Lisa Carter named university librarian, dean of libraries

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Lisa R. Carter has been appointed the University of Michigan’s university librarian and dean of libraries, effective May 1.

Carter currently is vice provost for libraries and university librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

LIsa Carter
Lisa Carter

As an accomplished and nationally recognized library leader, Carter has experience in building collaborative partnerships, strategic alignment and distinctive collections, as well as facilities planning.

Her appointment was authorized by Laurie McCauley, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and will be reported to the Board of Regents in February. She also was appointed as a clinical professor in the School of Information.

“Lisa has distinguished herself as a leader whose commitment to service and accessibility in academia, as well as in leadership positions across many national library organizations, makes her an ideal fit for the University of Michigan,” McCauley said. “She is a tireless advocate for the value of libraries as centers of scholarship, and that passion has fueled an impressive portfolio of successful collaborations. I’m thrilled to welcome Lisa to the university.”

Carter succeeds Donna L. Hayward, who has been serving as interim university librarian and dean of libraries since July.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan Library to its next level of achievement, and I’m excited to join an organization deeply committed to interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and diversity, equity and inclusion,” Carter said.

“The U-M Library is uniquely positioned — with its talented librarians and staff, network of partners and amazing collections — to advance new solutions to the great challenges facing the scholarly ecosystem.”

Carter began her professional career at Iowa State University in 1994 as a film cataloger in the university library’s American Archives of the Factual Film. In 1995, she moved to the University of Kentucky, Lexington, as an audio-visual archivist in the library’s Special Collections and Archives.

In 2005, Carter was appointed director of archives for the renamed Special Collections and Digital Programs. She moved to North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh in 2007 to head the Special Collections Research Center until 2011.

While at The Ohio State University Libraries from 2011-18, Carter served as the associate director of special collections and area studies, and was appointed associate professor. She also served as the interim associate director of research and education from 2013-14.

At the University of Wisconsin, Carter created a clear, compelling direction and vision for the libraries’ alignment with the university’s strategic framework. She worked with campus leadership and library staff to leverage resources for maximum value to the university, the state and to scholars worldwide.

Carter’s dedication to strengthening library culture and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion resulted in improved communication and collaboration, as well as attention to climate and recruitment practices.

In her leadership role, Carter addressed the various challenges associated with library spaces and storage, in pursuit of a long-range facilities master plan. Her advocacy for support for the libraries resulted in base budget increases for collections and additional investment, including a university commitment to an addition to the offsite shelving facility and matching funds to a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Carter focused on cross-campus partnerships, advancing strong collaborations with information technology, the art museum and the office of the vice chancellor for research, among other divisions. She also coordinated library services with many departmental libraries and the other 12 libraries in the University of Wisconsin system.

Carter’s commitment to the Association of Research Libraries includes membership for more than a decade on various committees, including her current service as the ARL representative to the Coalition of Networked Information Steering Committee.

She also currently chairs the peer group of the Library Directors of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Library Initiatives and the BTAA Shared Print Program Committee and is the vice chair of the collections and services policy committee of the Center for Research Libraries.

Throughout her professional service and scholarship, Carter has advanced conversations about integrating distinctive collections widely throughout the academic enterprise.

In addition, Carter is a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, the Society of American Archivists and the Midwest Archives Conference. At the University of Wisconsin, she chairs the Libraries Coordinating Council and serves on the chancellor’s leadership council, the provost’s executive group and the iSchool advisory council.

Carter received her Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Information and Library Studies degree from U-M.

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