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Department of Library Science- About Us

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Interim Department Chair

Dr. John Harer

    Chair Term April 2012 - Present

Dr. John B. Harer joined the faculty of the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University in the Fall of 2004, and earned his tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the Fall of 2010. His research interests and expertise are in the areas of quality improvement in academic libraries. His PhD is in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University and his dissertation examined Continuous Quality Improvement performance measures for academic libraries using a Delphi panel research method. Dr. Harer has also written extensively on intellectual freedom. He was a member of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and has written three monographs and several articles on intellectual freedom. He also has a passion for storytelling. He created and coordinated the Multicultural Storytelling Project at Texas A&M University while head of education reference at the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M, College Station. He is an active member of the National Storytelling Network, and presented a program on the Alexander Technique for storytellers at the 2010 National Storytelling Conference. Dr. Harer’s teaching focus is in intellectual freedom, storytelling, and research methods, and often teaches the foundations course.

Dr. Harer is a native of Pennsylvania and began his career as a middle school librarian in Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World series. He earned his Master in Library Science degree at Clarion University of PA (then Clarion State College) in 1978. He also holds a Master in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. He was a school librarian for the Williamsport Area School district in the late 1970s, and was the librarian for the American International School of Duesseldorf, Germany, from 1979-1980. Once back in the states, Dr. Harer had an extensive career in academic libraries, including positions at Radford University, Towson State University and Texas A&M University. His work experiences have been focused in public services as a reference librarian, circulation and interlibrary loan supervisor, and head of personnel. He was the interim head librarian for the George H. W. Bush School of Government library at Texas A&M University. Dr. Harer came to East Carolina University from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, where he served as Director of the Library. 

Dr. Harer has published four monographs, three in the area of intellectual freedom, including Intellectual Freedom: A Reference Handbook and Censorship of Expression in the 1980s: A Statistical Survey. Because of his passion for storytelling, he also wrote the monograph The Alexander Technique Resource Book, a method for performance improvement for storytellers. He has published numerous refereed articles, as well as book chapters, in the area of continuous quality improvement for academic libraries as well as intellectual freedom. He has presented numerous papers at national and international conferences, including papers on continuous quality improvement at the biennial ARL Library Assessment conference, and a paper on censorship of GLBT literature at the international Forbidden Fruit conference.  

Dr. Elaine Yontz

Dr. Elaine Yontz

Chair Term January 2010 - April 2012

Dr. Elaine Yontz joined the Department as Professor and Chair in January 2010.  She came to ECU from Valdosta State University in Georgia, where she was  Professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program . She has been Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Florida, and prior to that served as Associate Chair for Contributed Cataloging at George Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 

Her experience as an educator includes preparing students for professional positions in all types of libraries and information centers.  She holds a PhD in College Teaching from the University of Florida, an ALA-accredited Masters degree from Florida State University, and an MFA in Music History, Literature, and Criticism from the University of Florida.

She has been active in research and scholarly activity since 1990, authoring numerous refereed articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings.  Her professional presentations include invited panel appearances at the Library of Congress and on College of DuPage’s Soaring to Excellence series.  Current projects include an ongoing study that tracks the indexing and abstracting of open-access journals and a monograph in preparation on nineteenth-century children’s magazines.

Yontz has held several elected offices and committee appointments in professional organizations at national and state levels; highlights include an appointment to Loriene Roy’s ALA Presidential Task Force on Supporting LIS Education Through Practice, and service as chair of the ALISE Research Committee.  She also has been active in Florida and Georgia library associations and is a past Chair of the ALCTS-Council of Regional Groups, and past President of the ALA-NMRT.



Dr. Diane Kester – Co-Chair

Co-Chair Term: 2008 – 2009; Chair: 1997 - 2004, August 2009-December 2009

Dr. Diane Davies Kester, a native of Oak Park, Illinois, lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, Devon, Connecticut, and Dallas, Texas, where she graduated from high school. After graduating from Sunset High School, she went on to Texas Woman's University (still TSCW when she enrolled) and majored in library science. Her first position upon graduation in 1959 was as librarian in a junior high school in Big Spring, located in west Texas. It was in Big Spring where she married Dan and began their family of five children.

