completed in summer 2024. The project is funded by bonds issued through LB384, a legislative bill that extended a state-university partnership addressing deferred maintenance needs across the NU System.