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Harvard Library Governance

Read about the Library’s governing organizations, including the Visiting Committee, Library Board, Faculty Advisory Council, Library Leadership Team and Library Governance Committee.

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The Library Visiting Committee

Visiting Committee members are experts and Harvard alumni who are appointed by the Corporation. The Committee oversees the strategy and administration of the Harvard Library on behalf of the Overseers. Bi-annual visits and regular updates by the Office of the Provost provide an opportunity for Visiting Committee members to understand and advise on the Harvard Library’s progress.  


The Library Board

The Library Board is charged with reviewing the strategic plans of the Harvard Library and assessing its progress in meeting those plans, reviewing system-wide policies and standards and overseeing the progress of the central services. The provost chairs the Library Board (established in December 2010) and the Office of the Provost is responsible for overseeing the Harvard Library. The Harvard Library Board is composed of six permanent members and five rotating members who serve three years each, with their initial terms staggered. The permanent members are the provost, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and the deans or designees from the following Schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School. Serving in these positions are:

  • Robert Darnton, Pforzheimer Professor
  • Frances Frei, Harvard Business School
  • Alan Garber, Provost, Board Chair
  • Leslie Kirwan, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Isaac Kohane, Harvard Medical School
  • Katie Lapp, Harvard Executive Vice President
  • Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library (ex officio)
  • Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School

The rotating members consist of three at-large, tenured faculty members, as well as deans or designees from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Radcliffe Institute. Serving in these positions are:

  • TBD, At-Large Faculty Member for the Social Sciences
  • John T. Hamilton, At-Large Faculty Member for the Humanities (2013 – )
  • TBD, At-Large Faculty Member for the Natural Sciences
  • Mohsen Mostafavi, Graduate School of Design (2011 – )
  • Stuart Shieber, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (2011 – )


The Library Faculty Advisory Council

The Harvard Library Faculty Advisory Council was established in 2011 and brings together faculty from across the University. The Council advises the Library Board and the two groups meet together twice a year. This group meets monthly and members include:

  • Joseph Brain, School of Public Health
  • Janet Browne, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • William Clark, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Kathleen Coleman, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Darnton, Pforzheimer Professor
  • Jules Dienstag, Harvard Medical School
  • Ed Eigen, Graduate School of Design
  • James Engell, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Alyssa Goodman, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Michael Herzfeld, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Jay H. Jasanoff, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Rajiv Lal, Harvard Business School
  • David Lamberth, Harvard Divinity School
  • Yukio Lippit, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Scott Podolsky, Harvard Medical School
  • Elio Raviola, Harvard Medical School
  • Julie Reuben, Graduate School of Education
  • Frans Spaepen, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Sarah Thomas, Harvard Library/Harvard College Library
  • Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School
  • Dennis Yao, Harvard Business School


The Library Leadership Team

The Harvard Library Leadership Team is responsible for planning, prioritizing and implementing joint Library initiatives. The team works with the vice president for the Harvard Library to develop and implement Library-wide strategy and policy approved by the Board. Chaired by the vice president for the Harvard Library, the Team includes representatives from Harvard's schools and the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University Information Technology, the Office for Scholarly Communication and Harvard Library shared services, finance, communications and program management. Members include:

  • Jim Borron, Harvard Library
  • Leslie Donnell, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Marilyn Dunn, Radcliffe Institute
  • Susan Fliss, Harvard College Library/Graduate School of Education
  • Franziska Frey, Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging
  • Douglas Gragg, Harvard Divinity School
  • Dan Hazen, Harvard College Library/Harvard Library
  • Katie McGrath, Harvard College Library/Harvard Library
  • David Osterbur, Harvard Medical School
  • Constance Rinaldo, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Tracey Robinson, Harvard University Information Technology
  • Martin Schreiner, Harvard College Library
  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Harvard University Archives
  • Peter Suber, Office for Scholarly Communication
  • Sarah Thomas, Harvard Library/Harvard College Library
  • Debra Wallace, Harvard Business School
  • Ann Whiteside, Graduate School of Design
  • Scott Wicks, Information and Technical Services
  • Suzanne Wones, Harvard Law School
  • Martha Wooster, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • TBD, Harvard Library Communications



The Library Governance Committees

Principles: The Committees will foster a culture of inclusiveness by encouraging the sharing of ideas at all levels, communicating openly about their activities, and facilitating collaboration and innovation wherever possible. The Committees will hold regular meetings, post public minutes, and appoint working groups as necessary to explore, implement, and assess these efforts. Members and chairs will serve two-year terms with staggered membership terms. Members will be selected from across the Harvard Library system according to the principles of representation set by the Library Leadership Team. These principles have been interpreted by the LLT as a starting point and as the work of Standing Committees may differ, co-chairs may use discretion in determining membership and will strive to be inclusive.


