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New university librarian to lead digital transformation

May 3, 2012

Portrait of MacKenzie Smith

MacKenzie Smith will lead the library's integration of digital resources and information technology.

MacKenzie Smith, an academic research library leader specializing in information technology and digital knowledge management, has been chosen to lead the University Library at the University of California, Davis.

She will officially assume her new post as university librarian on June 1.

Smith, who was chosen through a national search, will lead the library’s integration of digital resources and information technology to serve the academic community into the future. The library is ranked by the Association of Research Libraries as one of the top 75 research libraries in North America.

"I am extremely pleased that Ms. Smith will be joining us shortly,” said Ralph Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Davis. “Her expertise and vision will help us transform the library into an academic hub that promotes the innovative use of digital information resources in discovery and learning for the future." The university librarian reports to the provost.

“I am excited to join UC Davis at this time of unprecedented opportunity for libraries in the digital environment,” Smith said. “UC Davis is uniquely positioned to become a 21st century library that demonstrates how much more can be achieved for its students, faculty and the public of California.”

Smith, who now lives in Berkeley, has helped lead technology strategy for libraries at MIT and Harvard University. Most recently research director for MIT Libraries from 2011-2012, she led cutting-edge research projects in digital libraries and archives; Web applications for scholarly communication; and digital data curation in support of e-science.

As associate director for technology at the MIT Libraries from 2002 to 2011, Smith oversaw the libraries’ technology operations and strategic planning. She led the development of an open source software platform for digital archives and created a digital library research program on applied technology for libraries and archives.

At Harvard University Library from 1997 to 2002, Smith served as digital library projects manager and then digital library program manager. There, she oversaw the design and implementation of a multiyear program to build a first-generation digital library for Harvard.

Smith also consults widely in the library field, most recently for the Association of Research Libraries to design and lead a new E-Science Institute, helping research libraries to develop strategic plans to support digital research data curation.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1984 and a Master of Arts in library and information science from the University of Chicago in 1986.

At UC Davis, the university librarian is responsible for the leadership and administration of the UC Davis General Library. It comprises Shields Library, the Carlson Health Sciences Library, the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, all in Davis, and the Blaisdell Medical Library at the UC Davis Health System campus in Sacramento.

Responsibilities include oversight of library operations, leadership of a staff of more than 120, responsibility for an annual operating budget of $24.7 million, and fundraising.

The university librarian is a member of the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors, the UC Davis Academic Senate and its library committee, the Campus Council for Information Technology, the UC University Librarians Group and the Board of the Regional Library Facilities.

Smith will succeed Randolph Siverson, an emeritus distinguished research professor of political science. He has served as acting university librarian since Dec. 1, 2010.

Smith will receive an annual base salary of $225,000.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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