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Graduate School of Education Appoints Susan Fliss to Gutman Library as Librarian and Director
Gutman (GSE) Library

May 19, 2014—Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean James E. Ryan announced today that Susan Fliss has been named librarian and director of the Ed School’s Gutman Library. Fliss will begin this new role on July 1.

“We are thrilled to welcome Susan to the HGSE community. Her expertise in teaching and learning, her passion for our school’s mission and her skill in collaborating and building relationships across the University and across disciplines make her appointment an exciting moment for our school,” said Ryan.

Fliss will continue to serve as associate librarian for research, teaching and learning at Harvard College while leading the Gutman Library, an indication of the growing collaboration in research and instructional support across Harvard’s libraries. Though Fliss’ dual leadership roles will be distinct, they will bring together experts at both schools and in other campus groups, including the Academic Technology Group and the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching.

“Susan’s knowledge of pedagogical developments in the area of library research, teaching and learning is prodigious, and her contagious enthusiasm for developing innovative services has won her fans across campus. Her dual role will further communication and shared practice across key components of the Harvard Library,” said Vice President for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Sarah Thomas.

Since joining Harvard College Library in 2007, Fliss has achieved closer collaboration and partnerships between its libraries and in supporting the academic mission of the FAS with focus on curricular support programs and partnerships that support teaching, learning and research through direct services to faculty and students. As part of this, Susan expanded library resources for the Program in General Education, led the development of collaborative learning spaces in Widener and Lamont libraries, expanded the role of librarians in supporting new media and introduced anthropological methods for determining the impact of library services and spaces.

Fliss will continue serving on the Harvard Library Leadership Team, which sets strategy for the university’s libraries, and will remain a member of the Harvard Library Cabinet, which oversees the operations of the Harvard Library and the Harvard College Library.

“The Ed School’s mission and priorities provide opportunities for librarians to research the role and impact of libraries in learning and also for librarians to collaborate across schools to help students and faculty build student research experiences,” said Fliss. “HGSE's academic program, including the new Ph.D., is designed to provide students with learning skills across Harvard. Collaborations between Gutman Library and other Harvard libraries will further strengthen the students’ knowledge and research and, in turn, their transformative impact on education.”

Immediately prior to joining Harvard, Fliss served as director of education and outreach at Dartmouth College, where she was a member of Dartmouth’s Center for Advancement of Learning. At Mt. Holyoke College, she served as a reference librarian and as a training coordinator responsible for curriculum support, instructional technology and training. Her background in creating collaborative relationships across organizational boundaries will support the Gutman Library as it strengthens its relationship with the Harvard Library, which is transforming its distributed services to operate more cohesively across the University’s many libraries, and as it supports the Graduate School of Education’s 100 faculty members and its 900 graduate students, many of whom require access to information in multi-disciplinary fields of study.

The Gutman Library was built in 1972 and was dramatically renovated in 2012. It is central to a vibrant community of students who are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in areas that include education policy, school leadership, international and comparative education, technology and innovation, language and literacy, teaching and learning and education research. The library has spaces for informal interaction and collaborative learning while providing access to specialized collections in educational administration and policy, elementary and secondary education, teachers and teaching, educational innovations, educational psychology, human development, language acquisition and the history of education.