University Librarian Brenda L. Johnson

September 26, 2007


Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Brenda L. Johnson has been appointed as our University Librarian, effective January 1, 2008.

Brenda is currently the associate university librarian at the University of Michigan Library, one of the United States’ leading research libraries. In this position she is directly responsible for the leadership and direction of 19 libraries with over 200 full-time staff. Brenda recently served as interim co-university librarian at Michigan during a time of transition and unparalleled innovation. Prior to joining the University of Michigan library, where she has served for 22 years, she was a librarian for six years at the Rutgers University Libraries. She holds a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University.

Brenda is an excellent fit for our UCSB Libraries and campus. She brings a strong commitment to advancing scholarship, as demonstrated by the broad array of services, collections, and outreach initiatives that have been developed and deployed under her leadership at Michigan.

At Michigan she has been a strong proponent of integrating library content and services into the environments where users are currently working, and she has led a number of creative initiatives, including: 1) the Field Librarian Program, which places librarians directly into the instruction and research environment with faculty and students; 2) integration of library resources into the campus course management system; and 3) development of the Instructor College (winner of the 2003 ACRL Innovation in Instruction Award), which strengthens the instructional skills of librarians. Brenda has also taken the lead in re-conceiving University of Michigan Library facilities to better serve undergraduate students, recognizing that students need spaces that support their intellectual curiosity and facilitate critical inquiry. Her work has resulted in the creation of a master facility plan for the Shapiro Library, with construction to begin this fall on the first phase of the renovations for that building.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the chair of our search advisory committee, Dean Jane Conoley, and all of the members listed below, as well as our many campus colleagues who participated in the search process. The committee spent considerable time and thoughtful deliberation in advertising, interviewing, and considering candidates for this position. Our campus will greatly benefit from their efforts. I also want to thank EVC Gene Lucas for his timely leadership as our Acting University Librarian, and for his dedicated efforts to ensure a smooth transition. Gene’s significant involvement in the search process is also greatly appreciated.

Brenda’s clear vision, open and collaborative style, and dynamic leadership will be an asset for our campus. Please join me in welcoming her to our campus community.

Henry T. Yang

Search Advisory Committee for the University Librarian
Jane Close Conoley, Chair; Professor and Dean, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education
Ingrid Banks, Associate Professor of Black Studies
Amr El Abbadi, Professor of Computer Science
Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, Professor of English; Director, Center for Chicano Studies
Arturo Keller, Associate Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
Carol Lansing, Professor of History
Shirley Lim, Professor of English
Susan Mahaffey, Staff Representative; Library Assistant, Cataloging, Davidson Library
Lorraine McDonnell, Professor of Political Science
Constance Penley, Professor of Film and Media Studies; Co-Director, Center for Film, Television and New Media
Dar Roberts, Professor of Geography
Joel Rodriguez-Flores, Associated Students Representative; A.S. External Vice President, Local Affairs
David Tambo, Head, Special Collections, Davidson Library
Bruce Tiffney, Dean, College of Creative Studies; Professor of Earth Science
Lamia Youseff, Graduate Students Association Representative; Vice President, Academic Affairs

Consultants to the Committee:
Ray Huerta, Acting Director, Equal Opportunity
Kathy Upton, Senior Analyst, Academic Personnel