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.”