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Harvard Library Governance

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

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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)
  • Mihir Desai (Harvard Business School)
  • Alan Garber (Provost, Board Chair)
  • Leslie Kirwan (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)
  • Katie Lapp (Harvard Executive Vice President)
  • Sarah Thomas, (Vice President for the Harvard Library, ex oficio)
  • Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School)
  • TBD (Harvard Medical 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:

  • William “Terry” Fisher (At-Large Faculty Member for the Social Sciences)
  • John T. Hamilton (At-Large Faculty Member for the Humanities)
  • Isaac Kohane (At-Large Faculty Member for the Natural Sciences)
  • Mohsen Mostafavi (Graduate School of Design)
  • Stuart Shieber (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)


The Library Faculty Advisory Council

The establishment of the Harvard Library Faculty Advisory Council in 2011 brought together faculty from across the University. The Council advises the Library Board and the two groups meet together twice a year. Robert Darnton, Pforzheimer Professor, is the chair and James Engell, Gurney Professor of English Literature, is the vice-chair. This group meets monthly and members include:

  • Joseph Brain (SPH)
  • Joyce Chaplin (FAS)
  • Kathleen Coleman (FAS)
  • Charles Donahue (HLS)
  • Jeffrey Hamburger (FAS)
  • Michael Herzfeld (FAS)
  • Sheila Jasanoff (HKS)
  • Nancy Koehn (HBS)
  • David Lamberth (HDS)
  • Erika Naginski (HSD)
  • Elio Raviola (HMS)
  • Julie Reuben (GSE)
  • James Rice (FAS)
  • Salil Vadham (SEAS)
  • Dennis Yao (HBS)


The Library Council on Student Experience

Established in 2012, the Library Council on Student Experience  is a joint council consisting of librarians and students from across the University who identify and work together on University-wide priorities identified by the Council for improving the student library experience. The Council is co-chaired by a librarian appointed by the vice president for the Harvard Library and by a student elected from the student council members. Students and librarians are nominated by the School library directors and selected by the Office of the Provost. Other members include representatives from the Tell Us project, the Berkman Institute and Harvard Library Shared Services. Terms are for two academic years. The Council makes recommendations to and is supported by the vice president for the Harvard Library. Members include:

  • Laura Farwell Blake, HCL, Co-Chair
  • Wendy Brown, HMS
  • Sandra Cortesi, Berkman Center
  • Sarah Dickinson, GSD
  • Aminu Gamawa, HLS
  • Monica P. Garcia, SPH
  • Luke Gaudreau, HKS
  • Matthew Guilford, HBS
  • Cameron Lee, HDS
  • Carla Lilvik, GSE
  • Poping Lin, HBS
  • Rohit Malhotra, HKS
  • Tara Raghuveer, HC
  • Ellen Shea, RI
  • George Taoulsides, HLS
  • Cammi Valez, Co-Chair
  • Clifford Wunderlich, HDS
  • Lissa Young, GSE
  • Jennifer Zhu, HC


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.  In collaboration with the Library IT Steering Committee it prioritizes new technology initiatives. In collaboration with the Innovation Working Group it prioritizes innovations to be scaled. Chaired by the vice president for the Harvard Library, the Team includes library directors from the ten schools and the Radcliffe Institute, the Affinity Group heads, the managing director of Library Technology Services (HUIT), the Office of Scholarly Communications, the Harvard Library shared services heads, the HL chief financial officer, the Harvard Library director of communications and the Harvard Library senior program manager. Members include:

  • Jim Borron, Senior Program Manager
  • Leslie Donnell, HKS
  • Marilyn Dunn, Radcliffe
  • Marisela Flaherty (interim), GSE
  • Susan Fliss, HCL
  • Franziska Frey, Preservation Services
  • Douglas Gragg, HDS
  • Dan Hazen, HCL
  • Sue Kriegsman, Office of Scholarly Communications
  • David Osterbur, HMS
  • Kira Poplowski, Director of Communications
  • Tracey Robinson, Library Technology Services, HUIT
  • Lisa Schwallie, Chief Financial Officer
  • Matthew Sheehy, Access Services
  • Debra Wallace, HBS
  • Ann Whiteside, GSD
  • Scott Wicks, Information & Technical Services

The five Affinity Groups bring the School library staff together in support of research, collections development and teaching and learning. They work within and across affinity groups. University-wide strategy and policy recommendations come to the Provost and to the Board for approval. They work with the Library Leadership Team on University-wide library strategy development and implementation. The group heads report to the vice president for the Harvard Library. Members include:

  • Suzanne Wones, Affinity Group 1
  • Lynne Schmelz, Affinity Group 2
  • TBD, Affinity Group 3
  • Ann Baird Whiteside, Affinity Group 4
  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Affinity Group 5