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May 03, 2017 05:39 AM EDT

Cornell University Appoints Head Librarian To Oversee Unviersity's 18 LIbraries [VIDEO]

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Cornell University has appointed Gerald R. Beasley as the 12th Carl A. Kroch University Librarian on Monday. Beasley will be tasked to oversee about $64 million in budget and responsible to staff more than 400.

In 2013, Beasley served as vice provost and chief librarian at the University of Alberta. He also held a leadership position at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.

From 2008 to 2013 he was the librarian of Concordia University in Montreal. He was also president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from 2013 to 2015.

Cornell's 11th university librarian, Anne R. Kenney, stepped down on April 1st. Kenney held the position for nine years and has worked at the Cornell Library in several roles since 1987. Beasley will assume the position on Aug. 1st at the Ithacan and New York City Cornell campuses and will be in charge of 18 libraries.

The Cornell Sun reported that Provost Michael Kotlikoff nominated Beasley for the position, which was approved by the Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees. Kotlikoff said Beasley has a deep understanding of the complexities and richness of academic life and the role of the library especially in the modern globally relevant research university. Beasley has proven himself as an administrative leader and a recognized scholar.

Beasley said all libraries are currently striving to keep up with the rapid change in expectations from students, faculty and staff. Due to the global impact of Cornell's library system, he said it is a special responsibility to people because he is particularly interested in open access to books.

He believes libraries are catalysts for positive social transformation. He said great research libraries provide researchers with rich and rewarding experience and great collections are authentic foundation for new knowledge.

Beasley received his master's in English language and literature from Pembroke College and his master's in library studies from the University College London. Beasley said Cornell has one of the world's greatest library systems and it is his privilege to serve as the next Kroch University Librarian.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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