Dr. Allen Lanham, dean of library services at Eastern Illinois University, retired on June 30 after almost 26 years or service.
An open house in his honor was held June 29 in Witters Conference Room 4440 of the library.
Lanham began his duties on Aug. 12, 1991. During his tenure at Eastern, he encouraged a wide range of library programming in the arts and humanities and has been the principal investigator for Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries since 2006. He has consulted for libraries in Central and South America and Africa.
He led the extensive renovation and expansion of Booth Library from 1999 through 2002, resulting in a building that celebrates its historic architecture while providing the space and technological capability to meet future library needs.
Lanham was named an Illinois Library Association Luminary in 2016 and Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year in 2008. His work in library innovation and programming led to Booth Library being named a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and winner of the DEMCO Library Innovation Award, both in 2014.
He has been active in many regional, state and national library organizations and has held many leadership positions, including serving as Illinois Library Association president in 2004-2005. He is currently a councilor to the American Library Association.
Lanham earned a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in 1974, a master’s degree from Arkansas State University in 1975 and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1987, all in music education. He earned a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.
Prior to his work at Booth Library, Lanham taught in the Music Department at The Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San German, beginning in 1976. He served as director of the department from 1979 to 1987.