Access and Discovery Standing Committee

Purpose: To enable effective access to the world of knowledge and data through intuitive discovery, networks of expertise and global collaborations.

Charge: Reporting to the Harvard Library Leadership Team, the Committee will shape, coordinate, and recommend access and discovery systems and programs in alignment with Harvard Library priorities and user needs. The committee will conduct horizon scanning in the realm of search and discovery, metadata standards and trends, and explore opportunities for Harvard to implement innovative practices for our users.


  1. Implement enhanced discovery and delivery system.
  2. Begin investigation of a new library management platform.
  3. Understand and deliver digital objects.

Members include:

  • Jim Borron, Harvard Library, Program Management
  • Ronnie Broadfoot, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
  • Kathleen Donovan, Gutman Library
  • Michelle Durocher, Harvard Library, Information and Technical Services
  • Emily Gustainis, Countway Library of Medicine
  • Rachel Howarth (co-chair), Houghton Library
  • Robin McElheny, University Archives
  • Laura Morse, HUIT, Library Technology Services
  • John Overholt, Houghton Library
  • Ken Peterson, Harvard Library, Access Services
  • Alix Reiskind, Frances Loeb Library
  • Peter Suber, Office for Scholarly Communication
  • Suzanne Wones (co-chair), Harvard Law School Library


Collections and Content Development Standing Committee

Purpose: To support University-wide research, teaching and learning, now and in the future, by implementing and extending the Harvard Library’s collections and content development strategy.

Charge: Reporting to the Harvard Library Leadership Team, the Standing Committee will oversee the coordination and development of initiatives to support users’ collections and content needs, building upon the Harvard Library priorities outlined in the Towards a Collections and Content Development Strategic Plan for the Harvard Library, issued in 2013.


  1. The Towards a Collections and Content Development Strategic Plan for the Harvard Library, issued in May 2013, offers 14 recommendations for a more coherent, collaborative, and conscious Harvard-wide approach to collections and content. Reviewing, updating, and implementing these recommendations comprise a core goal for the Standing Committee.
  2. The Standing Committee will continuously monitor the environments of higher education and research libraries, scholarly communication and the information marketplace, and Harvard programs and needs in order to refine and update an inclusive, flexible, and forward-looking Strategic Plan for Collections and Content Development. This process will entail broad consultation with user constituencies, the library community, and school and university administrators.
  3. Collections and content development across the Harvard Library remains the primary responsibility of each local unit. The Standing Committee will work with local collection development units to provide guidance on system-wide shared principles and procedures. As appropriate, the Standing Committee will propose policy statements to the Library Leadership Team in order to accomplish this goal.
  4. The Library’s immense strength in the realm of collections and content reflects both local activities and system-wide initiatives. The Standing Committee will publicize, build upon, and otherwise ensure that all of our communities of practitioners and user constituencies participate fully in this endeavor. This will specifically entail communications and liaison work with disciplinary groupings, interdisciplinary scholars, and programs and schools.

Members include:

  • Kyle Courtney, Office for Scholarly Communication
  • Leslie Donnell, Harvard Kennedy School Library
  • Kim Dulin (co-chair), Harvard Law School Library
  • Marilyn Dunn, Schlesinger Library
  • Betsy Eggleston, Countway Library of Medicine
  • Franziska Frey, Harvard Library, Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging
  • Dan Hazen (co-chair), Harvard College Library and Harvard Library
  • Virginia Hunt, University Archives
  • Lynne Schmelz, Cabot and Science Libraries
  • Andrea Schulman, Baker Library
  • Mark Shelton, Gutman Library
  • Lidia Uziel, Harvard College Library
  • Ann Whiteside (acting co-chair), Frances Loeb Library
  • Scott Wicks, Harvard Library, Information and Technical Services


Professional Development Standing Committee

Purpose: To support a robust professional development network in a learning organization for library staff to achieve the strategic initiatives and the mission of the Harvard Library.

Charge: Identifies professional development needs based on the evolving role of a library in the 21st century and the strategic objectives and short-term priorities of the community of libraries at Harvard. Based on feedback that will be solicited through direct input from staff and the perspective of committee members, the committee recommends to the Library Leadership Team specific programs that benefit the entire organization or large subsets of the organization. The committee oversees their implementation and evaluates their effectiveness. Individual professional development activities such as attendance at conferences, etc. continue to be driven through the manager-employee relationship.


  1. Increase awareness of current professional development opportunities.
  2. Establish a slate of broad development opportunities to be supported centrally.
  3. Create opportunities to share lessons learned from development work.
  4. Among all staff, develop a learning perspective at work.
  5. Gain clarity on professional development needs over the next 3 – 5 years.

