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Journalism - History of the Journalism Library

Historical timeline of the Missouri School of Journalism - Frank Lee Martin Library

Budget Cuts, Retirements and Accreditation

June 30, 2016 - Jim Cogswell retires as MU Libraries Director.  He was director from 2002 - 2016.  Ann Riley will be the interim acting director.  

June 2016 - J-School updates it's 5W's handout for recruitment 

July 1, 2016 - Earnest Perry Named New Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Columbia, Mo. (March 22, 2016) - Earnest Perry will be the new associate dean for graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism, Dean David Kurpius announced today. His appointment is effective July 1. 

“Earnest has long demonstrated a passion for developing the talents of master’s and doctoral students,” Kurpius said. “He has an established research agenda, proven administrative abilities and is recognized internationally as a leader in journalism education. We’re thrilled he has accepted this challenge.”

Perry succeeds Esther Thorson, who joined the School as the associate dean for graduate studies and research in 1993.

Perry, an associate professor of journalism studies, currently coordinates of School’s doctoral teaching program. He trains doctoral students to teach a variety of undergraduate classes, from writing and multimedia classes to large lecture courses. Perry also administers the School’s Doctoral Teaching Fellowship, which awards two, $25,000, four-year scholarships to doctoral candidates.

From 2005-11 and again from 2013-14, Perry served as chair of the Journalism Studies faculty, which oversees the School’s undergraduate core curriculum.

“Dr. Perry is a respected scholar and recognized leader in graduate education on both the campus and international levels,” said University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes. “I applaud his selection.”

Perry, MA ’95, PhD ’98, returned to the Missouri School of Journalism in 2003 to redevelop the School’s cross-cultural journalism course. He previously led the news-editorial program in the Department of Journalism at Texas Christian University. While there he helped redesigned both the undergraduate and master’s programs.

Perry is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Standing Committee on Teaching and previously served as chair of the Standing Committee on Research. He also served as president of the American Journalism Historians Association. 

His research interests center on African-American press history, specifically the Black Press during the first half of the 20th century. He has published articles on history, cross-cultural journalism education and media management in leading peer-reviewed academic journals including American Journalism, Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. He recently co-edited the book, “Cross-Cultural Journalism: Communicating Strategically About Diversity,” with Maria Len-Rios, PhD ’02, from the University of Georgia.

"The Missouri School of Journalism is gaining a steady hand in Earnest Perry,” said Glen Cameron, the Maxine Gregory Wilson Chair in Journalism Research. “His experience as a campus leader and his skills as an administrator in the School are much needed as the campus begins a renewal process after the recent difficulties we have experienced."

Perry’s professional career includes stints as a reporter for newspapers in Illinois, Connecticut and Texas. He has also served as a consultant to news outlets in Texas and Missouri on issues such as newsroom management, reporting in ethnic minority communities, news writing and editing. For more than 20 years, Perry worked with ethnic minority high school journalists in summer workshops in Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

“I follow in the footsteps of a tremendous scholar, one of the most successful graduate deans in the School’s history,” Perry said. “We will continue to build on the strong foundation Dr. Thorson established.” 

October/November 2016  - Racial tension and protests  -

State House votes to cut University of Missouri Funding 

The House voted on Thursday to cut funding for the University of Missouri system following months of criticism from state lawmakers over how the institution’s leadership dealt with student complaints about racial issues on the Columbia campus.

The state budget passed by the Republican-led House cut $7.6 million for the Missouri system and $1 million for the Columbia campus. While this is a small portion of $428.6 million allocated to the system this fiscal year, the state provides about 15 percent of the university’s funding. House Speaker Todd Richardson said those cuts are targeted at administrators, and there’s no reason why they should impact students.

University officials have said a drop in enrollment in the Columbia campus could also lead to a loss of at least $20 million in revenue.

Positions, collections and hours to be trimmed from MU Libraries budget

MU Libraries is planning to cut positions, collections and hours as part of $894,000 in expected budget cuts for the 2017 fiscal year, Ann Riley, director of libraries,  said Friday.

These cuts follow a memo sent by MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley on March 9 announcing a campuswide hiring freeze and a 5-percent cut to MU’s general revenue budget for fiscal year 2017. 

