Thursday, October 22, 2020

Joseph Salem becomes dean of university libraries

September 13, 2019
Books in the MSU Library on March 25, 2019.
Books in the MSU Library on March 25, 2019. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Joseph Salem, Michigan State's former director of libraries and university librarian, was named dean of university libraries by the MSU Board of Trustees at their meeting September 6.

“I see this title change as recognition of the role that the MSU Libraries plays at the center of the intellectual life at MSU,” Salem said in a press release. “The MSU Libraries makes vital contributions to the MSU community, and I am honored to serve a role on Deans Council as part of our academic leadership here at MSU.”

As the dean of University Libraries, Salem oversees services, facilities, budgets, personnel, fundraising and technologies at MSU libraries.

“I’m the lead position for the library’s faculty and staff,” Salem said. “Among the ... library faculty, I run our tenure processes, I represent us both locally among the Deans Council and different academic governments on campus, and then I represent us nationally in different professional organizations, like the Association of Research Libraries or the Big Ten Academic Alliance.”

Besides his professional duties as dean, Salem said he strives to be a voice for the MSU library faculty.

“I think my real role is to empower our staff and our librarians in meeting our mission, which is to ensure the academic and research and success of all of the MSU community,” Salem said.

Salem previously served as the associate dean for learning, undergraduate services and commonwealth campus libraries at Penn State.

“In that role, he led Penn State’s open and affordable course content program, built the libraries’ assessment program, developed a programmatic approach to teaching and learning, led the Diversity Librarian Residency program, coordinated and expanded undergraduate internships and graduate assistantships within the libraries, led strategic planning and helped to lead space planning,” according to the press release.

Though Salem said he is honored to receive the new title, he said he believes it recognizes the library more than anything else.

“I think the biggest thing is that it really is a recognition of the role of the libraries in the intellectual and the academic life of the campus,” Salem said. “I’m really honored that I get to be the first Dean of Libraries here at MSU, but I think it’s not really about me. I think it’s much more about our recognition of the role of the libraries and how much great work my colleagues do as part of the academic research missions here at MSU.”

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