Donor profile: Karen Horny

Karen Horny’s initial interest in the library profession was sparked by a job with the Special Collections Library as an undergraduate at Brown University, where she took inventory of rare items that wouldn’t fit in the library vault. After returning to her native Michigan and working for bookmobiles for the Detroit Public Library, her interest in following this career path was confirmed when she was able to see firsthand how much libraries mean to people.

 

When Karen attended UMSI in the mid 1960’s, computer applications were the “new thing.” Learning the technology skills she did while at the school has proved to be extremely useful in her career. After graduating from UMSI Karen became an assistant librarian in undergraduate services at Northwestern University, eventually becoming the head of technical services- a position she feels her graduate education prepared her especially well for. UMSI also provided good preparation for administration when she became dean of libraries at Missouri State University.

Karen's decision to endow a scholarship at the school as a way to give back has a personal meaning for her. Her goal with the scholarship is to give people the opportunity who may not have had otherwise for a career that they enjoy and love, as she has enjoyed and loved hers. After talking with staff about giving over a period of several years, she was convinced that this was something she could afford to do. One of the most important ways she stays connected with the school today is through communication with her student scholarship recipients.

After retiring from the library profession as dean of libraries at Missouri State University in 2010, Karen still feels strong ties to UMSI, and says “it has always been a place to think about how people can connect using available information to enhance and enrich lives…it continues to be just as exciting a place looking ahead as it was when I was there in the '60's.”

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