The Air Force relocated the family to Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1967 and Kester's first assignment was in a union school in Wayne County. She worked there as the school system became integrated and the school settled in to be a middle school. During those years she continued her education and earned an MAEd in audio visual education, the MLS, and the EdS in supervision from East Carolina University. She was ahead of her time in the use of technology in education in Wayne County and moved on to earn her Ph. D. in library science from UNC at Chapel Hill and to teach in the Department of Library Science at ECU.

Dr. Diane Kester is currently an associate professor emerita enjoying phased retirement after 39 years of service including 18 years at ECU. Beginning in Fall 2009 she became
Co-Principle Investigator of the Community Oriented Librarian Recruitment Scholarship (COLRS). She served as the chair of the department through several name changes. During her career at ECU she was a pioneer in offering courses online, teaching her first one in 1996. One of her classes created the first Web pages for departments within the then, School of Education. She has served the university, the college, and the department in numerous capacities on committees for innovative teaching, service to non-traditional students, and university and program assessment, such as writing the reports for NCATE, DPI, and AASL-ALA. She has served on writing teams for the evaluation instruments used with media coordinators and technology facilitators, having served as validator for the TFPAI. You will find her name in the acknowledgments page of both editions (2000 and 2005) of IMPACT: Guidelines for Media and Technology Programs.

For ten years she served on the Executive Board of the North Carolina Library Association, holding the elected office of treasurer. Other professional service includes serving as program reviewer for the NC Department of Public Instruction, the American Association of School Librarians, the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, and the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools. She served in leadership roles in the Educational Media Association which became the NCaect, the Wayne Information Network (WIN), the North Carolina Association for School Librarians, and the NC Distance Learning Association.
When Kester is not creating a new course or redesigning her current courses, she enjoys reading and spending time with her grandchildren. She continues to support students by providing online mentoring and support for students learning to work in the online environment. In Wayne County she is a member of New Hope United Methodist Church where she holds various positions, including treasurer.

Mentoring new faculty to assume leadership roles in the preparation of school library media coordinators and technology facilitators continues to be a priority in her life as she passes the reigns on to the next generation of library educators.


Larry White

Dr. Larry Nash White – Co-Chair

Co-Chair Term: 2008-2009 with Dr. Diane Kester

Dr. White is an Assistant Professor, ALA Accreditation Coordinator, and Co-Interim Chair of the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University. Prior to coming to ECU, Dr. White worked as an administrator in retail management and in public, academic and State libraries. He is an internationally invited speaker on library performance, leadership, assessment, and competition for service and consults with libraries and non-profit organizations in the areas of assessment and organizational performance.

Dr. White is widely published in the area of performance assessment, competitive response, intellectual capital assessment, and financial management of libraries. He was named a 2007 "Mover and Shaker" by Library Journal, for his work as an innovator and leader in the library profession. In 2008, Dr. White received three Emerald Illuminati Awards for his research writing exploring organizational assessment and performance. He was a member of the LSIT Podcasting Research Group, which received the 2008 North Carolina Distance Learning Association's Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching Award.

Dr. White's professional interest have led him to be active in international, national and regional professional organizations where he serves in several leadership positions within these organizations. His interest outside of work includes music, genealogy and antiquarian book collecting. 



Dr. William Sugar

Interim Chair Term: 2006 – 2008

Growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs (actually, Sherman Oaks), William "Bill" Sugar received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and his Multiple Subjects teaching credential from Sonoma State University. Prior to receiving his Master of Science in Library Science degree from Simmons College, he worked as a film librarian with the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco. With his library science degree, he has worked in a variety of non-print libraries, such as Simmons College Art library, Polaroid's corporate archives, John F. Kennedy Presidential library, and National Public Radio.

