New OULS Cabinet Appointments

11 July 2008


Assistant Director, Collections and Resource Description


Alice_webAlice Keller was appointed as OULS Assistant Director, Collections and Resource Description on 9 April 2008. This new position was created to unite related activities in the Bodleian and OULS (Oxford University Library Services) and reflects the changing landscape of scholarly communications and resource description. The Assistant Director, Collections and Resource Description has leadership, management, and policy and planning responsibilities for the library-wide scholarly communication programme and collection management functions, including collection development, acquisitions, cataloguing, and e-resource licensing and development.

Previous to this appointment, Alice Keller acted as Head of Collection Management, OULS. In this position, Keller worked very closely with subject consultants, Bodleian Acquisitions Services, and the E-Resources Team with the aim of implementing better systems for co-ordinating selection, budget control and periodical holdings across OULS.

Alice Keller said of her appointment: ‘During the last two months since my appointment, I have been very encouraged to see how many colleagues in OULS are keen to move forward, embrace new technologies and streamline back-office operations. I am looking forward to extending the co-ordination systems to new, but related areas such as legal deposit intake, general acquisitions, cataloguing and serials.’

Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and OULS Director said: ‘Alice Keller brings to this position a focus on efficient operations combined with a humane approach to management. Her positive leadership will enable the Library to improve access to its great collections.”

Assistant Director, Research and Learning Services


JoAnne_webJoAnne Sparks has recently been appointed as OULS Assistant Director, Research and Learning Services. This newly-created position unites related activities in the Bodleian Library and OULS (Oxford University Library Services). The Assistant Director for Research and Learning will have oversight of the heads of subject areas and responsibility for Reader Services. In this role, Sparks will consequently have leadership, management, policy and planning responsibilities for user services in Humanities, Medicine, Science, and Social Sciences providing reference, access, and outreach services virtually and in 30 subject libraries.

JoAnne Sparks has been Director of Library Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York for the last five years. Her achievements in this position include the transformation of the MSKCC Library Services from a traditional operation to mostly virtual service including major space renovation, staff reorganisation and web redesign initiatives. She also created and implemented projects to design physical spaces for delivery of information services (Cummings Center, Cyber Library Café) and led Library website redesign, resulting in a professionally designed external site following usability methodology.
Her appointment as Assistant Director, Research and Learning Services will begin on 15 September 2008.
JoAnne Sparks said about her appointment: ‘I am delighted to come and help to improve Oxford’s information services to the world. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.’

Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and OULS Director said: ‘JoAnne Sparks has demonstrated extraordinary creativity in raising the service levels for information delivery of the world’s preeminent centre for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Her energy and expertise will be invaluable as the Bodleian/OULS rises to the challenges of the 21st century.’

Director of Administration

lb_webLaurence Benson has recently been appointed as OULS Director of Administration. In this capacity, Benson will be responsible for the development, implementation and operation of a unified Administration and Management Support Service throughout OULS (Oxford University Library Services), and for extending administrative, financial and personnel functions to cover further libraries incorporated within OULS.
His appointment as Director of Administration will begin on 22 September 2008.
Laurence Benson has been Secretary of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London for 6 years. Among his achievements in the previous position are the restoration of the Institute to financial health, matching academic strategy to financial performance to turn around a 4% deficit and grow income by £34 m; delivering a £60m capital programme; opening 20,000 sm of new and refurbished space; and transforming library and information services. Before joining King’s College, Benson worked in the HR department at BBC World Services.
Laurence Benson said of his appointment: ‘This is an exciting time to be joining the Bodleian and OULS. I am looking forward to leading the OULS administration and to supporting all staff. Libraries of course play a central role in university life and one of my first tasks will be to understand better what makes the Bodley and OULS special in how you meet the continuing needs and the changing expectations of Oxford’s staff and students.’
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and OULS Director said: ‘The scope and scale of the Bodleian Library and OULS’s operations is such that having an expert administrator is essential. With three major building projects underway, significant change in the organisation of the libraries, and one of the largest budgets to manage in the University, the Library will greatly benefit from Laurence Benson’s experience.’

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