COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Library Information

The library will be open to MUW and MSMS students, faculty, and staff via swipe card access starting August 2nd and to the public by appointment.  Masks and social distancing will be required.  The physical building (including the 24/7 lab) will be closed for cleaning purposes on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Amanda Clay Powers

Dean of Library Services, Professor


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(662) 329-7336

Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information:


Simmons College Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Boston, MA
Masters of Library and Information Science, 2005
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, 1996


Mississippi University for Women
Fant Memorial Library, Columbus, Mississippi
Professor (2016 – present)

Dean of Library Services (2016 – present)

  • Provide leadership for building the library’s mission, vision, policies, and strategic plan
  • Provide strategic directions for collections, technology, and services
  • Direct report for 15 library faculty and staff
  • Create and manage budget of $1.4M
  • Work with the Development office to fundraise around library priorities
  • Oversee implementation of an institutional repository, Athena Commons
  • Built in collaboration with business, political science, and history faculty an interdisciplinary Digital Studies Minor launched in fall 2019
  • Established an Office of Undergraduate Research within the library, including hiring a Coordinator of Undergraduate Research
  • Supervised the construction of the library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS/Athena) and ingestion of 300,000 items
  • Supervised the buildout and renovation of 43,000 square feet of library space
  • Applied for and received grant funding from the Mississippi Humanities Council for a “Meet the Author Series” 2017-2018

Mississippi State University Libraries
Mitchell Memorial Library, MS State, Mississippi                                                               
Associate Professor (2012 – 2016)
Assistant Professor (2005 – 2012)

Coordinator of Research Services (2012 – 2016)

  • Oversaw reference, library instruction and government information services
  • Supervised, support and mentor 10 tenured or tenure-track library faculty
  • Supervised three staff managing 17 student workers
  • Coordinated a consolidation of Instruction Services, Reference, and Government Documents Departments into a new Research Services Department in November 2013
  • Coordinated a space reallocation and redesign of government documents, current periodicals, microform, and state-adopted materials

Open Access / Research Committee Chair, Scholarly Communications Initiative (2014 – 2016)

  • Reported to the Library Administrative Council, led a committee of 12 faculty and professional staff to explore Open Access issues as related to faculty research and productivity at Mississippi State University
  • Led the development a plan for training library faculty and staff on Open Access concerns for application in their work, e.g. author rights and publishing
  • Created workshops on Open Access awareness with members of the committee
  • Worked with the Open Access committee to create to implement an environmental scan of Mississippi State University departments in relation to Open Access awareness

Social Media Librarian and Management of Social Media Committee Chair (2006 – 2016)

  • Provided leadership for the social media efforts and workshops
  • Assisted faculty and departments across campus with research, grant and instruction support related to the study of, implementation of and research into social media tools.
  • Assisted Colleges, Departments, Institutes and Centers with their social media presence
  • Provided workshops for the MSU community on the effective use of social media

Agriculture & Life Sciences Reference Librarian (2005 – 2013)

  • Provided general and in-depth reference services in person and online
  • Developed and taught general and course-specific research instruction workshops
  • Served as the acting Business and Social Sciences Reference Librarian January 2008 – January 2009 and Interim Business Librarian October 2011 – July 2012 and May 2014 – October 2014.

Virtual Reference Project Manager (2007 – 2012)

  • Supervised 13 chat operators in providing 56 hours of chat reference from the public desks
  • Managed the operations of the virtual reference services, including chat, mobile IM, email and social networking reference services
  • Created training programs for virtual reference staff based on chat transactions
  • Provided assessment from virtual reference services data
  • Led the MSU Libraries’ transition from consortial chat reference to local-only chat in summer 2008, and then from Docutek Altarama to OCLC QuestionPoint in summer 2012

Dewey Library for Management and Social Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Library and Reference Assistant, Technical and Public Services (2002 – 2005)

  • Collaborated on a six person cross-trained Technical Processing team supporting two libraries at MIT collectively responsible for serials, monographs, journals, government documents, and supervising student workers
  • Primarily responsible for check-in, claiming, binding, and maintenance of serials and government documents
  • Coordinated and completed multiple large storage projects in Humanities and Dewey Libraries
  • Assisted Dewey Library Collections Manager with implementation of a library-wide weeding project
  • Provided reference services for management, economics, and political science
  • Developed and implemented instruction programs for MIT’s library staff
  • Created core competencies for integrated service points as a member of the MIT Libraries’ Service Desk Task Force (2004-2005)


