Mike Muchow retires today after 31 years of service to the University of Missouri Libraries. We will miss Mike’s humanities subject expertise, his deep collection development knowledge, his commitment to students, his willingness to engage with new technologies, and his sense of humor. Mike has always been an innovative and out-of-the-box thinker who has shared ideas to improve services and worked to make them a reality. For example, when the Reference Department thought the library needed a web presence (many years ago) he taught himself HTML and created the first MU Libraries’ web pages. Mike was the first to create online tutorials and even created our first stacks maps on the web. Mike’s Thompson Folk Motif Index Bibliography and his End-Note for Windows are among our most used online guides. Mike convened the Long-Range Planning Committee under Ann Riley. The committee produced an influential report on current and future trends for academic libraries that included recommendations for strategies and innovative directions which influenced our service planning in RAIS and our space planning with Shepley-Bullfinch and beyond. Through the years, Mike has served on impactful university committees such as Student Conduct, Student Records, and Faculty Council.
In addition to his work as a subject librarian, Mike became our resident Ellis Library building historian. He created valuable historical content for our Centennial Celebration which regularly comes in handy as we answer questions from our users and most recently as we prepared our NEH West Stacks Renovation grant application. If you have never looked at Mike’s guide on the history of the Ellis Library building, you can find it at Ellis Old & New. Due to his expertise in the history of our building and services, Mike has become our go to person for library tours. I, for one, have tried not to miss an opportunity to join one of Mike’s tours.
Please note that Rachel Brekhus will assume ongoing subject librarian responsibility for Archaeology and Classical Studies which are part of the Department of Classics, Archaeology, and Religion in A&S. Anne Barker is kindly assuming interim responsibility for Music and Theater in A&S and the School of Visual Studies which includes Art, Art History, Digital Storytelling, Film Studies, and Graphic Design. We will be opening a search for a new Humanities librarian this fall.