Oh my heavens! What spectacular news! The extraordinary James J. O’Donnell, scholar innovator, has been appointed University Librarian at Arizona State University. Libraries have always bridged past and present, preserving and innovating. Who better to lead in a transformative time, than the former Georgetown provost, classicist and pioneer in emerging digital technologies? Dr. O’Donnell will fill the position vacated by Sherrie Schmidt, who retired as university librarian on June 30, after 20 years of leadership. O’Donnell will also be a professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His appointment takes effect Feb. 3, 2015. The digital age has radically altered the world of libraries. O’Donnell has written that the librarian of the future will combine the skills of James Fenimore Cooper’s “pathfinder” with those of a Jedi knight. “Institutions whose libraries see beyond themselves will be immensely the stronger for it,” O’Donnell said. “We need to cherish, care for, and make alive and accessible all that we’ve inherited; as well as stimulate, animate, and support the adventures of students, researchers, and faculty working to add to or transcend that inheritance.”
Dr. O’Donnell received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Princeton and doctorate from Yale. He served as provost and professor of classics at Georgetown University for a decade, after a career at Bryn Mawr, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and served as president of the American Philological Association. He now chairs the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies. He was a pioneer in the scholarly study of late antiquity, including “Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace” (1998), “Augustine: A New Biography” (2005), and “The Ruin of the Roman Empire” (2008). His new book, “Pagans,” will be published by HarperCollins in 2015. “Jim O’Donnell is both a brilliant scholar and a visionary about the future of information. He knows how to put together leadership teams, even as he thinks creatively about the nature of knowledge for students, researchers and the community,” said George Justice, dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and chair of the search committee. “We are fortunate to have such an exceptional individual, one who understands books, including the old and rare in our special collections, but also the changing nature of information in the present day and in our digital future.”
And last, but not least, Jim will be moderating the Friday plenary at Charleston What Faculty Want Librarians to Know
(Oh! We’ve also posted the official press release about Jim’s appointment )
Just learned this from the awesome Gary Price. Here’s the company announcement.
“De Gruyter is reorganizing its management board. In the future, the management board will consist of just two managing directors. As part of this change, Dr. Sven Fund will depart from the company. The two remaining managing directors, Dr. Anke Beck and Carsten Buhr, will take over the responsibilities formerly assumed by Sven Fund. Sven Fund joined the management board of the company in May 2008. Under his leadership, the company made important acquisitions, including the purchase of Birkhäuser Verlag and the takeover of Oldenbourg Wissenschaft and Akademie Verlag. Before joining De Gruyter, Sven Fund was a member of the executive board of Springer Science + Business Media as well as a managing director at Birkhäuser and SpringerWienNewYork. He began his career in publishing at Bertelsmann AG. De Gruyter’s owners and advisory board thank Sven Fund for his performance and dedication, and wish him all the best in his professional future.”
Moving on to some Charleston news. Many of you have visited Jack’s Café on George Street in downtown Charleston next to the College of Charleston campus. Well – Jack Sewell is hanging up his spatula after 42 years. Jack’s Café will close on Friday, October 31. New owners plan to reopen the business with the same name at the beginning of 2015. Hold onto your hamburgers!