Martha Whitehead is Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian, and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In these roles, Martha leads a library network made up of more than 25 separate libraries and employing more than 700 staff. Martha joined Harvard University in June 2019 from Queen’s University, where she served most recently as Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) and University Librarian. She was appointed University Librarian in 2012. Prior to joining Queen’s University as Associate University Librarian in 2004, Martha held various positions at the University of British Columbia Library for 19 years, including head of its information services division from 1997 to 2004. Martha holds a BA in English and an MLS from the University of British Columbia.
As a library leader, Martha has worked to ensure that research libraries are deeply embedded in their teaching, learning and research communities, and that they are deeply engaged in developing an open, sustainable, global knowledge commons for the benefit of those communities and society as a whole. Martha has a long history of service, with active engagement in regional, national and international initiatives to advance digital research infrastructure and open scholarly communications. She has served as president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), and chair of numerous groups: Canada’s National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Steering Committee, CARL’s Policy Committee, CARL’s Open Repositories Working Group, the Executive Committee of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and the Executive Committee of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. She recently served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure and as a member of the Programs and Quality Committee of the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Martha played a lead role in the development of Portage, a research data management network launched in 2015 by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries in collaboration with other research stakeholders. In 2019, Martha was awarded the CARL Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship Award.
A native of Vancouver, Canada, Martha is delighted to be living in Cambridge with her husband, a retired bookseller. Their two daughters are completing graduate degrees in Canada and enjoying visits to Massachusetts.