Indiana University Bloomington

IU Libraries Dean Brenda Johnson named director of University of Chicago Library

  • Oct. 16, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brenda L. Johnson, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries, has been appointed library director and university librarian at the University of Chicago. Her appointment begins Jan. 1.

Johnson has served as the dean of the IU Libraries since 2010. An interim dean will be named in the near future.

"The Indiana University Bloomington community has truly benefitted from Brenda's forward-thinking leadership," Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said. "During her time at IU, Brenda has provided strategic direction on the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, a five-year, $15 million university-wide project that aims to preserve the university's vital media assets. She has overseen updates to the Herman B Wells Library workspaces that have created modern spaces for scholarly research discovery and introduced a new model for library service delivery on campus. The University of Chicago offers a wonderful opportunity for Brenda, and I wish her all the best as she enters this next phase of her career."

During Johnson's tenure, the IU Libraries have launched new spaces and developed innovative models for delivering library services. The IU Scholars' Commons exemplifies both as it offers a centralized academic service hub and builds on partnerships with departments across the IU Bloomington campus at the same time as it has utterly transformed the first floor of the Wells Library East Tower.

Johnson has also provided crucial leadership on the university's digital preservation initiatives, including the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative as well as the Digitization Master Plan. The IU Libraries have long played an important role in the national strategy for long-term preservation of academic and research content as a founding member of the Digital Preservation Network; a founding partner of HathiTrust Digital Library, one of the largest digital libraries in the world; co-leader of the HathiTrust Research Center; and an institutional partner in the Academic Preservation Trust.

Johnson is active in the national and international library community through service and leadership on a variety of executive boards and committees, such as the Board of Governors of HathiTrust; the Board of Directors of CLOCKSS, a digital repository for Web-based scholarly publications; the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Library Directors Group; the Board of Directors of Kuali Open Library Environment; and the Association of Research Libraries' Scholarly Communications Steering Committee.

Her recent international speaking engagements on topics including the rapid pace of change in information discovery and dissemination, scholarly engagement and support, "collective collections," and research and learning environments have taken her to London, Shanghai and Yokohama, among other places.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University," Johnson said. "I leave IU with a great deal of pride for all we in the Libraries have accomplished over the last five years, and I hold my friends and colleagues in the highest regard for their professionalism and dedication. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the spirit of collaboration that pervades the IU Libraries and the support of President McRobbie, Provost Robel and colleagues across campus."

Indiana University has spent nearly 200 years investing in and developing the IU Libraries' collections, which serve as the foundation for education and research across the university. Home to highly skilled stewards of traditional collections, the IU Libraries have evolved to serve as incubators for innovation, gateways to knowledge resources and commons environments, all of which have propelled the Libraries to national and international leadership in areas such as data management, impact metrics, open source software, digital preservation, scholarly communications and open access publishing.

One of the foremost library systems in the nation, the IU Libraries include 18 university library sites and collections of 9.5 million volumes in more than 900 languages, all of which serve approximately 2.3 million patrons annually. Drawing scholars from around the world to its research collections, the Libraries include the Lilly Library, one of the country's premier rare book and manuscript libraries.

Recognized with the 2010 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the University Division by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the IU Libraries have long cultivated a culture of collaboration with partners across campus and across the country. In that spirit, librarians and library staff work closely with faculty members and students to create environments such as the Grad Commons, the Scholars' Commons and the Learning Commons that support excellence in education and research.

By enhancing physical environments, developing and embracing technology, re-envisioning collections, and partnering in teaching and learning, the IU Libraries remain one of the most vital information resources and service providers on the IU campus and beyond.

Brenda L. Johnson

Brenda L. Johnson | Photo by Indiana University

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