Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Westbrooks to join U-M as associate university librarian for research

The U-M Library has announced that Elaine Westbrooks will serve as the university's first associate university librarian for research, starting Aug. 13.

Westbrooks is currently associate dean of libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she chaired the library's data curation committee and implemented a data management curriculum that equips librarians with the skills to support researchers in the development of data management plans.

  Elaine Westbrooks

Previously, she was head of metadata services at Cornell University. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics and a Master of Library and Information Science degree in library science, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

As AUL for research, Westbrooks will oversee the library's subject specialists, and lead the library's effort to fully integrate library collections and services into the research mission of the university.

According to University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Paul Courant, the position was created to respond to changes in the role of the library on campus, and to the growing need for data management and curation services in the research domain.

The new position emerged as part of an overall reorganization that also created roles for an AUL for learning and teaching, filled by Laurie Alexander, formerly head of graduate library research and education services; and an AUL for library operations, filled by Rebecca Dunkle, formerly interim AUL for public services.

Courant explains that the reorganization is part of an effort to create the library of the future, one that more fully engages in the work of the university's students, faculty, and researchers, and that supports new methods of research, including the use and reuse of large data sets.

"Elaine Westbrooks' experience as a leader and innovator will greatly advance the library's ongoing effort to assess and meet evolving needs for learning, teaching, and research services and support," Courant says.