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A Message from Sarah Thomas

Dear colleagues,

Sarah ThomasI was so pleased to see many of you at our all-staff meetings recently. Following our gathering, I received some good suggestions and a few questions. One question I was asked several times was about exactly when the changes discussed at the all-staff meetings would take effect. My goal is to have them occur organically. If something is easy to do, we will do it quickly; if there are more people involved and there are several open questions, a change might take several months. Overall, I would like to be able to implement most of the proposals by May. In the interim the managers and staff of units who will be shifting reporting relationships are meeting with their new colleagues to provide orientation and to plan for this transition.

I hope to share an update on a new discovery system soon. Today I am in New York meeting a number of loyal friends of the Library and introducing some new acquaintances to the strategic vision for the Harvard Library. Tomorrow and Friday I will be attending the Board meeting of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on which I serve. This Monday and Tuesday a trio of experts on collection management and storage met with a number of people in the University, and at their debriefing, provided a number of recommendations which could help us develop a more favorable business model. I’ll be discussing those in the coming weeks with the Library Leadership Team and other stakeholders.  Interviews for the Houghton Librarian are continuing, as are those for Chief Technology Strategist. In sum, there is much happening.

While I am away, I am asking Katie McGrath and Franziska Frey to coordinate a response to any issues which require immediate attention.

I hope you enjoyed the weather yesterday.  It was rejuvenating to walk outside without a coat, even for a single day.

Best wishes