Dean Hersberger announces retirement

Rod Hersberger, who has headed the California State  University, Bakersfield library since 1984, announced that he will retire in December.

An Indiana native, Rod has held positions of library leadership through out his long career, first at Northern Illinois University and then as assistant dean at the University of Oklahoma.

“I guess my proudest accomplishment was planning and overseeing the construction of the Walter Stiern Library,” Rod said.

The new library opened in 1994 and is considered one of the county’s gems of architectural design. Rod worked with architects and planners to build a library that was aesthetically pleasing but that provided a functional workspace for students. The Dezember Reading Room, with its wood paneling and natural light, in particular, stands out as the library’s showpiece of architectural innovation.

Rod changed the library’s internal structure too, altering the workflow so that librarians were free to develop innovative programs and work with students. During Rod’s tenure as dean, the library developed its widely renowned information competency programs, the Title 5 internship, and other acclaimed projects.

Rod made his mark early with a long list of publications in top library and information science journals. Much of his research involved management models and the early shifting to electronic information resources.

Under Rod’s leadership, the library was an early adopter of digital technology. During his time at CSUB, access went from a card catalog to CD towers to an evolving digital access that changes rapidly every year.

“There is nothing in a library that has not undergone complete transformation since I was a student, working in the college library. It has been an interesting time to work in libraries,” he said.

Rod holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University.

“The decision-making skills, the management skills, and the financial skills I learned in business school have been very valuable to me as a library leader and manager,” Rod said.

Rod capped his career by being elected Treasurer of the American Library Association, the largest and oldest professional library association in the world, an organization with 70,000 members. The position of ALA treasurer was established in 1876 and was first held by Melvil Dewey, the father of modern library science.

Rod plans to spend more time in his favorite city, Santa Barbara, to travel and read more, and to indulge his passion for European-style auto racing and precision driving.

In recognition of Rod’s retirement and in appreciation of his many years of service to the Walter W. Stiern Library and CSUB, the Library Faculty has initiated the Hersberger Book Fund. To donate, please use the form below.

Book Fund in Honor of Retiring Library Dean, Rod Hersberger,
Will Benefit CSUB Library Collection

Hersberger Book Fund Donation Form
In recognition of Rod Hersberger’s many years of service to the CSUB Walter W. Stiern Library, I would like to contribute to the Rod Hersberger Book Fund. I understand that contributions to this fund go directly to the purchase of important books and information resources for the Library’s collection, supporting the curriculum and research needs of CSUB students and faculty. Contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.

Donor Name(s):

Please check the box if you would like your name to appear on the bookplate. 
Donor Mailing Address

Amount: $____________
Make check payable to the CSU Bakersfield Foundation noting on the memo line, Hersberger Book Fund.

Send the completed form and check to:
Sandra Bozarth
c/o Walter W. Stiern Library
California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Highway, 60 LIB
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022.

Your donation is very much appreciated.
A list of donors will be provided to the honoree but amounts are confidential.

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