Dear Colleagues and Students,
I am very pleased to report that Dr. Danuta Nitecki has accepted the position of Dean of Libraries at Drexel following a national search. She will concurrently hold an appointment as Professor of Information Science in our iSchool. Dr, Nitecki will join us from Yale University. Dorothy Schwartz has been Interim Director of Libraries since the unfortunate passing of Jane Bryan and has carried on a tradition of selfless service to our community with dedication and grace. I thank Dorothy for her leadership.
Our search process was handled expertly by Dean David Fenske, chair, and the members of our search committee, and I thank them for casting a wide net, uncovering several first-rate candidates, and, with the help of dedicated colleagues on the committee, whom I also thank, identifying finalists whom we would be proud to call colleagues. Fortunately, that appellation also appealed to our top choice, and Dr. Nitecki will be joining us early in January, 2010. Let me share with you a brief professional biography of the extraordinary librarian and scholar who will be joining us.
Danuta A. Nitecki has been a library administrator since she began her career as an academic librarian in 1972, after receiving her first graduate degree from Drexel University. Since 1996, Danuta has been an Associate University Librarian, Yale University Library, where she has provided administrative oversight of public service programs [e.g. reference, instruction, access, document delivery, and systems] for the library system, as well as supervisory support of directors of several library departments. She has lead several innovative projects during her term at Yale which have focused on improving the library's support for teaching, learning, and research. In addition to serving as the Library's Program Director for the transformation of the former Cross Campus Library into the Bass Library, Danuta has represented the Library's program needs in the earlier renovation of the Sterling Memorial Library stack tower and reading rooms, construction and expansions of the Library Shelving Facility, and the transformation of the Arts Library. She was intimately involved in introducing the Borrow Direct interlibrary lending service among seven Ivy League institutions and the collaborative teaching and learning support services housed in the Bass Library. She is a Fellow of Trumbull College and serves as a Faculty Advisor for freshmen. Prior to coming to Yale, she has held administrative positions in the libraries at the University of Maryland at College Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Danuta has also pursued her interests in teaching. She taught research and evaluation methods as Professor of Practice in the PhD program for Managerial Leadership at Simmons, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library & Information Sciences Department. In 2008, she participated in teaching evaluation of use and users of digital libraries for the International Master in Digital Library Learning program at the University of Parma, Italy. For the Association of Research Libraries, she designed the content and collaborated on development of the presentation and facilitation of a Web-based online 6-week course for its Online Lyceum, "Measuring Service Quality in Libraries," reaching nearly 200 librarians and staff between 2001 and 2004.
Her other professional contributions include over 70 publications, presentations at international and national conferences, and service on editorial boards, including ones for The Journal of Academic Librarianship and Library and Information Science Research, and executing grant awards. She holds a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science, [University of Maryland 1995], and Master of Science degrees in Library and Information Sciences [Drexel University 1972], and in Communications [University of Tennessee at Knoxville 1976]. Two awards recognized her dissertation research ["An Assessment of the Applicability of SERVQUAL Dimensions as Customer-Based Criteria for Evaluating Quality of Services in an Academic Library,"]: the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL] & Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), and the 1996 Doctoral Student's Dissertation Competition Award from the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).
During a recent visit to Yale, I was fortunate enough to be given a tour by Danuta of the Sterling Memorial Library and the adjacent Bass Library, extraordinary buildings and repositories of one of the nation's best collections. I saw first-hand many of her contributions to creating inviting, innovative learning spaces. During the tour, I was impressed by Danuta's energy and enthusiasm for her work and by her sense of the library's capacity to offer places that encourage various modes of learning, from quiet reading and reflection to group work enhanced by technology and that do so with a sense of style, comfort, and attention to detail. She is an educator at heart, concerned about students and how they learn, and she brings deep experience and intellectual commitment to developing our libraries to best serve our students and faculty.
Please join with me in welcoming Danuta Nitecki to Drexel. I look forward to working with her and the dedicated staff of our libraries as we continue to create spaces and services that open the world of information and learning to the Drexel campus.