A Global Equity Hedge Fund Manager, Cambridge, MA 
Manager (1999 – 2001)

  • Compiled a library of market research
  • Created and gave marketing and sales presentations in Europe and Asia
  • Negotiating contracts with financial institutions in France and Germany
  • Hired and supervised administrative and IT professionals

A Division of Random House Incorporated, New York, NY
Assistant Editor (1996 –1998)

  • Acquired and edited book-length commercial fiction
  • Negotiation contracts for new acquisitions
  • Wrote and edited cover copy for mystery fiction



  • Convener, ACRL Heads of Public Services Discussion Group (American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries) (2015 – 2018)
  • Member, Continuing Education Committee, LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association) (2015 – 2017)
  • Advisory Board Member, Virtual Archives for Land-Grant History, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) (2013-2014)
  • Chair, Virtual Reference Discussion Group, American Library Association (ALA), Reference Users Services Association (RUSA), MARS (Emerging Technologies in Reference Section ) (2010-2011)
  • Secretary, Virtual Reference Discussion Group, ALA, RUSA, MARS (2009-2010)
  • Member, Virtual Reference Discussion Group, ALA, RUSA, MARS (2011-2013)
  • Member, Virtual Reference Committee, ALA, RUSA, MARS/RSS (Emerging Technologies/Reference Services Section) (2009-2013)
  • Member, RUSA President’s Program / MARS Program Planning Committee (2011-2012)
  • Member, MARS Mid-Winter Survey Task Force (2011)
  • Member, RUSA Technology Task Force, ALA, RUSA (2008)
  • RSS Liaison to the Access to Information Committee, ALA, RUSA (2007 – 2009)
  • Member, Virtual Reference Committee, Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) (2006-2008)


  • Past President / President / Vice President (elected) and Executive Board Member, Mississippi Library Association (2013 – 2015)
  • Chair, Fiscal Management Committee, Mississippi Library Association (2015)
  • Treasurer / Executive Board Member (elected), Mississippi Library Association (2007 – 2009)

Mississippi University for Women

  • Member, Dean’s Council (July 2016 – present)
  • Member, Academic Council (July 2016 – present)
  • Member, Administrative Council (July 2016 – present)
  • Member, Enrollment Management Council (July 2016 – present)
  • Member, Graduate Council (July 2017 – present)
  • Member, Strategic Enrollment Planning Council (July 2018 – present)
  • Member, SACS 5th Year Accreditation Review Committee (August 2018 – present)


  • 2015 – 2016 Fred Tom Mitchell Faculty Leadership Program awarded by application to the “next generation of campus leaders” by the Provost and the Executive Vice President with the Office of Research and Economic Development
  • 2010 Mississippi Library Association Past President's Award for outstanding early career librarian
  • 2005 MIT Libraries Infinite Mile Award for Innovation and Creativity with the Service Desk Task Force for work to transition the Libraries to an Integrated Service Point
  • 2004 MIT Libraries Infinite Mile Award for Communication and Collaboration with the Dewey and Humanities Libraries Processing Team


Powers, Amanda Clay, Martin Garner and Dustin Fife. A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation. ALA Editions: Chicago. 2019.

Kathuria, Sheeji and Amanda Clay Powers. “What Happens When They Start Talking Back: Next Level Twitter for Libraries.” in Social Media: The Academic Library Perspective. Editor Nina Verishagen. pp. 136-146. 2018

Powers, Amanda Clay, Martin Garner, and Dustin Fife. “New academic library leader discussion series: Part Three.” College and Research Libraries News 79, iss. 2 (2018):81. DOI:

Powers, Amanda Clay, Martin Garner, and Dustin Fife. “New academic library leader discussion series: Part Two.” College and Research Libraries News. 78, iss.11 (2017):597. DOI:

Powers, Amanda Clay, Martin Garner, and Dustin Fife. “New academic library leader discussion series: Part One.” College and Research Libraries News. 78, iss. 9 (2017):492. DOI:

Powers, Amanda Clay. "The Value of Reference Services: Using Assessment to Chart the Future." in Reimagining Reference in the 21st Century (2014): 149-159.