Spring 2016


The Journalism Library in the 2016 spring semester.          The J-Library Staff 2016 - Top left to right Dorothy Carner, Sue Schuermann, Steve Clayton, bottom, Karen Marshall and Shengxin (Sunni) Sun

Steve Clayton retired

In February of 2016, Steve Clayton retired from the Journalism Library.   His position has not been refilled. 

Journalism Library Changes Hours  - Dorothy Carner, Head of the Journalism Library sent out a survey to with four different scenarios for hours for Fall 2016 and the Students picked this one. The results of the survey.  

New Fall Hours Fall 2016

May 2016 - Shengxin (Sunni) Sun leaves the J-Library.  She has taken a GRA position with the International Office.  Her position changes from a 40 hour position to a 30 hour position due to budget cuts.

Nina Johnson, Missourian Newspaper Librarian 1997-2016.  Nina retires in May 2016.

 Sandy Schiefer from Ellis Government Documents starts part time at the Missourian Newspaper Library in May 2016. 


Gary Garrison is hired July 2016 to fill the evening position.

October 2016 - The MU Journalism School has the accreditation team come


Mary McFillen was hired in January of 2017 to replace Karen Marshall.  

Danielle Wilson was hired in January of 2017 to replace Gary Garrison.  Danielle has been a Library Student Assistant at the Journalism Library since 2013. 


March 2017 - Student Enhancement Fee passes - For the libraries it means - Keep Ellis Library open 24 hours a day, five days a week (all levels) - Extend specialized library hours to meet student demand - Fund collections/resources - Improve student learning spaces

May 2017 - Neff Hall closes for the summer for replacement of the Neff elevator.  Faculty and staff move into other buildings for the summer.  The Dean's office occupies 101 Reynolds Journalism Institute located within the library.  Other offices are located on the second floor of RJI and Gannett.  

June 2017 - MU Libraries posts wish list of books it can’t afford  -  Library officials had a wish list of more than 400 books that they hoped to buy but were not able to because of budget cuts. The most expensive was "Complete and Truly Outstanding Works by Homer," which costs $5,250. The least expensive book on the list was "Another Time, Another Place," by Jessie Kesson, which costs $16.75.  

The wish list was posted two weeks ago on the MU Libraries website, which gives willing donors a way to buy specific books for teaching and research.

MU Libraries cut $1.2 million in material costs for fiscal 2017, and was facing about $1.3 million in one-time cuts to its collection expenses in fiscal 2018.

August 2017 - Rick Shaw, Director of POYI retires.  

September 2017 -  David and Wendy Novak have committed $21.6 million to the University of Missouri School of Journalism to establish the Novak Leadership Institute. The gift, which was announced today by MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, will support the institute named for David Novak, an advertising and marketing executive and renowned expert on leadership, who is the co-founder, retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands.

Along with the Leadership Institute there is a dedicated space and the beginnings of a library collection to support the library needs of the Institute. 

David C. Novak Leadership Library Collection and Space 



December 2017 - Lynden Steele, New Director of POYI


2018 - present

June 2018  

Mary McFillen has left the Journalism Library.   She has taken a position elsewhere on campus.

Charlotte Landreth transfers from Ellis Library Digital Services to take Mary's position.  She has also previously worked at Ellis Circulation as their night supervisor.  

From the Library Director, Ann Riley on June 1, 2018. 

On May 24, the campus had a budget meeting with deans, other administrators, and fiscal officers attending.  All of us learned what the campus decision-makers have planned for unit budgets for next fiscal year.  As we had heard, the Libraries are getting a flat budget, 0% cut.  Most other units had cuts between 5 and 10%.  However, even a flat budget requires us to make some cuts to stay even.  The campus still faces millions of dollars in cuts, primarily because of loss of enrollment and flat state support.  LMT has made the cut decisions for strategic reasons, as we look at maintaining essential services and collections, in response to the increase in online materials use and decline in book purchases, cataloging and use of our physical, paper collection.


With deep sadness and great reluctance, I am here announcing to you all the layoff today of the three staff members in the former Catalog Management area. They have been notified earlier today, and are eligible for University Transition Assistance, which includes one week of pay for each year of service up to 26 weeks, as well as other benefits for their transition period.

