HAYS—Her love of reading helped build a foundation that eventually resulted in a degree in library science. Her passion for learning brought Dr. Sherry Crow back to her roots.

A graduate of Fort Hays State University, Crow took over last month as chair of the Advanced Education Programs at her alma mater.

It’s a journey that comes full circle for Crow, who was born in western Kansas, moved to Hays at age 9, attended Hays public schools, then decided to continue her education across town at FHSU.

After Crow earned her master's degree in Library Science, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Management from Emporia State University, she and her husband, Steve, moved several times in conjunction with his career in the pharmaceutical industry. That gave Crow the opportunity to work in a variety of school and public libraries around the country.

Crow has authored and/or co-authored five books and 21 peer-reviewed articles. Her latest work – a textbook in many library science programs and staple in most university libraries across the country – is the fifth edition of Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction: New Directions for School Libraries. She co-authored the book with her mentor from Emporia State, Nancy Thomas, and colleagues Judy Henning and Jean Donham. It is described by the publisher as "exploring the ways in which today's Internet-savvy young people view and use information to complete school assignments and make sense of everyday life."

Before coming to FHSU, Crow spent the past 12 years as a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she also served four years as an associate dean in the College of Education and helped lead its teacher education department through accreditation.

She learned about the opening at Fort Hays State from a colleague at an accreditation conference last spring and decided to check it out. Not only did the position intrigue Crow, but her mother, 92-year-old Rosemary Hillman, still lives in Hays, as does her daughter, Sarah Eiden, and her family.

"This was a chance to get closer to family, and I am really excited about this job," Crow said. "There is a wonderful variety of programs in AEP. As the chair, I will teach graduate level students and lead faculty, and that fits my skill set. It all made sense to me. It’s a great next step. I’m ready for this challenge."