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New library director is Michael A. Keller of Yale
STANFORD -- Michael A. Keller, 48, associate university librarian and director of collection development at Yale University, has been named director of Stanford University Libraries.
His appointment, announced by Robert Street, vice provost for libraries and information resources, is effective Sept. 1.
Street said that Keller "shares our vision, and I am happy to have him on our team. We were particularly attracted by his energy level and enthusiasm, and his success with faculty relations, fundraising, staff recruiting and acquiring major collections."
History Professor Keith Baker, who chaired the 1992-93 Academic Council Committee on Libraries, headed the search, which he called both "extensive and intensive."
He said Keller's appointment is "very exciting for Stanford."
Keller, a one-time music librarian who broadened into collection development, is a "complete librarian," Baker said. "He has a really strong background and rich experience in the traditional realm of librarianship, but also has great enthusiasm for the new possibilities of the electronic world that are transforming libraries everywhere. He understands what a research and teaching library needs to be in a great university."
Baker said that Keller has been "extremely popular with the faculty at Yale, and has been very effective at representing Yale and its library to the wider world. He will bring dynamic and articulate leadership to Stanford libraries."
Keller said he was pleased to join Stanford because "it's a great research university with a great library."
He said he was impressed by decisions made at Stanford several years ago to put the library in the same administrative organization as the data center and networking.
"That describes to me the basic framework for advancing the cause of scholarship through libraries and information resources in the coming century," he said.
"This place offers the best opportunity for development of the library of the 21st century, through that repositioning and by the tradition of librarianship that has been here for a few decades."
His focus will be on resource acquisition and allocation, he said, "so that the fine professionals who are here have what they need and can do what they do best. This is a very strong library staff and they don't need someone like me meddling in their lives."
The eight-month search for a new head librarian at Stanford followed concern expressed by some faculty about the library, which saw its budget cut about 23 percent in three years. Two years ago, a search for a successor to long-time director David Weber, who retired, was postponed during budget cuts.
Responding to faculty sentiment, newly installed President Gerhard Casper last fall reinstituted the library director slot as part of his administrative reorganization.
Keller said he would spend time with donors, foundations and government officials. He also will represent Stanford in national organizations representing librarians and scholars.
"I suspect I'll be doing a lot of work with our colleague institutions around the Bay Area and around the state," Keller said. "Given the condition of the state, it makes sense to build on our strengths and not duplicate efforts too much."
Keller served as music librarian and senior lecturer in musicology at Cornell from 1973 to 1981, then headed the music library at the University of California-Berkeley until 1986, when he took the Yale position.
During fall quarter 1984, Keller served as a visiting lecturer in music at Stanford, teaching the graduate music bibliography course. He got to know many Stanford faculty members, both in the humanities and the sciences, during that period, he said.
Keller graduated cum laude in biology and music in 1967 from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., then went on to earn a master's degree in music history at the State University of New York- Buffalo in 1970. Two years later, he earned a master's in library science, specializing in academic librarianship, at State University of New York-Geneseo. He pursued additional graduate studies in Renaissance vocal music.
Keller is author of numerous papers and articles, some in the area of music librarianship and music bibliography, and others on broader topics in academic research librarianship, such as pricing issues, electronic publishing, preservation planning and collection development. He is co-author of the fourth edition of Music Reference and Research Materials, a major reference and teaching resource for the scholarly music community published in 1988 by Schirmer/Macmillan. A revised edition is due out this fall.
Keller has relocated to the Bay Area with his wife, Carol Lawrence, and two daughters, Laura, 12, and Martha, 6. Lawrence, who will be in the job market, has worked in the medical library at Yale and also has experience as a serials librarian, technical processing librarian and reference librarian.
As director, Keller will be responsible for the 12 Stanford University Libraries, with collections of 3.25 million volumes and more than 350 full-time staff that support the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Earth Sciences, and Education. The library budget of $22 million includes more than $7 million for purchase of library materials.
He also will work with, but not direct, the five coordinate libraries associated with the schools of Business, Law, and Medicine; the Hoover Institution; and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Those libraries, with an additional 2.5 million volumes, report to their respective deans or directors.
Baker and Street served on the search committee with 11 other faculty members, library staff members and a student. The committee reported to the provost and president, and Baker said he was gratified by the interest taken in the search by Casper and both outgoing provost Gerald J. Lieberman and incoming provost Condoleezza Rice.
"The library and its affairs are very high on the agenda of the president and provost," Baker said.
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