Published April 5, 2018
Dear University Community:
I am writing to share with you that Austin Booth has accepted a position as Dean of the Division of Libraries at New York University and will step down as Vice Provost for University Libraries, effective July 1.
A member of UB’s University Libraries (UL) faculty since 1997, Austin was named Interim Associate Vice President for University Libraries in 2010 and Vice Provost for University Libraries in 2011. Austin led UB’s campus conversation about the future of libraries and scholarly communications, which resulted in a new direction for the future of UL. In a challenging and transitional time nationally for libraries, under Austin’s leadership, UB has maintained world-class library collections and enhanced library services.
One of Austin’s most significant contributions was leading the transformation of UB’s libraries from repositories for books to innovative spaces that enable 21st century research and education. The most prominent example of this is the renovated Silverman Library in Capen Hall, part of the Heart of the Campus project. This library provides flexible space for students to collaborate, create, and access digital information, reflecting and enabling new ways of researching and learning.
Under Austin’s leadership, UL introduced a number of digital and technological innovations to enhance offerings and efficiency. These include the Delivery+ system, which allows patrons to order library materials online, as well as enhanced website and catalog search tools, increased digital collections, self-check machines, and the replacement of pay copy machines with free scanners. In addition, under Austin’s leadership, the libraries introduced demand-driven acquisitions and purchase on demand, which empower faculty and students to access research at the point of need regardless of whether UL owns the material and automate the ordering process.
Austin is recognized as a leader in SUNY and nationally for leading the creation and expansion of partnerships across SUNY and the state to enhance UL holdings and services, while increasing operational efficiencies. These partnerships include building coordinated and shared collections through the Empire Shared Collection at the UL Annex, which is collaboratively managed by ten regional member libraries, and consortial purchasing with other libraries. These collaborative collections reduce duplication, diversify collections and broaden access to materials. In addition, UL shares services with several other SUNY libraries and is leading a SUNY-wide initiative to purchase and implement a shared next-generation library services platform that will enable further collaborations.
Austin’s commitment to enriching the research, education and creative activities of UB faculty, students and staff and the wider community through knowledge creation, preservation and sharing has greatly advanced our institutional mission.
Colleagues, please join me in thanking Austin for all she has contributed and in wishing her much continued success at New York University.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs