Wheaton’s new Dean of Library Services

At the beginning of the 2018 school year, Wheaton welcomed a new Dean of Library Services to the Wallace Library: Megan Brooks. Brooks is originally from Minnesota but has been living in Natick, MA, for over 10 years. She has been married to her wife, Amy, for 12 years, and they have 2 dogs that are named Neville and Otter. Brooks wrote that they are “both rescue mutts and I’d be happy to show anyone photos of them at any time. Neville [has] an Instagram: @nevillelongsnoot.”

When asked about how she first became interested in libraries, Brooks responded: “I became interested in working in libraries in college. Because I lived off-campus my senior year, I spent most evenings in the library. Watching and participating in the activity in the building was much more interesting than studying. I was also a TA for Psychology 101 that year and taught intro lab sections – so much fun! As I pondered life after college, I put those two things together and realized being a librarian who got to teach was a job I wanted to try. I spent 18 of the snowiest months of my life at Syracuse University getting a Master’s of Library Science and promptly moved to Baton Rouge to work at Louisiana State University.”

Megan Brooks. Photo by Sara Colket.

After working jobs at the various levels of libraries, Brooks’ next step was to become a dean or director of a college library. Brooks stated that she learned about Wheaton because she “worked at Wellesley College – the libraries of both schools had a lot in common at the time. So when I found out Wheaton was looking for a dean of library services, my interest was piqued. The college ticks a lot of boxes for me that I bet resonate with students: great academic reputation, geographically interesting place, liberal arts environment, warm and welcoming community. The library itself interested me because of the people who work here – they’re a wonderfully talented group. After interviewing and talking with people affiliated with the school, I knew Wheaton was where I wanted to be. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual.”

Though Brooks acknowledges that being the Dean of Library Services is challenging, she notes that it is also very rewarding “because without fail, the people on this campus are intelligent, engaged, creative, and kind.” Brooks mentioned that during her time on campus, “the most unexpected thing that’s happened to me so far was being recruited to be on President Hanno’s Grit and Wit team. Who knew that being Dean came with a side helping of obstacle course?” A few of the best things that have happened so far, according to Brooks, has been “hearing Dr. Aubrey Westfall present at the inaugural Faculty Scholarship Speaker Series, [and] serving on the jury for ARTH 335: Exhibition Design.”

When asked what her favorite place on campus is, Brooks said that it is “the salad bar line in Emerson. I never knew how wonderful a salad could be until I experienced Emerson’s we-make-it-for-you option. Now I eat lunch there 3 or 4 times a week!” In the library, however, her favorite place “is the atrium, now that glass has replaced the metal fire screens on the mezzanines.”

Brooks welcomes all students to stop by her office and say hello. Her office is located in the main entrance of the library, across from the portraits of Helen Wieand Cole and her husband Samuel Valentine Cole.