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Martha Whitehead appointed University Librarian

Posted: July 20th, 2011

On behalf of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for the selection of the University Librarian, Queen’s Provost has recommended to the Principal that Martha Whitehead be appointed as University Librarian.  The Principal has agreed with the recommendation and Martha has accepted the appointment.

Martha has been engaged in academic research libraries for over twenty-five years.  Over the past year she served as Interim University Librarian during a time of significant transition and restructuring.  “Martha’s focused, energetic and inclusive leadership style has helped to prepare the Queen’s Library for these important changes and put the Library on a strong foundation for future achievements,” says Provost Bob Silverman.

Previously, Martha served for six years as Associate University Librarian at Queen’s. Her work included steering the development of the Queen’s Learning Commons and enabling significant advancement of the Library’s digital environment and services.  Prior to joining the Queen’s community, Martha held positions at the University of British Columbia Library in the areas of information services and information technologies, and was engaged in several university planning exercises.  In 2003 Martha was a visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne, where she worked with the Director of Teaching, Learning and Research Support on an assessment of the Information Division’s organizational model for teaching information skills.  While at UBC Martha was also invited to contribute to several international collaborations relating to information literacy and learning technologies.

“I’m thrilled to be in this leadership position at Queen’s,” says Martha. “This is one of Canada’s leading universities, known for its scholarship and spirit, and the Library plays a major role. We have a great library with great people and I’m honoured to be working with them.”

Martha’s professional activities extend well beyond Queen’s.  She has held several key roles with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, a partnership of seventy-four Canadian universities dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada, including Chair of the Negotiations Resource Team and member of the Executive Committee and the Board. In Ontario, she has been actively involved with Scholars Portal, a project of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) that provides a shared information research system for all twenty-one university libraries in the province, and she currently serves on the OCUL Executive Committee.  As well, she is the Canadian Association of Research Libraries representative on the Steering Committee of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  In 2007, Martha was accepted into the Research Library Leadership Fellows program with the Association of Research Libraries, a two-year executive program designed to explore critical issues and current trends with senior administrators of research institutions such as Harvard.  Martha has published many articles in the professional literature and is a frequent invited speaker and facilitator at professional events.

Martha’s five-year term is effective July 1, 2011.

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