During his tenure at National Public Radio, he rediscovered his passion for teaching and decided to pursue his doctorate in Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. While completing this degree, Bill was an assistant professor at Southern Connecticut State University for three years (1996-1998). Then in 1999, he joined the Library Science and Instructional Technology faculty (then, Department of Broadcasting, Librarianship and Educational Technology) at East Carolina University. He has been on the faculty for eight years, has served as the Master of Science in Instructional Technology program coordinator since 2001, and recently became the interim chair this past academic year (2006-2007).

His current research interests focus on developing effective technology integration interventions for teachers and applying a human-centered design philosophy to technology integration. He also has published a book (co-authored with Dr. Louis Warren) titled, Introducing the Teacher-Leader/Designer: Guidelines: Guide for Success. He foresees the imminent integration of instructional design and information design. This merger will bring up an innovative discipline, where students will need to propose instructional design interventions, as well as information design interventions.
Bill has served on several national, state, and university committees during his tenure at East Carolina University. He currently serves on the Association of Educational Communications and Technology board. He is the Secretary of the North Carolina Association for Research in Education. He previously served as the chair of East Carolina University' Faculty Welfare committee.

Dr. Sugar has a wife, Alyssa and three children: Dylan, Nora and Sam. They have two dogs, Renoir (standard poodle) and Sophie (toy poodle); Sam also has an African Gecko, named Jerry. For fun, Dr. Sugar goes to ECU basketball and football games (Go Pirates!), enjoys hiking with his family and dogs, and digital photography.



Dr. Plummer Alston "Al" Jones Jr.
Chair Term: 2005 - 2006

Plummer Alston "Al" Jones, Jr. was born in Washington, North Carolina, the son of Plummer Alston Jones, Sr. and Elva Lucille (Pridgen) Wright. In 1970, he received his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from East Carolina University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, national honor society, and Pi Kappa Lambda, national honor society in music. From 1970 to 1974, he taught strings and string orchestra in the Norfolk (VA) City Schools. He attended Drexel University from 1974 to 1976, receiving his Master of Science degree in library science in 1977, when he was elected to membership in Beta Phi Mu, national honor society in library science.

From 1976 to 1982, he was head librarian at North Carolina Wesleyan College. From 1982 to 1994, he was head librarian at Elon College (now University). While working there, he received his Ph.D. in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991. In 1993, he received the first biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award from the ALA Library History Round Table for his dissertation, "American Public Library Services to the Immigrant Community, 1876–1948."

From 1994 to 2001, he was head librarian at Catawba College. While at Catawba College, he taught on a part-time basis for the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His book, Libraries, Immigrants, and the American Experience, was published in 1999 by Greenwood Press.

Since 2001, he has been associate professor of library science in the Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology in the College of Education at East Carolina University. He was awarded permanent tenure as of fall 2004. His book, Still Struggling for Equality: American Public Library Services with Minorities, was published later in 2004 by Libraries Unlimited. He served as Acting Chair of the department during the academic year 2004-05 and was appointed Permanent Chair as of July 2005.

He is an active member of state and national library associations. From 1990 to 2004, he served on the editorial board of North Carolina Libraries, the journal of the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA). From 2002-04, he served as Editor. For his service as North Carolina Library Association (NCLA) President (1999–2001) and on the State Library Commission (1997–2001), he was made a member of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by N.C. Governor Michael F. Easley in 2002. For the celebration of the NCLA Centennial, he compiled the North Carolina Library Association Centennial Handbook, 1904-2004. From 1999 to 2002, he served on the executive board of the North Carolina Genealogical Society and was editor of its newsletter from 2000 to 2002.

At the national level, he served on the executive boards of the American Library Association (ALA) Library History Round Table and the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). He was presented the 2004 David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award for his research and publications on multiculturalism in libraries. In 2005, he was elected EMIERT Chair. He is a member of the Association for Library and Information Science Education.

He is an avid collector of the books of Vita-Sackville West, Victorian Staffordshire figurines, the recorded music of Giacomo Meyerbeer and Camille St. Saens, and autographs of musicians, notably opera singers, and ballet dancers. He is a flutist and oboist and ardent supporter of all of the fine arts.



