BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Carolyn Walters has been appointed Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries, Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has announced.
Walters' appointment became effective Jan. 8, subject to the approval of the IU Board of Trustees at its February meeting. Since 2005, she has served as executive associate dean of the IU Libraries. In 2012, Walters also became the founding executive director of the Office of Scholarly Publishing.
"Carolyn is a deeply respected authority on academic libraries who brings exceptional experience, commitment and vision to her role as Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries," Robel said. "Having worked closely with her as executive director of the Office of Scholarly Publishing and in a number of other areas during her service to the libraries, I recognize the depth of her knowledge and understanding. I am especially pleased that that she will be providing leadership for a resource as vital as the IU Libraries are to the life of the university and the community more broadly."
Walters has led the IU Libraries in the areas of collection development and scholarly communication, public services, technical services and preservation, and university archives, among other areas.
According to Jerry Slocum, a member of the IU Libraries' Dean’s Advisory Board, "Carolyn's three decades of experience have generated the vision, understanding and knowledge that will set her apart as dean of the Libraries. We couldn’t ask for a better leader to guide us toward the library of the future at Indiana University, and I greatly look forward to working with her in the coming years."
During her tenure at the IU Libraries, Walters has laid the groundwork for radical transformations that have increased access to information, tailored services to user needs and created spaces designed especially for faculty and students.
As head of Undergraduate Library Services, she worked with University Information Technology Services to develop and plan the groundbreaking Information Commons, a model for university libraries across the country. The commons offers pervasive wireless technology, ample computer workstations and onsite technology and library experts in a 24/7 environment.
Walters has overseen a recent renovation of that space in response to changing learning styles and advances in technology. The Information Commons has been transformed into the Learning Commons, with emphasis on flexible spaces for collaboration and individual study, mobile device display capability, and massive video screens designed for training, visualization experiments and display of digital art.
Walters was also instrumental in conceptualizing and developing the IU Scholars' Commons, which was dedicated in the fall. This space, which was developed in response to faculty members' needs, facilitates every stage of the research and publishing process with a digitization lab, exhibition space, consultation services with experts from across campus and other features.
"I can't imagine a more exciting time to accept the position as Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries," Walters said. "The changes taking place throughout the IU Libraries are aimed at fostering the highest levels of education and research. Those changes demand the culture of collaboration and partnership that is integral to all that we do at the Libraries, drawing in talent, expertise and resources that enable us to achieve collectively what we could not achieve alone.
"I deeply appreciate the talented staff at the Libraries and partners across campus who have made such great progress possible and look forward to working with them during my tenure as dean."
Walters began her career with the IU Libraries in 1987 and has since held a number of positions, including head of the Halls of Residence Libraries, director of public services and interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries.
As executive associate dean, Walters' key achievements have included launching IU's participation as the first library selected for the Google Books Project; providing oversight and support for the expansion of the IU Libraries Auxiliary Library Facility, which added space for 3.5 million library volumes; and developing effective partnerships between the IU Libraries, UITS and academic units, such as the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the College of Arts and Sciences.
During Walters' tenure as interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries from 2009 to 2010, the IU Libraries, along with UITS, received a $2.3 million grant awarded to seven academic institutions by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop Kuali OLE, a community source software package developed by and for academic libraries to manage and provide access to library collections and licensed and local digital content. At that time, the IU Libraries were also selected as the recipient of the 2010 Association of College and Research Libraries Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.