Chris Bourg named director of MIT Libraries

Posted November 21st, 2014 by mit-admin
CBourg photo blog

Chris Bourg (Photo by: Wayne Vanderkull)

Longtime libraries administrator at Stanford tapped to lead MIT’s libraries and the MIT Press.

Chris Bourg has been named as the new director of the MIT Libraries, effective in February. Provost Martin Schmidt announced her appointment today in an email to the MIT community.

Bourg comes to MIT from Stanford University, where she is currently associate university librarian for public services. At Stanford, Bourg oversees the largest division of the Stanford University Libraries, with six branches and a collection of more than 4 million volumes.

Bourg “has a deep appreciation for the critical role of scholarly communication in a research university environment, and how this communication links to education and service to the community,” Schmidt wrote in his email to the community. “She also has considerable experience with leveraging the capabilities of digital technologies in order to enhance library services.”

Bourg joins the MIT Libraries and MIT Press at a pivotal time, and will play an important role in guiding the redesign and renovation of library spaces. She will also lead the exploration of the Libraries’ role in new modes of learning and global engagement, and advance MIT’s commitment and influence in the area of scholarly communication and open access.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Chris as she undertakes the leadership of the MIT Libraries, particularly at a time when the nature of library services is evolving to accommodate a variety of needs related to research and education,” Schmidt wrote. “I know you will join me in welcoming her to the MIT community.”

As a senior officer with oversight responsibility for the MIT Press, Bourg will also provide strategic guidance to the Press, expanding international engagement and managing its evolving business models. The MIT Press is one of the largest university presses in the world; it publishes journals, scholarly books, trade books, textbooks, and reference works in print and digital formats in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Bourg’s appointment follows a nationwide search that began after the death of the Libraries’ previous director of 17 years, Ann Wolpert, in October 2013.

“I have long admired MIT’s commitment to openness, inclusion, and innovation,” Bourg says. “It is an honor to join a community of faculty, staff, and students with a global reputation for excellence, integrity, and service. I look forward to engaging in conversations across the MIT community about the future of library spaces, services, and resources. Together, with the talented staff of the libraries and the MIT Press, we have the opportunity to build on MIT’s legacy and to be a leader in creating new models for scholarly communication and research libraries. I am eager to get started.”

Read the full story on MIT News.

Sing, play, or listen at Open Mic: Music Library opens its doors to performers

Posted November 6th, 2014 by Heather Denny

pianoBy correspondent, David Rolnick, graduate student in Mathematics

This Friday at noon, the Lewis Music Library will continue its tradition of Open Mic, somewhere between a concert and a karaoke night. From noon to 1 pm, the MIT community is invited to sing a song, play a piece, or just listen and enjoy the show. Performers range from novices to professionals, and play in every style. It will be music, by us, for us, for an hour. And cookies.

“We have songwriters who come in, performing their own compositions,” said Peter Munstedt, Music Librarian. “Also classical music, jazz, Indian music – it’s a range.” The instruments also vary – although voice, piano, and guitar seem to be fairly popular. A piano is provided; otherwise, performers should bring their own instruments.


Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

When it’s not hosting Open Mic, the Lewis Music Library is one of the most quiet and serene study spaces on campus. Opened in 1996, the library looks new with its abundance of light and hardwood-glass décor. Study tables overlook a courtyard through huge windows, and students can often be discovered nestled with books in the famously comfortable seating.

The library possesses an astounding wealth of material that rivals that of many music conservatories. Within the shelves are packed some 40,000 scores and anthologies, 18,000 books on music, 25,000 CDs, and 1,500 DVDs. The 10,000 record albums are kept in storage. “If anyone’s looking for anything, we will find it for them,” said Munstedt. The library’s computers have composition software and there are study spaces for groups to listen to recordings and watch films. Visiting scholars and composers regularly give lectures at Lewis; see a complete list of events.

The library began its Open Mic project last spring. With the array of formal concerts and recitals at MIT, there is now a place for low-key music sharing. “It’s all over the map,” Munstedt described. “We have some professional-level people come in, some people who are just learning the instrument. It’s very informal, and it’s a very supportive group. If you’re just starting out, and if you want an audience, we’ll support you.”