Dr. Lawrence Auld
Chair Term: 1989 - 1997

Dr. Lawrence Auld is an Associate Professor Emeritus, retired from the School of Communication in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, at East Carolina University. Just before his retirement he served as a full-time advisor, working with students in communication and in elementary and middle-grades education as well as teaching one course per semester. He is also co-director of the Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory and co-editor of the journal VR in the Schools. Dr. Auld's Ph.D. is in Library and Information Studies, with a strong emphasis on visual media. His master's degree is in library service. His publications include numerous journal articles and several books. He eventually taught all of his classes online. Dr. Auld began working with computers in 1962 while he was the Director of Centralized Processing, State Library of Hawaii. He was then involved with library automation projects at Oakland University Library (Rochester, Michigan) and Oregon State University Library. He published two books on library applications of spreadsheets. More recently he has directed his computer interests toward virtual reality. A number of Dr. Auld's publications on the use of virtual reality in education
can be found at the
Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory
website at

Dr. Auld's other interests include photography and art, woodworking, and gardening.



Emily Stewart Boyce
Chair Term: 1982 - 1989

Growing up on a peanut/cotton farm in Eastern North Carolina, she attended East Carolina University where she received a Bachelor degree in library science and history and a Master's degree in counseling. Later, she received the MLS degree from
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining the faculty at ECU, she was a school librarian and a children's librarian in a public library. She also worked in the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh supervising all school libraries in North Carolina. She joined the newly created Department of Library Science in 1966. She served as the interim Chair in 1981 and was appointed permanent Chair of the Department the following year. Ms. Boyce worked with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for many years, serving on the Elementary Committee for three terms. After serving as Chair of the Department, the Chancellor assigned her to help prepare the University report for the regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

After retiring in 1992 and moving to the Asheville area, she started a new career as a community volunteer. Emily volunteered in the Foundation office, Mission Hospitals System, served on the Board of Directors of the Botanical Gardens and served as President of the Board of the Mediation Center. She was elected as President of the Board for the YWCA in 1995. In this position she initiated a successful campaign to prevent the YWCA from closing. Emily also served as President of the Board of the Literacy Council and served on the Board of the Asheville Branch, American Association of University Women. On the state level, she was the Governor's appointee as chair of the State Library Commission and Chaired the Library Services & Technology Act Advisory Committee for the State library from 1997-1999.

During her career, Boyce was honored by a number of organizations. In 1998 the North Carolina Association of School Librarians presented her with the Mary Peacock Douglas Award. This award recognizes outstanding efforts in promoting the development of school libraries. In 1992 the NC Community College Learning Resources Association presented her with an Achievement Award as well as life membership in appreciation of outstanding service. The North Carolina Library Association presented her with life membership in appreciation of notable contributions to librarianship at the local, state and national levels (1993). At ECU, she is in the Educators Hall of Fame and received an Outstanding Educators Award (1994) The Baha'is of Asheville honored Emily in 1997 as they presented her with the 17th annual Human Rights Award for the promotion and practice of social progress and protection of basic human rights.

When Boyce retired from East Carolina in 1992, her former students, colleagues and friends established the Emily S. Boyce Fellowship Award, a scholarship in her name. An award from this fund goes each year to a deserving student who is working towards a Master's degree in Information Studies. At the same time the Department and School voted to grant her the title of Professor Emeritus.



Dr. Gene Lanier
Chair Term: 1966 - 1981

Since 1980 Dr. Gene D. Lanier has made over 75 speeches and presentations on intellectual freedom to civic and professional groups. He has also testified in Senate and House Committees of the North Carolina General Assembly regarding legislation affecting libraries and intellectual freedom.
His national awards include the 1982 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Education from the Playboy Foundation and the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for Intellectual Freedom in 1984 from the American Library Association.
Freedom Fighter
, an article describing Gene Lanier's fight to end censorship can be found in the University Archives.

Lanier is a 1955 graduate of ECU and began working at the university in 1959. He received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Original biographical sketch by University Archives student worker Angelia Edwards, Fall Semester 2002