NEWSFLASH: Sarah Thomas of University of Oxford Appointed Vice President for the Harvard Library

Sarah Thomas of University of Oxford Appointed Vice President for the Harvard Library

From the Harvard University Announcement:

“Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber announced today that Sarah Thomas of the University of Oxford has been named vice president for the Harvard Library.

In this role, Thomas will have overall responsibility for the Harvard Library, and will collaborate closely with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team.

Garber noted, “Sarah Thomas is a leader in her field with an exceptional record of success running major academic libraries. She is uniquely capable of building on the progress we have made thus far in responding to the evolving expectations of the 21st century scholar. Working closely with Library staff, faculty, students and school and university leadership, Sarah will help Harvard continue to set the standard for academic libraries worldwide.”

Thomas currently serves as Bodley’s Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries—the first woman and non-British citizen to hold the position in 400 years—as well as pro-vice-chancellor and member of the faculty of modern languages at the University of Oxford . Previous to Oxford, Thomas was the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell…”

And from the Oxford University Announcement:

“Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian for the past six years, will be leaving the University in the summer to take up a new post as Vice President for the Harvard Library. Sarah’s impending departure is a matter of considerable sadness for Oxford, but I am sure you will join me in wishing her every success in an important and exciting new role. As well as drawing on her great professional expertise, it allows Sarah to re-establish her family home in the area of the United States where she grew up.

Sarah Thomas has been an outstanding steward of the Bodleian Libraries, overseeing with vision, energy and commitment a process of major change and innovation. With the assistance of her excellent team, she has brought about the construction of the new book storage facility at Swindon and the transfer of some nine million books, journals, maps and other archival materials; an £80 million visionary transformation of the New Bodleian into the Weston Library due for completion next year; extensive digitization of collections and many other significant improvements in library provision for users inside and outside the University. She has worked tirelessly to protect and nourish the scholarly purpose of one of the world’s greatest libraries while making it more accessible and sharing its riches more widely. For all of this and much more, we owe her a great debt of gratitude.

An international search for the next Bodley’s Librarian will begin shortly. However, I am pleased to announce that the Deputy Librarian, Richard Ovenden, has agreed to take on the role on an interim basis between Sarah’s departure and the appointment of a successor.

Kind regards,

Andrew Hamilton, Vice Chancellor”


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