news-category: Campus News

Dr. Natalie Edwards Bishop Promoted to Dean of Gardner-Webb’s Dover Library

A photo of Natalie Bishop standing in the gallery in Tucker

Alumna and Associate Dean has Served Library Since 2007

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Aubrey has announced the promotion of Dr. Natalie Edwards Bishop to dean of Dover Library. Bishop currently serves as associate dean and University archivist.

“Dr. Bishop brings a determination to increase usage of the library, build partnerships, and make sure our library is seen as a vital heart of the campus,” Aubrey affirmed. “She has a willingness to take a fresh look at Dover and move us to the next level.”    

Bishop follows a practical approach to library administration and leadership. Her focus will be on delivering high-impact services to the Gardner-Webb community that align with the academic curriculum and University Strategic Plan.

“The role of libraries in higher education has shifted over the course of my career,” Bishop noted. “Libraries should no longer be dark and dusty repositories of things—rather, modern libraries should be an active hub of student learning and community engagement. I am excited to take on this new opportunity to lead and explore how the Dover Library may serve as a modern community of learning and engagement for Gardner-Webb.”

New Dean of the Library, Dr. Natalie Bishop, greets a visitor to the “Bound by Faith: The Bibles of Cleveland County” exhibit, which was a collaboration with the Earl Scruggs Center in January 2022.

Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs praised Bishop’s appointment, noting “She has the capacity to revive Dover Library and to make it a focal point for individual and collaborative scholarship. I am especially eager to see the extent to which she makes innovation the signature characteristic of our facility and our collections. We should become an exemplar, a case study in how university libraries can meet the evolving needs of students, faculty, and community. I’m confident that is within Dr. Bishop’s reach.”

Bishop came to Gardner-Webb in 2007 as instruction librarian and began serving as University archivist in 2010. In this position, she has helped leverage the archive collection for teaching, scholarship, and fundraising. A key focus of her preservation strategy is digitization projects, such as the Fay Webb Gardner Collection and Kings Mountain Baptist Association Collection, which allow the library to expose historic collections to a broader audience. Through partnerships and collaborative exhibits with local museums, Dover Library is utilizing its collections for education and outreach in an innovative way.

Bishop earned a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from GWU, a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Wingate (N.C.) University.

She grew up in Marshville, N.C., but has deep roots in Cleveland County, N.C., through her mother’s family. Bishop and her husband, Stephen, and their son, Thomas, live in Patterson Springs, N.C., in the house built by her great-great-grandparents. The Bishops also operate the White House Honeybee Farm, a tradition that also goes back to her great-grandfather. Her grandparents are their next-door neighbors.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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