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January 16, 2013

Mary Ann Mavrinac discusses future of River Campus libraries

Mary Ann Mavrinac

“There has never been a better time to be in academic libraries,” said Mary Ann Mavrinac, speaking at her installation as the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries last month. “The pace of change is, quite frankly, riveting.”

Mavrinac is a recognized leader in the creation of inspiring learning spaces and the development of digital services. She brings to Rochester a decade of experience as chief librarian at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, part of the University of Toronto libraries. She also served as the 2010 president of the Ontario Library Association, Canada’s largest library association.

Mavrinac is the third recipient of the library deanship, which was established in 2000 through a gift from Andrew Neilly ’47, a life trustee and former president and CEO and vice chairman of the board of John Wiley & Sons, and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly.

During the installation, Mavrinac addressed her strategy for River Campus libraries:

The future of libraries

“I believe we are at an important, yet exciting, crossroads.  Both opportunities and threats abound. We continue to straddle the digital and analog worlds. At times we do this comfortably; at times, not so much.

“It is essential that we transition to a primarily digital future through the creation of a digital library strategy to meet the needs of 21st-century students and faculty.

“It is our responsibility to support our students and faculty to succeed in a fast-paced, high-tech world. We must support e-research and the lifecycle of scholarly research and publication. We must preserve our heritage collections, but also our born-digital materials, acquiring scholarly e-content to meet the needs of our students and faculty. And we must support teaching and learning, both residential and online. We must do all of this using a digital library strategy, one that leverages technology, our spaces, our content, and our innovative mindset to create and support mission-critical collaborative projects.”

Digital library strategy

“First, this strategy will be in alignment with the strategic priorities of AS&E, the Simon School of Business, the Warner School of Education, and the greater University. Second, this strategy will be an evolution from our current state, building upon the user-focused, innovative work that has been emblematic of the River Campus libraries to date.

“We will create a compelling vision focused on transitioning to a digital future and becoming a collaborative hub of innovation to support the teaching, learning and research mission of the University.

We will focus on collaboration. Collaboration will be a central tenet of this strategy as we actively engage with faculty, other units, students, and the broader community in support of the schools and the University’s mission.

“We will achieve and, hopefully, exceed our campaign target of $12 million as we excite our friends with our collaborative initiatives.”

Opportunities abound

“We live in dynamic yet disruptive times. Research libraries have a choice: I believe there is no option but to fully embrace a digital future, focus on collaboration, and serve the academic mission. Our students and our faculty require this for their success. In so doing, this will secure our success.

“There are endless opportunities in working with the high caliber of faculty, staff and students at the University of Rochester and with the greater community.”

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