Lucier will fill librarian's shoes

by Kelly Cameron | 11/15/00 6:00am

Richard Lucier, currently the Associate Provost for Scholarly Informatin for the Universtiy of California, will step in as the 17th Librarian of the College in February, filling a spot Margaret Otto has held for more than 20 years.

Otto --Dartmouth's librarian since 1979 -- retired Nov. 1. John Crane, the current Director of Administrative Services for the libraries, will serve as the acting librarian until Lucier arrives.

Lucier comes to the College with a wide variety of experience. Besides the position he holds at UC, he is the founding university librarian of the California Digital Library and the executive director of UC system-wide planning for libraries and scholarly information.

Preceding his current work he was the university librarian at the University of California at San Francisco, which is one of the premier health sciences campuses in the nation.

College President James Wright expressed excitement over Lucier's appointment, while he is also appreciative of Margaret Otto's devoted service for over the past 20 years. He noted the historical importance of the position to the College.

The position of Dartmouth librarian dates back to the appointment of the first librarian, Bezaleel Woodward, in 1773.

Provost Susan Prager noted the turning point that Lucier's appointment marks for the College.

"These are critical and challenging times in the library world. Richard Lucier's leadership will be a tremendous advantage as Dartmouth considers the impact of technology on the way we teach and learn," she said.

According to Roland Adams, director of News for Public Affairs, librarian search committee chair and professor of English Brenda Silver said, "Richard is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the library world. He will bring to Dartmouth a keen understanding of both the complexity of research libraries today, and the flexibility it takes to meet the changing needs of their diverse users."

Lucier is expected to be an integral addition to the College. Silver mentioned to Adams, "Dartmouth faculty and students will benefit enormously from his active involvement in a number of issues crucial to scholarship today."

Silver said she sees Lucier as an important factor in the future of scholarship at Dartmouth. She said, "Richard has a vision of the role of the librarian as a roving information professional, helping faculty and students with the research and teaching that are central to Dartmouth's mission. With Richard here, the library will maintain its reputation for innovation and excellence."

At the same time Barbara Reed, art librarian for the Sherman Art Library, said she would like to have a chance to meet Lucier before speculating about the future. Lucier will oversee the success of the complex 11-library system at the College.

With the addition of Berry Library, the College will be able to nearly double its collections, as well as better integrate computing services and library services.

The scope and content of the various libraries provides the College with a range of services. The combined staff of 175 oversees the 2.35 million printed volumes, the diverse digital sources, as well as subscriptions to over 20,000 journals and other serials.

Lucier believes in the strong connection between the library and campus life. He told Adams, "Dartmouth has put in place a solid foundation for creating a library of the character and caliber critical to achieving its mission."

Lucier looks admirably at the future of the College's Library due to the strong base record. He also mentioned to Adams, "the Library's record of quality service, the new Berry Library building, the strengthening relationship between the Library and Computing Services, the visible support of the institution for the Library, the innovative and creative initiatives of the faculty and students, and the excellent Library staff provide a unique opportunity to continue and strengthen the process of building on the past to meet the needs of the future."

Before coming to Dartmouth, Lucier had worked in education for 30 years. After graduating from the Catholic University of America and Rutgers University (where he earned a master's degree in library science), he alternately taught and served as the library media specialist at secondary schools in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Lucier has worked at the University of Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins University, as well as extensively within the University of California educational system.