H. Austin Booth Named Vice Provost for UB Libraries

Release Date: August 5, 2011 This content is archived.


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H. Austin Booth has been named vice provost for university libraries.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- H. Austin Booth has been named vice provost for university libraries at the University at Buffalo, Harvey G. Stenger, UB interim provost, announced today. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Booth has served as interim associate vice president for university libraries since June 1, 2010.

"After deliberations with more than 40 library faculty and staff, several deans and other senior leaders, it was clear that Austin Booth was an outstanding choice and the best choice to direct the UB Libraries," Stenger said. "Her academic background and scholarship is exemplary; her management skills and library science knowledge well established and nationally recognized; and her ability to lead clearly proven over the past year of her interim appointment.

"UB is fortunate to have someone of Austin's caliber in such an important leadership position."

As vice provost for university libraries, Booth is responsible for nine libraries that serve UB's 12 schools and colleges, manages an annual budget of $20 million and oversees a staff of 150.

UB's library system is the largest and most comprehensive in the State University of New York and includes more than 4 million print volumes, access to more than 50,000 electronic journals and the largest collection of James Joyce manuscripts, notebooks and letters in the world.

The UB Libraries receive more than 3.5 million in-person visits a year, with the electronic collections and services used at an even higher rate. In SUNY Student Opinion Surveys, UB students consistently rank the UB Libraries at the top when asked to rank academic services and experiences. The libraries are members of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries.

"I am honored and extraordinarily pleased to be given the opportunity to lead the University Libraries as we collectively advance as a premier public research university," Booth said. "As intellectual hubs of the university, the libraries are essential to fostering academic excellence through supporting our faculty's research and creative activities, facilitating our students' learning and actively engaging in our local community.

"As the libraries move into the future, we will continue our traditions of collecting, organizing and preserving both print and digital materials even as we transform the ways in which we do our work in order to become more collaborative and efficient."

As interim associate vice president, Booth:

-- Implemented initiatives to improve delivery of information resources and increased the number of locally created digital collections.

-- Increased on-demand services, including an e-book purchase-on-demand program and a collaborative purchase-on-demand program across SUNY.

-- Developed collaborative approaches to library collections, services and backroom functions.

-- Worked closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research to develop policies for data management, including the creation of a UB Institutional Repository to store and manage data.

Prior to her appointment as interim associate vice president, Booth served as director of collections and co-director of the Arts and Sciences Libraries.

Booth, who holds the rank of full librarian, joined UB in 1997 and received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Librarianship in 2005.

Her research focuses on digital culture, and on higher education and information technology. She earned a master's degree in library and information science from the University of California-Berkeley and holds a master's degree in English language and literature and a graduate certificate in women's studies from the University of Michigan, where she was named University Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor and held a Mellon Fellowship. She received bachelor's degrees in English and economics from Cornell University.

Additional honors include participation in the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians in 2010. Under her leadership, UB Libraries Today received the 2011 "Best in Show" award for best newsletter of the year from the American Library Association and the UB Libraries were chosen as a participating institution of the Institute for Museum and Library Services study "Values, Outcomes and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries."

She is co-editor of "Re:Skin" (MIT Press, 2007) and co-editor of "Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture" (MIT Press, 2002), as well as the author of numerous articles. She is an active member of the American Library Association and current chair of the New York State Higher Education Initiative board.

Booth is a resident of Snyder.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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