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Suzanne Wones Named Director of Library Digital Strategies and Innovations

Wones moves from Harvard Law Library to new position on January 4, 2016


Suzanne Wones has been named director of library digital strategies and innovations at Harvard Library. Wones will begin this position on January 4, 2016.

“Having Suzanne leading us in the formulation of our digital strategy will surely increase our momentum,” said Sarah E. Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Suzanne has demonstrated, in her role as Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Library, her ability to manage digital projects of international scope. Both John Palfrey and Jonathan Zittrain [successive Law School Vice Deans for Library and Information Resources] raved about Suzanne’s ability to ‘get the job done,’ no matter how complex.”

As director of library digital strategies and innovations, Wones will lead the development and implementation of digital strategies for the Harvard Library community by extending Harvard Library’s reach in data management and visualization. She will work to identify and examine trends in information technology and digital library development in coordination with multiple departments spanning the Library and Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT).

During her fifteen years as a Harvard librarian, Wones has advocated for user-focused innovations and developed creative solutions to advance the mission of the University. In her former position as Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Library, she led operations and programmatic efforts, as well as strategic planning and budget management. Wones also stewarded faculty/library relationships, and managed all daily activities of the HLS Library, including collection development, case studies, digitization, and academic technology. Before this position, she also served as Assistant Director for Research, Curriculum, and Publication Support. This role included leading a unit that was responsible for reference, academic technology, and scholarly communications services for faculty, students, and staff. Her career at the Harvard Law School Library began in 2007 as Head of Access Services, and she originally joined Harvard as a reference librarian at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Library.

Wones was key to the successful delivery of HOLLIS+, a unified search for most Harvard resources powered by the Primo discovery service; this entailed coordinating five working groups across multiple schools and departments. As a member of Harvard Law School’s Senior Administration team, she serves on numerous committees such as the Access & Discovery Standing Committee, initiated the scan & deliver service (which resulted in full participation by Harvard Library), and is the representative of the HLS Library within the University. She holds a MS in Information, Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as well as a MA in American History from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Her work with the Library Innovation Lab and numerous leadership roles has provided her with experience navigating the challenges and demands of experimental programming and the need for reliable, scalable platforms. She developed an online sales program for the Harvard Law School Library, and worked with the Digital Lab to create and implement “SuiteSpot,” a platform that supports larger digital collections and is developed on open software for other libraries to use; it has already been utilized by the Schlesinger Library.

“One of the exciting things about this [new] role is that as the first person in it, I will get to watch the responsibilities blossom before my eyes,” Wones said. Of all her achievements so far, ultimately she is “proudest of the collegial and creative environment I have helped foster at the Law School Library.” 

Article published on November 12, 2015.