New role for Martha Whitehead

Post Date:
Feb 12, 2019

Today it is with pride and no small sense of loss that we announce that Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) & University Librarian will be leaving Queen's to lead Harvard Library, the worlds largest academic library system. To learn more about Martha's new role, see the announcement from Harvard. Here is the announcement Daniel Woolf, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University, shared with our community:


Dear colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) and University Librarian, will be leaving Queen’s to join Harvard University, where she will serve as Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

Martha has provided remarkable leadership in her portfolio at Queen’s since her appointment as University Librarian in 2011 and expansion of her role as Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) in 2017. Focusing on the university’s academic and research missions, she has advanced our information services and resources by seizing the opportunities of the digital age as well as building upon traditional library values. This has included enabling new services such as research data management, scholarly publishing, copyright advice and support for digital scholarship and open education resources, as well as strong information research programs, further development of special collections and archives, new information resources strategies, and the enhancement of the library’s physical spaces. All this was accomplished through deep engagement with the academic community, continual strategic planning, significant organizational restructuring and ongoing staff development that has placed the library in a strong position for the future.

As Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) Martha has laid the foundation for the university’s digital strategy, working closely with the Associate Vice-Principal (ITS) and Chief Information Officer, academic leaders and many other members of the university community. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership in matters relating to research libraries, having served in organizations such as the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure (LCDRI), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), to name just a few. Martha joined Queen’s as Associate University Librarian in 2004.

In her remaining months at Queen’s, Martha’s work will focus on assisting in leadership transition for the library and digital planning. Arrangements put in place for her administrative leave planned for January through June will continue, with Michael Vandenburg as Acting Vice-Provost and University Librarian.  In June 2019, Michael’s role will change to Interim Vice-Provost and University Librarian. Details regarding the search for the next Vice-Provost and University Librarian will be determined in consultation with incoming Principal Patrick Deane.

Please join me in congratulating Martha on her new role and our colleagues at Harvard on having attracted her. Her expertise, integrity, and collegial working relationships have benefited Queen’s University enormously, and we wish her well as she embarks on this new opportunity. 


Daniel Woolf
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Queen's University

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