Jay K. Lucker announced to the library staff last week that he will retire as director of MIT Libraries effective August 31, 1995, following 20 years of service to the Institute and having reached the age of 65.
Provost Mark S. Wrighton said Mr. Lucker had announced his decision to retire at this time to give the Institute a long lead time to conduct a search for a successor.
"Jay Lucker has served MIT exceedingly well and he has significantly enhanced the quality of the MIT libraries during a time of tight budgetary constraints," the provost said. "We have valued his leadership on the Academic Council. In the year ahead we will work with Jay and others to develop a process to choose his successor. I am grateful to Jay for his exceptional service here and for his prudence in advising us early regarding his future plans."
Mr. Lucker is a nationally known expert on library operations and buildings, and has consulted widely. He also has held service positions with many regional and national organizations. These include the Boston Library Consortium, which he served as a member of the board and as president in 1982-83 and in 1993-94, and the New England Association of Research Libraries, of which he was president in 1980-91 and a member of the board. He is also a member of the editorial board of the MIT Press.
MIT President Charles M. Vest praised Mr. Lucker's service to the Institute.
"Despite the fact that we will continue to have Jay's services for more than another year, I want to make clear how much we have valued the exceptional job he has done as director," Dr. Vest said. "He has worked hard and effectively, under significant constraints, to create a library system and staff that fits MIT's unique mission and situation. He has interfaced the Libraries well with Information Systems and other organizations throughout the Institute to maximize the service to our students and faculty and to make us leaders in the emerging new age of digital handling of scholarly information.
"Because of my service on a major AAU [Association of American Universities] task force, and personal interests, I have come to know how well respected by the national library and information community Jay is. A special measure of Jay's effectiveness and leadership is the large number of library directors around the country who were trained and mentored by Jay within the MIT system."
Mr. Lucker came to MIT in February 1975 from Princeton University, where he was associate university librarian. A native of New York City, he received an AB degree in 1951 from Brooklyn College of the City of New York, and an MS degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Library Service. From 1955 to 1957, he did additional graduate work in public administration at New York University.
In 1954, after serving in the army, he joined the staff of the New York Public Library as chief of the procurement branch in the acquisitions division. He was first assistant and then acting chief of the library's science and technology division from 1957 to 1959, when he went to Princeton.
Mr. Lucker said he intends to devote his future time to "a combination of consulting, teaching, travel and occasional relaxation."
A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 36).