Library Interview: Luke Beatty

Today for our library interview series we have a familiar face in a new role. As he will note, Luke Beatty has been with us for a few years, initially as our Outreach Librarian, and then taking over the directorship from Jan Figa last year. We are glad to have his leadership here at the library, and thought we should check in on him in his new role now that he’s had a chance to make it his own.

865(eatty2)Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

My name is Luke Beatty, and I’m the Library Director at Schewe Library. You can contact me in the following ways:

• By email at
• By phone at 217-245-3573.
• By visiting my office, which is located on the main floor of Schewe Library (by the DVD Collection).

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I’ve been at IC for a little more than three years. I initially came to the college in 2014 after finishing out a contract as a Philosophy & Religious Studies Librarian at Mount Royal University (in Canada). I started out in the library as an Outreach Librarian, but was promoted to Library Director last year.

I’d like to say I had some high-minded reason for coming to IC, but really I just couldn’t get a job in California! In retrospect, this was a healthy stroke of luck, because my time at IC has been rewarding and I’ve been able to positively influence the library during my tenure here.

What do you do at Schewe?

Broadly speaking, I’m responsible for the leadership and administration of Schewe Library. Leadership is the fun part – planning for the future, creating services, setting priorities, etc. Administration is the less-fun part of the job – managing the facilities, paying the bills, assessing and evaluating the library, etc.

When I’m not leading or administrating, I also do some more traditional librarian work: reference, instruction, research consultations, collection development, etc.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

The main floor of the library was renovated this past summer (new carpet, new paint, new furniture, a new group study room, new reference desk, and a new Information Technology service desk), so ensuring these changes have the impact they’re supposed to have will keep me occupied for the next little while.

In terms of upcoming initiatives, I’m hoping we can entice the college to invest some more dollars on our lower floor in order to modernize its aesthetic and improve its functionality. I’m also excited about our new IC publications display, which will be a permanent fixture in the library as of next month. This is something the library (and the college) has needed for a long time, and it will bring new visibility to the scholarship our faculty, staff, and administrators are producing.

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

First, I’m Canadian, so that’s unusual (for here, at least).

Second, I’ve permanently resided in four different countries during my lifetime, so that’s interesting (I think).

Third, I was once chased by a rutting moose along the banks of the Bow River (in Banff, Alberta) under a full moon! I escaped this raging sex monster by fleeing into a tightly clustered grove of fir trees, which the moose was reluctant to enter because his massive horns wouldn’t let him navigate between the trees. Does that qualify as exciting?

Yes, Luke, we think it does.


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