Amanda Clay Powers

Dean of Library Services, Professor

OFFICE: Fant Memorial Library
Mississippi University for Women
1100 College Street #1625
Columbus, MS 39701


PHONE: (662) 329-7336

About Dean Powers


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, and policies
  • Provide strategic directions for collections, technology, and services
  • Manage 15 library faculty and staff
  • Build and manage budget of $1.5M
  • Work with the Development office to fundraise around library priorities, including the Martha Jo Mims Digitization & Conservation Lab
  • Oversee implementation of Athena Commons, an institutional repository
  • Built the interdisciplinary Digital Studies Minor in collaboration with business, political science, and history faculty, launched out of the library 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

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

  • Coordinator of Research Services (2012 – 2016)
    • Supervised 10 faculty and three staff
    • Oversaw Reference, Instruction, and Government Documents
    • Conducted deselection projects in Reference and Government Documents
    • Coordinated space reallocation
  • Open Access / Research Committee Chair, Scholarly Communications Initiative (2014 -2016)
    • Developed and led faculty and staff training in OA for job responsibilities
    • Created and delivered university-wide workshops on various OA topics
    • Led the implementation of an environmental OA awareness scan of campus
  • Social Media Librarian and Management of Social Media Committee Chair (2006 – 2016)
    • Led social media efforts and workshops
    • Assisted faculty with research, grant, and instruction support
    • Helped Colleges, Departments, Institutes, and Centers develop their social media presence
    • Provided workshops for campus courses on the effective use of social media by discipline
  • Agriculture & Life Sciences Reference Librarian (2005 – 2013)
    • Provided specialized research services
    • Taught course-specific research instruction workshops
    • Purchased materials to support disciplinary trajectories
    • Also served as acting Business and Social Science Librarian 2008, and 2011-2012
  • Virtual Reference Project Manager (2007 – 2012)
    • Supervised 13 chat operators over 56 hours of chat reference
    • Managed the operations of chat, mobile IM, email, and social networking reference
    • Created and delivered training programs for VR staff
    • Assessed virtual reference data to improve quality
    • Led the transition from consortial to local chat reference in 2008

MIT Libraries

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
  • Coordinated and completed multiple large storage projects in Humanities and Dewey Libraries
  • Assisted Dewey Library Collections Manager with implementation of a library-wide deselection 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



  • Member, SACSCOC Off-site Review Committee (Fall 2021, Fall 2023)
  • Councilor, American Library Association (ALA), Mississippi Library Association (MLA), 2022-2024
  • Convener, ACRL Heads of Public Services Discussion Group (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, ALA-Reference Users Services Association (RUSA)-Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) (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 (2009-2013)
  • Member, RUSA President’s Program, MARS Program Planning Committee (2011-2012)
  • Member, MARS Mid-Winter Survey Task Force, ALA-MARS (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)


  • Member, Mississippi Humanities Council Board (2022 — present)
  • Member, Mississippi Library Association Executive Board (2022 — 2024)
  • Member, Mississippi Historical Society Board of Directors (2021 — 2024)
  • Member, Board of the University Press of Mississippi (2018 — present)
  • Member, Grant Review Board of the Mississippi Humanities Council (2019 — present)
  • Past President / President / Vice President and Executive Board Member, Mississippi Library Association (2013 – 2015)
  • Chair, Fiscal Management Committee, Mississippi Library Association (2015)
  • Treasurer / Executive Board Member, Mississippi Library Association (2007 – 2009)

Mississippi University for Women

  • Member, Search Committee for Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations (2024)
  • Chair of Search Committee, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences (2022)
  • Co-Chair, University Naming Taskforce (2022 – 2024)
  • Chair of Search Committee, Director of Development (2021)
  • Facilitator, Strategic Planning Taskforce for Academic Excellence and Fiscal Sustainability pillars (2021)
  • Member, Diversity & Inclusion Council (September 2020 — present)
  • Chair, Student Emergency Fund Committee (2019 – present)
  • Chair, Common Read Committee (2019 – present)
  • Member, SACS 5th Year Accreditation Review Committee (2018)
  • Member, Strategic Enrollment Management Council (July 2018 – present)
  • 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)


  • 2023 Leadership Class of Mississippi from the Mississippi Economic Council is the oldest statewide leadership program in the nation and is a competitively selected group with the goal of developing and maintaining a network of Mississippians committed to strengthening Mississippians’ quality of life.
  • 2022 University Impact Initiative Award given to a campus unit who exemplifies the excellence that is The W through its efforts to enhance diversity, promote cultural diversity and cultivate an inclusive campus community
  • 2022 William Winter Scholar is chosen by the university as the Humanities Division’s most outstanding faculty member to represent The W at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration conference
  • 2015 – 2016 Mississippi State University’s 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 Garnar 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 Garnar, 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 Garnar, 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 Garnar, 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.


You’re Safe! Creating a Culture of Innovation.  Invited Presentation.  Mississippi State University Faculty Development Forum.  Starkville, MS. December 7, 2023.

Teams that Succeed: Creating a Culture that Embraces Failure.  Institute for Higher Learning Library Consortium Failing Forward Symposium. Columbus, MS. May 25, 2023.

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.