VCU Libraries names new head of access services

July 25, 2022
A portrait of Loftan Hooker.

Loftan Hooker will become the Head, Access Services at VCU Libraries effective August 10. 

In her role, she will lead the new Access Services Department, which will be formally established upon her hire. Access Services will be formed by merging two current departments: Information Services & Learning Spaces and Resource Sharing & Delivery. This merger is designed to streamline essential services while providing stronger stewardship of resources.

“The work of the new Access Services department impacts thousands of library users every day. The services provided by the department and the employees who deliver them often make the first impression people have of VCU Libraries,” said Associate Dean for Research and Learning  Laura W. Gariepy, Ph.D. “This is an incredibly important position.” 

The new head will be responsible for all functional areas in the new Access Services Department, including Cabell Library’s frontline services such as the Information Desk, chat, text, and email; circulation of materials; interlibrary loan; paging and document delivery; and the assessment and evolution of Cabell Library’s learning spaces. Hooker will develop an organizational structure that best supports the department’s scope of work in collaboration with members of the department and other key collaborators.

Hooker comes to VCU from Reynolds Community College, where she has served as the Coordinator of Library Services at the Reynolds Downtown Richmond campus since 2013. In this role, she supervised all aspects of the downtown campus library’s operations, including but not limited to reference and information, circulation, materials management, interlibrary loan, collection development and budgeting. She was responsible for hiring, supervising and training all librarians and support staff, and participated in the development and implementation of library strategic plans, policies and procedures. 

She holds a B.A. in music in viola performance from Ithaca College and a Masters of Library Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Hooker is deeply committed to providing an excellent and inclusive experience for all library users. “Her experience at a community college gives her special insight into the needs of students who are first-generation, underrepresented, or who may be facing financial challenges, which make up a large part of VCU’s student population. We’re thrilled to bring someone so committed to student success on board.” said Gariepy. 

She has been active in regional service to the profession, especially through the Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC) and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). She serves as  vice chair of VIVA’s outreach committee. In that role, she will be responsible for planning VIVA’s Annual Member Meeting at the Virginia Library Association Annual Conference in the fall and the VIVA Community Forum in the spring.

University Librarian and Dean of VCU Libraries Irene Herold, Ph.D., added: "We are delighted to have Loftan Hooker join VCU Libraries as the head of the newly formed Access Services Department.  She brings experience, knowledge, and understanding of our students from having worked at an institution with a similar commitment to student success. Many students transfer to VCU from Reynolds Community College. In addition, our partners at VIVA were especially pleased that she will continue to be at a VIVA member institution and able to stay a strong contributor to our common work." 

< Previous  Next >