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News Release

March 18, 2019

Northwest welcomes Briggs as new library director

By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant

Dr. Lea Briggs

Dr. Lea Briggs

Dr. Lea Briggs joined the Northwest Missouri State University staff March 1, as its director of library services and operations.

Most recently, she worked as the administrative and operations coordinator at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She brings experience as a faculty member and has worked in administrative positions, research roles, as a library director and as a library consortium manager.

A native of South Dakota, Briggs earned her bachelor’s in accounting at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She continued her education by earning a master’s degree in library science at Emporia State University and her doctorate in education administration at University of South Dakota.

Briggs developed her interest in library operations as a student employee at Northern State. She later worked her way through the institution as a staff member, serving as assistant to the director and reference services coordinator.

While her pursuing his master’s degree, Briggs knew she wanted to be on the administrative side.

“I’m happy to have had the experience in all different areas,” Briggs said. “If administration is done right in a library, you’re here to provide an environment that supports the learning of the student and the education mission of the institution. I don’t work directly in the classroom anymore, but I’ve been there so I can appreciate what that’s about, and I can try and provide the tools and the resources that my people need to be most effective in helping students. Seeing every little component has been beneficial in the totality of my work.”

Briggs’ goals at Northwest include collaborating with other departments on the campus to find opportunities to improve service and offerings to benefit student success. She plans to develop a library strategic plan and will play a key role in Northwest’s participation in the MOBIUS, a Missouri-based library consortium with the purpose of sharing library materials, information and services through accessible, cost-effective methods.

“We’re really focused on student success even though we don’t have that direct classroom experience,” Briggs said of the library’s mission. “We really are here to serve the students in their educational environment.”

Briggs assumes the role previously held by Kathy Hart, who resigned last July.

The B.D. Owens Library houses more than 260,000 books, documents and bound periodicals. Nearly 40,000 periodicals are available in electronic format, and about 130,000 eBooks are available through the popular EBSCOhost platform.

The Owens Library also includes Novel Grounds, a coffee house-style seating and lounge area with a Starbucks, the Student Success Center, the Learning and Teaching Center, the Northwest Writing Center and the International Involvement Center.

For more information about the library or to search its resources, visit or call 660.562.1193.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215