Head of UH Mānoa's Sinclair Library receives President's "Making the Elephant Dance" Award

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Apr 29, 2009

University of Hawaiʻi President David McClain has selected Gregg Geary, head of Sinclair Library and music librarian at UH Mānoa, as the recipient of the President‘s "Making the Elephant Dance" Award for the first quarter of 2009. The award was created by McClain to acknowledge individuals who successfully develop innovative ways to improve the university‘s service to students and the community.

The award is named after the book "Who Says Elephants Can‘t Dance? Leading a Great Enterprise Through Dramatic Change," by the former CEO of IBM, Lou Gerstner, who chronicles his efforts to make IBM‘s very large corporate bureaucracy more responsive to customers and the marketplace.

Geary is recognized for leading the transformation of Sinclair Library to address the information, study and learning needs of 21st century college students. The effort included physical changes, such as relocating journals to create a comfortable first-floor reading room and creating a commons area dedicated to group study, as well as the expansion and integration of information services and academic assistance available to students.

"Gregg led the conversion of dark, stuffy rooms into bright, engaging spaces while finding great cost-savers, frequently working on the areas himself," said McClain. "The focus of Sinclair Library under his direction has become student success." Driven by his dedication to student success, Geary envisioned Sinclair Library as a place where students could actively learn in a comfortable and welcoming environment. In addition to traditional reference and lending services, Sinclair Library offers classroom and group study space, expanded computing facilities, and wireless Internet access. It is open around-the-clock from noon Sundays through 7 p.m. Fridays, and food is allowed throughout the first floor with free coffee available after 9:30 p.m. to assist with student‘s late night study sessions.

The library‘s new Student Success Center is a significant component of the transformation. The center offers a variety of online and in-person services as well as on-site connections to other campus programs, all with the common goal of helping students achieve success in college. The creation of the Student Success Center was a collaborative effort, brought about through the efforts of the library, Information Technology Services and various student service programs with support from the Chancellor‘s Office.

For more information about Sinclair Library, visit www.sinclair.hawaii.edu

Past recipients of the President's Making the Elephant Dance award, which is given quarterly, include:

  • University of Hawaiʻi System Bursar Barbara Kawamoto;
  • Hawaiʻi Community College Student Services Specialist Doodie Downs;
  • UH Mānoa Student Sustainability Coordinator Shanah Trevenna; and
  • UH Mānoa Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services David Hafner.