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Wolpert Named Libraries Director

By Angela Liao
Staff Reporter

Ann J. Wolpert, the executive director of library and information services at the Harvard Business School since 1993, has been selected as the new director of Libraries. Wolpert, appointed by Provost Joel Moses PhD '67, will assume her duties in early January.

The decision was made after a recommendation by the Libraries Search Committee, headed by Professor of Literature Peter S. Donaldson.

"I think Ann is going to be fantastic and can't wait for her to come on board," Moses said.

Wolpert will replace the previous director, Jay K. Lucker, who retired in September after 20 years of service at MIT. Until Wolpert takes the office in January,

Wolpert "sees changes which will move our libraries to libraries of the future, with emphasis in computers and communication technology," Moses said.

Focus on electronic information

Wolpert will have to face several challenges as the new director of Libraries. "The major challenge facing all research libraries now is managing the transition to a world where more and more information will be delivered electronically, rather than in print on paper," Fleischauer said.

"This is especially true within the environment of MIT where Athena has provided a robust infrastructure for undergraduate learning and where faculty and other researchers use a wide variety of computer applications in their daily work."

At the same time, the Libraries will also be challenged to continue traditional services while rapidly developing new electronic services, Fleischauer said.

Wolpert will also have to address the need for new funding in order to keep up with changing equipment and networking needs. In addition, the Libraries' physical spaces are in need of retrofitting to provide more comfort and efficiency, Fleischauer said.

With 16 years at Arthur D. Little, Inc.,

"We are impressed by her professional expertise and managerial talent," Moses said.

"I am very enthusiastic about Ann Wolpert's appointment. She brings unique experience and skills," Fleischauer said. "Her background in a corporate library environment and as a library consultant will enable her, and through her, the entire staff, to see our mission and tasks from a different perspective."

At the present time, MITLibraries is well-poised to participate with Wolpert in reshaping of the core mission and services, Fleischauer said. "We have an excellent staff which is full of energy and commitment, and who have a strong service ethic."