In 1979, Lee Shiflett graduated from Florida State University with his doctorate. Since then, he’s written a book about Louis Shores, worked and taught across the country in Library Sciences and today he works for the Department of Library and Information Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Career paths are never the same. Dr. Shiflett’s career path was almost drastically different – until some Florida State faculty changed his mind.
“I never intended to pursue a career in library education,” admits Shiflett. “Teaching was about the last thing I wanted to spend my career pursuing.” It was the push from Dean Harold Goldstein and Professor John Goudeau that brought Shiflett into the world of academia. He had spent several years as an academic librarian at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, working as an Acquisitions Librarian from 1971-1974 and a Coordinator of Technical Services from 1976-1978. However, the faculty at Florida State faculty had other ideas.
“They told me I had to interview for a faculty position with Louisiana State University,” he said. “I dutifully went to Baton Rouge to do that.” That push would lead to twenty two years at Louisiana State University. Dr. Jane Robbins, who later became the Dean of the School of Information, hired Shiflett at LSU. He accepted her offer, warning her it would be a short gig, just three years.
Shiflett worked as an Assistant Professor from 1979-83 and later an Associate Professor from 1983-94 and Professor from 1994-2001. After twenty two years of teaching cataloging, management, collection development, academic libraries and dozens more courses, Shiflett accepted a job as chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001.
“I’m not sure anyone could have adequately prepared anyone for heading an ALA accredited program,” he shared. After twelve years at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Shiflett can trace his career back to his defining days at Florida State.d