From books to screens, Kathy Downes helped Wichita State students find information for 43 years

While libraries underwent significant transformation, Kathy Downes adapted without changing the focus of her job.

“They do a lot of listening to our students,” said Dr. Shirley Lefever, executive vice president and provost at Wichita State University. “She reads a lot, and so she is always looking ahead for ‘What’s the next big thing,’ and what is the role of the university?’”

Downes, dean of University Libraries since 2017, came to Wichita State in 1979 as a biomedical librarian. She also served as assistant dean, associate dean and senior associate dean. She will retire in September.