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Ann Wolpert appointed director of Libraries

Ann J. Wolpert, executive director of library and information services at the Harvard Business School since 1993, has been named director of the MIT Libraries. The previous director, Jay K. Lucker, retired in September after 20 years at MIT.

The selection of Ms. Wolpert, who brings 30 years of experience in library and information science to her new position, was announced by Provost Joel Moses. She is expected to be in her new post early in January. Until Ms. Wolpert arrives, Carol Fleischauer, associate director for library collection services, will continue as acting director, and David S. Ferriero, associate director for public services, will continue as acting co-director.

"Ann Wolpert has the skills, intellect, experience and qualities to fill this key leadership role at MIT in a time of change and fiscal realignment, keeping MIT at the technological level the community expects as we move toward the library of the future," Professor Moses said. "Her background in library and information science will allow her to make major contributions as she oversees installation of the new network-integrated, client-server library computer system, which will link to all of MIT's network services, including the Athena computing environment."

Professor Moses thanked the Library Search Committee, headed by Professor Peter S. Donaldson, for its work.

"Following in Jay Lucker's steps requires a unique set of skills as well as experience that is both deep and broad," the provost said. "The Donaldson committee has recommended just the right person for this important post."

Commenting on Ms. Wolpert's appointment, President Charles M. Vest said, "She will bring a wealth of professional expertise and managerial talent to the helm of the Libraries. Joel and I have been particularly impressed with her interest in working with the Library staff and with colleagues around the Institute to create a library system that has the technical foundation and the agility to handle a growing range of media and organizational requirements."

As director, Ms. Wolpert will have budget authority and personnel responsibility for the five MIT subject libraries-engineering, architecture, science, humanities and management-and several branch libraries in specialized areas, such as aeronautics/astronautics, geology/planetary sciences and music. Together the MIT Libraries contain more than 2.3 million volumes, more than 21,000 serial subscriptions and extensive collections of microforms, maps, slides, photographs, sound recordings, printed music, manuscripts, motion pictures and videotapes.

The total budget for the libraries for fiscal year 1995 is $14 million. The staff of 226 includes 85 professional librarians.

In her post at Harvard, Ms. Wolpert has been responsible for the general management and development of Baker Library and related information services. Her responsibilities have included such diverse areas as the rare books and manuscripts collections, career-decision support services for students and alumni, an electronic library for students and faculty, customized curriculum support and professional research services to support faculty.

She serves on Harvard's University Library Council and has been participating in Harvard's planning for the next generation of an expanded online public access catalog.

Ms. Wolpert, who received the BA from Boston University and the MLS from Simmons College, joined the Harvard Business School Library in 1992 as director of research and information services after 16 years at Arthur D. Little, Inc. At ADL, she was initially a technical information specialist, then manager of the Research Library, and ultimately director of the Cambridge Information Center. In that post she was responsible for managing the Information Center and its staff of 23 (12 professionals), which provides information support to consulting services worldwide. She also was an ADL consultant from 1982 to 1992 in library planning, publishing and information technology. From 1991 to 1992 she was a member of the ADL Continuous Improvement Council and chaired its training committee. From 1967 until she joined ADL in 1976, she was the librarian at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

She has held leadership positions in many professional organizations and since 1992 has been a member of the strategic planning committee of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 18, 1995.

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