October 2018 - J-Library gets new chairs and new plant.

RJI has begun replacing furniture in the Journalism Library.  We will be having a survey to find out what types of seating our patrons prefer and start replacing more in the next couple of years. 


August 2019 - 8 more new chairs are added to the J-Library.

2019 to present



Chairs donated from Ellis library are replaced in the group study rooms January 2020. 

Danielle Wilson leaves the Evening Supervisor position in November 2019. 

Sam Ediger is hired in December 2019 for the Evening Supervisor position.

Charlotte Landreth, Library Information Specialist leaves in February 2020. 

March 13, 2020 - The Journalism Library closes as the Covid-19 pandemic cases increase.  

July 1, 2020 - Library staff return once a week to scan and deliver articles and chapters of books.  Curbside pick up begins.

August 2020 - Reopening plans for the Journalism Library

We are making preparations to open on August 24.

While these plans may change, we are currently planning on the following:

  • The Journalism Library will be open Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and closed Saturday and Sunday. The Journalism Library may close 20 minutes early to disinfect tables and chairs for the next day.
  • Face Coverings Required at all times. Hand sanitizer, wipes and extra masks are available if you do not have your own.
  • One Person per Table.  We’ve set up the seating to maintain 6′ social distancing. Please don’t move the chairs around (seriously, don’t even think about it…). We’ll have wipes and disinfectant near the entrance for you to wipe down your areas.
  • Quiet Study We try to maintain a quiet environment in the library. While the library is staffed, we will be propping the doors open (one less thing for everyone to touch) — so it may be a little noisier in the library than usual.
  • Group study rooms will be limited to a maximum of two people per group.  Face coverings and social distancing are required.
  • The Journalism Library Conference/Classroom (RJI 102a)  is closed and will be used for storing extra furniture removed to accommodate social distancing.
  • Laptops will not be checked out this semester.  Adapters and most equipment will still be available for checkout.
  • The number of desktop computers have been reduced to accommodate social distancing.  Please use your laptops to print via DOIT’s Print anywhere software. 
  • Library Staff will be happy to help you with research via email or zoom.  Contact Dorothy Carner at or Sue Schuermann at to ask for help.  Our circulation desk will be staffed behind sneeze guards to check out books or equipment.

Curbside Pickup Available
The University Libraries are currently offering curbside pickup of library materials! Email us at jlib@missouri.eduto arrange for pickup.

How does curbside pickup work?

Request what you need via the MERLIN catalog and choose MU Journalism Library pickup as your pickup location. You can also send an email to us at with your request to get things started. We’ll pull the books for you and email you when they’re ready.

You can request items from Journalism Library or any partner library (other campus libraries; other MERLIN and MOBIUS libraries; really, any library that is up and running!) Please note: it takes several additional days for books from other campus libraries to get to us. You can also use Ellis Library’s curbside service directly (e.g., if you need several items from Ellis Library, it would likely be faster to pick them up there)

The Journalism Library is here for you!

While we are closed to patrons until August 24th, we’re still here for you! We are increasing our on-site work time in order to prepare for the Fall semester and to scan the items you need.

Need an article from our print collection? Make a request through FindIt@MU or email us at

Need a book chapter for your students? Email us at

Ways to contact us:

  • Email
  • Call 573-882-7502
  • Set up a Zoom meeting with Dorothy or Sue

And, of course, our electronic resources are already online through the Journalism Library website.

How to access our online resources:

  • Use the links on the Journalism Library home page or from any Libraries page. These links have all been “proxied,” so when you hit a subscribed resource, you’ll be asked to log-in with your SSO.
  • Use the Journal Finder to get to specific journal titles. The Journal Finder will let you know which years are available electronically.
  • We have a ton of ebooks!
  • Set your Google Scholar settings to show the FindIt@MU link for easy off-campus access to journal articles
  • Use VPN
  • More information on Off-campus Access to Library Resources
  • Note: many libraries around the country are still closed or have very limited access to their print collections. You may experience delays with requests from other libraries.

Have something checked out from the Libraries?

  • Renew your items online or hang on to them for later return. The Libraries are suspending any billing and fines for overdue materials at this time.
  • If you need to return items please contact to set up a drop-off point.  We do not want books returned in our book drop.