Case Western Reserve University has selected a new university librarian. Arnold Hirshon, who has more than 30 years of experience in the management of nonprofit organizations, academic libraries and information technology, will begin his new duties on August 16. He also will hold the title of associate provost.
“We’re very enthusiastic about him,” said Lynn Singer, deputy provost and a member of the search committee. Several search committee members cited Hirshon’s international experience as a plus.
Hirshon succeeds Joanne Eustis, who retired last December after 11 years as university librarian.
Hirshon is currently the chief strategist and executive consultant for LYRASIS Inc., the nation’s largest library consortia organization serving libraries and information professionals in the United States and abroad.
Prior to LYRASIS, he spent 10 years as executive director of NELINET Inc., a nonprofit consortium with 500 member libraries. He launched new programs in the areas of digital services, consulting and open source software support.
Hirshon also has an extensive background as an academic librarian. He was the chief information officer at Lehigh University, where he managed and integrated all university libraries, computing, information technology and media services. He also was the director of libraries at Wright State University, and held positions at Virginia Commonwealth and Duke universities.
“Arnold Hirshon has held leadership roles in several other significant academic libraries, as well as being a national consultant to many libraries over the past several years. His strategic planning experience will greatly assist Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) as we strive to most effectively align the library resources and capabilities with meeting the academic and scholarly requirements of our faculty, students and staff, and as we envision the use of space in the Kelvin Smith Library for scholars in the twenty-first century,” said Timothy Robson, KSL’s deputy director who served as the library’s interim director during the search process.
Hirshon said he was interested in the opportunity at Case Western Reserve because “there is a commitment to high-quality education, a distinguished faculty and quality undergraduate and graduate students.”
According to Hirshon, Case Western Reserve’s libraries have many strong points. “The staff is dedicated to excellent and innovative service.” He also highlighted Digital Case and the Freedman Center as “strong foundational pieces to move the library forward.”
Hirshon also is excited about opportunities for the library to play a major role in helping to advance the university’s global partnerships. “The strategic focus of the university upon globalization provides the library with ideal opportunities. We can be an ideal partner not only to deliver information services to meet the needs of our own faculty, researchers and students around the world, but also to collaborate internationally with libraries to further the global development and exchange of knowledge."
Ultimately, “our role in the library is to ensure that people can get to the knowledge and information they need,” Hirshon said.
Hirshon is a past president of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services. An international consultant on issues of strategic planning and technology integration, he has a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University.
The university conducted a national search that involved an initial applicant pool of approximately 200 candidates. Mohan Reddy, dean of the Weatherhead School of Management, chaired the committee.
“We are extremely grateful to Dean Mohan Reddy and the entire search committee for their input in selecting an accomplished university librarian to lead Case Western Reserve,” said Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III.
In addition to Reddy and Singer, the university librarian search committee members were:
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