Powers, Amanda Clay. “Learning to Thrive in a Culture of Change.” Library Journal online ed. (September 5, 2012):

Nolen, David, Amanda Clay Powers, Li Zhang, Yu Xu, Rachel Cannady and Judy Li. “Moving Beyond Assumptions: The Use of Virtual Reference Data in an Academic Library.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 12, iss. 1 (2012): 23 - 40. DOI: 10.1353/pla.2012.0006

Powers, Amanda Clay.  “EBSCO's EDS: Relying on Patron Data To Show the Way.” Library Journal. Reference Supplement. (November 15, 2011): 14 - 15.

Powers, Amanda Clay, Julie Shedd and Clay Hill. "The Role of Virtual Reference in Library Web Site Design." Journal of Web Librarianship 5, iss. 2 (2011): 96 - 113. DOI: 10.1080/19322909.2011.573279

Powers, Amanda Clay, David Nolen, Li Zhang, Yu Xu and Gail Peyton. “Moving from the Consortium to the Reference Desk: Keeping Chat and Improving Reference at the MSU Libraries.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 15, iss. 3 (2010): 169 - 188. DOI: 10.1080/10875301.2010.500939

Powers, Amanda Clay. “Social Networking as Ethical Discourse: Blogging a Practical and Normative Library Ethic.” Journal of Library Administration 47, iss. 3-4 (2008): 191 – 209. DOI: 10.1080/01930820802186522

Powers, Amanda Clay, June Schmidt and Clay Hill. “Why Can’t We Be Friends? The MSU Libraries Find Friends on Facebook.” Mississippi Libraries 72, iss. 1 (2008): 3-5.

Brazzeal, Bradley and Amanda Clay Powers. “Electronic Access to Agricultural Journals: An Agronomy Case Study.” Serials Review 33, iss. 3 (2007): 155-160. DOI:10.1016/j.serrev.2007.06.004

Powers, Amanda Clay and Deborah Lee. “Library 2.0 in Mississippi.” Mississippi Libraries, 71, iss. 3 (2007): 74-75.


Investigating Open Access Attitudes by Discipline at Mississippi State University. Conference speaker with Nickoal Eichmann. IR Day.  Hattiesburg, MS. April 29, 2016.

We’re All Mixed Up: Collaborating to Support the Acquisition of Academic Literacy. Conference speaker with Stacy Kastner and Hillary Richardson.  MSWCA/TutorCon 2016. MS State, MS. April 16, 2016.

The Evolution of Virtual Reference Services: Twitter as a Core Competency. Roundtable with Sheeji Kathuria. The Collective. Knoxville, TN. March 3, 2016.

Tweeting Our Patrons: A New Core Competency for Virtual Reference?  Poster Session with Sheeji Kathuria. American Libraries Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. June 27, 2015.

Social Media in the Archives: Strategic Planning.  Pre-Conference Speaker at the Society of Mississippi Archivists Biennial Conference. Long Beach, MS. April 15, 2015.

Preparing Digital Citizens: Social Media Tools & Skills for the College Search and Beyond.  Presented at the 2015 MegaResource School Librarian Workshop. MS State, MS. February 6, 2015

Creating a Professional Online Presence. Keynote at the 2014 Alabama Association of College and Research Libraries Annual Meeting.  Montgomery, AL. April 24, 2014.

Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us. RUSA RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Committee panel.  American Libraries Association Annual Conference. Anaheim, CA.  June 23, 2012.

Professional Networking Online: Leveraging Social Media in Your Career. Hearin Leadership Program.  Mississippi University for Women. Columbus, MS. October 17, 2011.

Mining Virtual Reference Data for an Iterative Assessment Cycle. 17th Annual Reference Research Forum, American Library Association Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA. June 26, 2011.

Libraries Creating Context with Public Media Partners. Presented at PubCampMS 2010, sponsored by National Public Radio and Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Jackson, MS. June 5, 2010.

Analyzing, Evaluating, & Communicating the Value of Web Presence. Presented with Michael Porter at Computers in Libraries, Washington, DC. April 12, 2010.

Bringing Web 2.0 into Academic Libraries. Presented virtually with Ellen Hampton Filgo at WebJunction (archived at June 30, 2009.

Social Network Profile Management. Presented with Sarah Houghton-Jan, Greg Schwartz and Michael Porter at Computers in Libraries, Washington, DC. March 31, 2009.

New Media in Education and PR/Marketing. Panel at the New Media Conference presented by Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Jackson, MS. November 10, 2008.