Johns Hopkins University has a new head librarian.
Hopkins this week named Elisabeth Long, currently part of the senior leadership team at the University of Chicago Library, to succeed Winston Tabb as its next Sheridan Dean of University Libraries, Archives and Museums. She’ll start Jan. 3.
Tabb, who joined Hopkins in 2002, disclosed plans to retire last December but said he would stay in his role until a successor was named. Long’s appointment was announced on Hopkins’ website, the Hub.
“We…charged the search committee with identifying exceptional candidates who could build on the success of our libraries and museums and help to set the vision for what the modern academic library should be at Johns Hopkins,” President Ron Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar said in a message to the Hopkins community, according to the Hub.
“Following a comprehensive national search, we have selected a candidate with extensive and varied experience in libraries who brings energy and a deep understanding of the research enterprise to this important position,” they said. “We are confident that Elisabeth’s experience, her breadth of expertise, and her commitment to excellence will serve the university well in the years ahead.”
Since 2016, Long has been associate university librarian for information technology (IT) and digital scholarship at the University of Chicago, overseeing digital scholarship services for students and faculty. She is also responsible for the IT infrastructure that supports the preservation of digital archives, books and data.
In addition to her primary role, the Hub notes, she served as interim library director and university librarian within the past year, leading a staff of about 200 people. She has been at the University of Chicago for nearly 30 years.
Long is also a book artist with her own printing studio.
“Throughout her life, Long has cultivated a passion for the physical book, and she continues to practice book artistry, letterpress printing and papermaking in her spare time,” according to the Hub.
“She said she recently purchased several hundred historical pigments and inks on a trip to London, and she owns multiple printing presses – including one that weighs in excess of 1,500 pounds and currently resides in her studio at the Bridgeport Art Center on Chicago’s South Side. Long said she is looking forward to consolidating her printing studio into her home when she moves to Baltimore.”
The move will be a homecoming of sorts for Long, whose family moved to Baltimore when she was nine.
She attended The Bryn Mawr School and St. John’s College in Annapolis, where she earned an undergraduate degree. She also has a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College in Chicago.
At Hopkins, Long will oversee the five Sheridan Libraries, the university’s major research resources, and coordinate library services provided by all of its schools. The Sheridan Libraries are the Milton S. Eisenhower Library; the Brody Learning Commons; the Albert D. Hutzler Reading Room; the John Work Garrett Library and the George Peabody Library in Mount Vernon.
Long’s purview also will include Hopkins’ two historic house museums, Homewood on the Homewood campus and Evergreen Museum & Library at 4545 N. Charles St. Tabb has chaired the university’s Art Review Panel, which oversees acquisition of campus art.
Long arrives at a time when Hopkins is making plans to renovate the Eisenhower library on the Homewood campus and creating a new library as part of its graduate center under construction on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. Chris Celenza, Dean of Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, led the search committee.
Tabb, who came to Hopkins from the U. S. Library of Congress, was instrumental in a number of library construction projects, including the Brody Learning Commons, the Library Services Center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, and renovations of the Peabody library and Hutzler Reading Room.
“I’m incredibly excited to be able to come work at an institution with such a strong focus on research and teaching,” the Hub quoted Long as saying. “Hopkins faculty and students are engaged in groundbreaking work, and for me the best part of being a librarian is being able to interact with all the remarkable people that are part of an institution like Johns Hopkins.”