Joy Kirchner appointed to the position of University Librarian

President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has issued the following message to the York University community:

I am delighted to inform you that the search for York University’s university librarian has reached a successful conclusion.

Joy Kirchner

Joy Kirchner

You will recall that last year I established a committee charged with undertaking a search for the next university librarian, comprising librarians and library staff members, as well as a student member and a faculty member appointed by me, and chaired by the vice-president academic and provost. Following an extensive national and international search, which attracted a number of outstanding candidates, the committee recommended the appointment of Ms. Joy Kirchner to the position of university librarian. I am very pleased to announce that Ms. Kirchner has accepted our invitation to take up a five-year term, commencing July 1. On Friday, April 17, the Board of Governors Executive Committee, on behalf of the Board of Governors, concurred with my recommendation of this appointment.

Ms. Kirchner brings to York University a breadth and depth of library experience and perspectives gained from positions in university libraries in Canada and the U.S. over the past twenty years. She holds a BA degree in English literature and a master’s of library and information studies from the University of British Columbia. She joins York from the University of Minnesota Libraries in Minneapolis, where she has held the position of associate university librarian for content & collections and interim associate university librarian for research & learning. Her responsibilities there included oversight of access and information services, arts and humanities programs, acquisitions and e-resource management, collection development, collection management and preservation, and open scholarship and publishing services. As well, she provided leadership in the development of digital scholarship services that involved leveraging and integrating programs in digital humanities, eLearning, scholarly communications, copyright and publishing services.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Minnesota, Ms. Kirchner held a number of increasingly senior positions at the University of British Columbia, most recently as head of the UBC Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office based in the UBC Library, where she established service models for digital scholarship, scholarly communications and copyright services, and was responsible for campus-wide discussion and education in relation to these issues. She also previously held the position of Networked Electronic Resources Coordinator at the Columbia University Library in New York and various STEM librarian positions.

Ms. Kirchner’s research and professional collaborations with colleagues in the U.S. and Canada have focused on developing mechanisms for cross-institutional print stewardship programs, defining critical success factors in establishing Centres of Excellence for information services, investigating new models of digital scholarship, and instigating a robust slate of scholarly communications and open-access campus outreach programs for institutions across North America. Her work in these areas has also contributed to broader explorations of these issues in both countries, and she has played a leadership role through the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College & Research Libraries in advancing these discussions, which include the development of the highly successful ACRL Scholarly Communications Roadshow program, a model that has been now widely adapted for other ACRL and ARL programs. Additionally, she has served on a joint Canadian Association of Research Libraries/Canadian Research Knowledge Network task group to examine national open access policies that involved consultation with the Tri-Council research funders. She has also served as a lead negotiator for the provision of digital content at various institutions and multi-agency bodies, and has served on several publishing and editorial boards.

I would like to thank the members of the Search Committee for their contributions to this important process. I would also like to express my appreciation to Cynthia Archer, our previous University Librarian, and to Catherine Davidson, who has provided strong service to the Libraries as Interim University Librarian over the past year.

I look forward to working with Ms. Kirchner as she undertakes this important leadership role. I hope that all members of the Libraries and the University will join me in congratulating her and welcoming her warmly to York University.

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