Emily Tian

Yale is currently conducting a search for a new University Librarian to succeed Susan Gibbons, who was recently appointed to the expanded role of Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications.

The University Librarian’s principal job is to make sure that Yale libraries adapt to the research needs of students and faculty members alike. The librarian must also respond to inquiries about the university’s collection. The University Librarian Search Advisory Committee, chaired by Professor Christina Kraus, is carrying out the search.

“We have a search [committee], and we’re working closely with them through September into October consulting with as many different constituencies as we can — people in the library, undergraduates, graduates, faculty,” Kraus said.

Gibbons was reappointed as University Librarian for another five years in 2016, and she will continue to lead the library system until Yale appoints a successor, according to a YaleNews press release about Gibbons’ appointment to the expanded role of vice provost.

The Search Advisory Committee has created an online form that allows Yalies to anonymously nominate potential candidates to succeed Gibbons. Kraus highlighted that it was important for the committee to receive a great deal of input from the Yale community throughout the search.

“We’re just getting as much information as we can and asking people what their priorities are — what they think has gone right and what they think has gone wrong, and what they’d like to see in a new librarian,” she said.

The Search Advisory Committee, which meets every Friday, conducts outreach to small groups, consulting with various people in the Yale community and representatives of organizations on campus.

Kraus said that the committee will first evaluate potential applicants and start interviewing those on the longlist in mid-November, with the aim of giving a shortlist to University President Peter Salovey in December.

A former News Staff Columnist Leland Stange ’19 — who has been a vocal critic of the Bass library renovation this past year, particularly the plans to reduce the library’s book collection — said that for him, the most important duty of the University Librarian is to “preserve and foster the spirit of browsing.”

“In the digital-age, students need to be drawn out from their laptops and shown what can be done with a superb physical library collection, such as Yale’s,” Stange said. “If the next University Librarian truly loves libraries, they will know this intuitively.”

The nomination web form can be found under the President’s Committees section of the Advisory Groups tab on the Office of the President website.

Marisol Carty | marisol.carty@yale.edu