Members include:

  • Anna Anctil (co-chair), Human Resources
  • Beth Banks, Human Resources
  • Karen Carlson Young, Harvard Library, Information and Technical Services
  • Doug Gragg, Andover-Harvard Theological Library
  • Pam Hopkins, University Archives
  • Pat Johnson, Baker Library
  • Cheryl LaGuardia, Harvard College Library
  • Katie McGrath (co-chair), Harvard College Library and Harvard Library
  • Karen Nipps, Houghton Library
  • Susan Radovsky, Harvard Library, Information and Technical Services
  • Sarah Roberts, Harvard Library, Access Services
  • Liza Vick, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
  • Debra Wallace (acting co-chair), Baker Library
  • Judy Warnement, Botany Libraries
  • Amanda Wininger, Harvard Library, Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging
  • Paul Worster, Harvard College Library


Research, Teaching and Learning Standing Committee

Purpose: To enable faculty, students and our broader community to excel in their scholarly pursuits, the RTL Standing Committee coordinates and develops the capabilities needed to position our expertise and resources in learning, teaching and research.

Charge: Reporting to the Harvard Library Leadership Team, and working with each School library and other library units, faculty, students, and colleagues in research and pedagogical support organizations throughout the University, the Standing Committee will coordinate, develop and assess programmatic, user-centric and future oriented support for learning, teaching and research in alignment with Harvard Library and School priorities, and user needs.


In partnership with the relevant Standing Committees and Councils, the Committee will work toward the following goals derived from the FY15 Strategic Library Priorities and Projects:

  1. With each School library and other library units, assess the RTL needs of library users and identify common areas of need. Based on the RTL common areas, plan, implement and assess programs or coordinated activities that build staff and library user knowledge, skills and experiences.
  2. Study user experience and apply what is learned to our tools, services and programs.
  3. Increase faculty and graduate student understanding of the information environment they work in and the strategies, tools and technologies to navigate the environment (scholarly communication, research lifecycle, visualization, digital arts and humanities, etc.)
  4. Develop a Harvard Library system-wide research, teaching and learning network.

Members include:

  • Susan Berstler, Cabot and Science Libraries
  • Susan Fliss (co-chair), Harvard Library, Gutman Library, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Renata Kalnins (co-chair), Andover-Harvard Theological Library
  • Kevin Lau, Frances Loeb Library
  • Kris Markman, Harvard Library
  • Barbara Meloni, University Archives
  • Joshua Parker, Harvard Library, Access Services
  • Hugh Truslow, Fung Library


Stewardship Standing Committee

Purpose: To steward vulnerable and critical research information in partnership with academic and administrative functions across the University and beyond.

Charge: Reporting to the Library Leadership Team, the Stewardship Standing Committee shapes, develops and harmonizes the agenda and action items necessary to steward vulnerable and critical research information in all formats. Action items may be carried out, as appropriate, by members of the committee and/or working teams or other related or joint-committee groups.

For the purposes of this Standing Committee, stewardship embodies the responsible planning for and management of research information and embraces the entire life cycle of this research information. Research information is defined broadly as material, in any format, that is used by library patrons for research purposes in general, special, and archives collections.

Attending to the life cycle of research information includes the following activities: planning; collection, creation, receipt, and capture; organization; use and dissemination; maintenance, storage, protection, and preservation (to remain useful and available over time); disposition; and evaluation (of policies and practices).

The work of the Standing Committee addresses the careful and responsible management of research information. The Standing Committee recognizes that this approach to the management of research information crosses all functional areas of the Harvard Library. To ensure success in meeting the goal of the stewardship strategic initiative, the Standing Committee seeks advice and participation from all functional areas of the Harvard Library.

Goals (short-term)

  1. Evaluate and follow through, as appropriate, on numerous projects underway that address issues such as digital forensics, email archiving, web archiving, preservation surveys, and digital and analog long- and short-term storage.
  2. Address, as appropriate, the related strategic priorities:
  • (Strategic Priority 3) Open access: Ensure that Harvard University’s research information is managed in such a way that it can be shared using the principles of open access.
  • (Strategic Priority 7) Plan for a strategic and coordinated Harvard Library-wide program for digitization and born-digital content.
  • (Strategic Priority 9) Review Harvard Depository business model, implement alternatives to HD inventory control system.

Goals (long-term)

  • Ensure that the Harvard Library has instilled across the libraries the responsible management of critical research information for constituents.

Members include:

  • Brenda Bernier, Harvard Library, Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging
  • Sarah Demb, University Archives
  • Greg Eow, Harvard College Library
  • Andrea Goethals, Harvard Library, Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging
  • Kathryn Hammond Baker, Countway Library of Medicine
  • Tom Hyry, Houghton Library
  • Ardys Kozbial (co-chair), Frances Loeb Library
  • Laura Linard, Baker Library
  • Connie Rinaldo, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
  • Tracey Robinson, HUIT, Library Technology Services
  • Michael Rocke, Biblioteca Berenson
  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff (co-chair), University Archives