Diane Dallis-Comentale

Diane Dallis-Comentale

Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries

Herman B Wells Library 232

(812) 855-5679

Diane Dallis-Comentale is the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries for Indiana University, officially appointed in April 2022 following a 10-month appointment as Interim Dean. 

Together with an experienced administrative team, Dallis-Comentale oversees all library operations, finances, collections, and faculty and staff of the largest research library system in the state of Indiana, including IU Press, Indiana University’s impactful academic publishing program. IU Libraries promotes outstanding teaching and research as its more than three hundred library employees support all 2,200 faculty, 2,000 instructors, and 48,000 students on the IU Bloomington campus. Dallis-Comentale and her administrative team have significant systemwide university libraries responsibilities. 

Dallis-Comentale is committed to daily work toward openness and understanding as part of her goal to foster an environment of respect, appreciation, and transparency at IU Libraries. Upon her appointment as dean, she launched an extensive community-based process to revisit and republish library values, mission, and vision statements. In 2023, she actively supported administrative and executive council leaders in their shared work to outline a thoughtfully constructed 2030 Strategic Plan for IU Libraries, closely aligned with the university-wide “IU 2030” plan . 

Recent successes include creation of the IU Libraries Undergraduate Scholars program, a meaningful scholarship program for incoming Indiana resident students, many of whom are first-generation college students. Students are provided a scholarship, renewable for all four years with the maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average. They are required to work 10 hours of paid employment in an IU Library or department, which contributes to experiential learning and career preparation—important goals of IU 2030’s Pillar One: Student Success and Opportunity. Dallis-Comentale also envisioned and developed the Wells Library Friday Finish student success program. She was responsible for leading IU Libraries in re-envisioning new service and staffing models during the global pandemic and acting as project lead for the once-in-a-generation renovation of the Lilly Library, one of the world’s great rare books libraries. 

The first half of her career was focused on undergraduate student support, and she tailored instructional services for courses and programs such as Groups Scholars, Intensive First-Year Seminars (IFS), and New Student Orientation. Dallis-Comentale has led transformative organizational changes, developing new partnerships between IU Libraries, University Information Technology Services (UITS), the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Dallis-Comentale envisioned new service models and spaces as she managed three major renovations in the iconic Herman B Wells Library and multiple branch libraries, modernizations that undeniably recast perceptions of academic library spaces. 

In her three decades of service to Indiana University, Dean Dallis-Comentale has embraced diverse experiences, from overseeing library services for students and faculty including Access Services, Special Collections, Archives and Manuscripts, and academic-discipline-focused departments including Area Studies, Arts and Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences to leading operational areas such as Communications, Facilities, Human Resources, and Finance. Dean Dallis-Comentale is a proud IU alumna, having earned her Master of Library Science and Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University Bloomington, building her distinguished career in libraries from her origins as a student library assistant. 

Dean Dallis-Comentale is a demonstrated leader in academic libraries on the IU campus and at the national level. She co-edited the textbook Planning and Implementing Resource Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries and served on the editorial boards of two highly regarded peer-reviewed journals; portal: Libraries and the Academy, published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press, and Library Leadership & Management, a journal of the American Library Association. She is a member of the American Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries, and Association of Research Libraries. She also serves on the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Library Initiatives Directors Board, BTAA Library Executive Committee, BTAA Deans Committee Shared Print Program, HathiTrust Board of Governors, and Academic Libraries of Indiana Board of Directors. She has previously served on the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee (DEIC) and its Kaleidoscope Program Task Force. 

Locally, Dallis-Comentale works closely with the IU Libraries’ Diversity Committee and Library Staff Council, was a founding member of the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology (CEW&T) Advisory Council, and has served on the Bloomington Faculty Council and Bloomington Library Faculty Council, as well as campus and library administrative committees. She contributes her time and resources to support community and national organizations which emphasize equity, education, and mental/physical health.

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