New dean looks to take library to next level

New dean looks to take library to next level

Bonnie J. Allen

Bonnie J. Allen, dean of libraries and professor of library science at the University of Montana in Missoula, Mont., will become the new dean of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library around March 1, 2012.

Allen, who has led UM’s libraries since 2006, also is interim director for academic information technology. She will succeed Don Craig, who retired from MTSU after 38 years of service.

“My immediate goal is to get to know MTSU well, to get to know the culture of the institution, which also seems like a family to me,” says Allen, who says she also wants to develop the Walker Library’s learning commons and space for graduate students.

She hails the Walker Library as a “stellar building poised to do the next great thing with technology.”

During the interview process, Allen says, she was “impressed by how positive everyone was about the future and the level of engagement they had in their work. People asked very good questions.”

Allen’s professional accomplishments include membership in the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ Accreditation Team for Library Standards and in the Online Computer Library Center Global Council and as a commissioner of the Montana State Library.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and her master’s degree in library and information science from Indiana University. Allen also earned an MBA from Portland State University.

Allen, a native of Bloomington, Ind., will be moving to the Murfreesboro area with her daughter, Quinn Walsdorf, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Montana in January 2012.

For more information, contact Kristen Keene at 615-898-5376 or The Walker Library also has an extensive website at

— Gina K. Logue (