Virginia Dowsing Toliver

Associate University Librarian

Virginia Dowsing Toliver, Associate University Librarian, has been employed with the Washington University Libraries since 1982. A member of the senior management team, Virginia’s responsibilities include budgeting, accounting, support services, human resources, facilities, communications and special events, and all administrative/support functions. She also coordinated the multi-year renovation of Olin Library.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Jackson State University in 1969 and a Master’s of Science in Library Science from the University of Illinois in 1973. She was an Academic Library Management Intern for the Council on Library Resources in 1981 and was a summer intern with the Technical Information Department, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, California in 1977.

Previous employment includes: Coordinator of Information Retrieval, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS (1977-1981), and Acting Library Director, Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS (1974-77), Serials Librarian, Alcorn State University (1973-77).

She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Library Administration and Management Division, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and is a past Executive Board member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Virginia served on the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee (2003-2007); the BCALA Literary Awards Committee (2001-2006; 2008-2010); the planning committee for the 2007 and 2015 BCALA Annual Conferences. At Washington University she serves as a member of the Danforth University Management Council, Human Resources Advisory Committee, the Incident Management Team, the Chancellor’s Roundtable on African American Student Recruitment, the James E. McLeod Honors and Awards Program, and is a Progress Counselor for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Virginia is also very active in organizations outside the library.  In 2010, Virginia was elected as the first woman and the first African American to chair the Board of Trustees for Eden Theological Seminary in the Seminary’s 160 year history. She also served as Moderator for the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy and chaired the Presbyterian Church USA National Committee on Self-Development of People – a ministry that has helped fund hundreds of projects around the world to promote human dignity, self-reliance and community growth. She was the first African American female to serve in both capacities. She is a member of the United Way‘s Charmaine Chapman Society and a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In 2012, Virginia was selected as a recipient of the Bob & Gerry Virgil Ethic of Service Award in recognition of her character and service to the St. Louis region.