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Office of Academic Affairs announces new dean of libraries

Sarah Shreeves

After a national search, Sarah Shreeves has been selected to join the University of Utah as the new dean of libraries. She will begin in spring 2023. Current Dean of Libraries Alberta Comer will continue in her position until that time.

Shreeves is currently the vice dean of libraries at the University of Arizona, where she serves as the chief operating officer, providing leadership and support to the departments of Access and Information Services, Special Collections, Technology Strategy and Services and Research Engagement. She received a bachelor’s degree in medieval studies from Bryn Mawr College, and master’s degrees in children’s literature from Simmons College and library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“I look forward to seeing Sarah’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and expertise in research engagement in action,” said Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Martell Teasley, who finalized the selection. “Our scholars and students will be in good hands under her leadership.”

Shreeves was selected from a competitive pool of candidates that was narrowed down by a search committee chaired by Catherine Soehner, associate dean for research, and Sylvia Torti, dean of the Honors College.

“I am grateful to the committee for their hard work,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Mitzi Montoya. “The dean of libraries plays a vital role in advancing research and I’m excited to welcome Sarah to the University of Utah.”

Before joining the University of Arizona, Shreeves served as associate dean for digital strategies and faculty affairs at the University of Miami libraries, co-coordinator of the Scholarly Commons and associate professor of library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign libraries, and project manager for integrated library system migration at Massachusetts Institute of Technology libraries. She serves on multiple national and international advisory boards and steering committees, including the APTrust Governing Board and U.S. Repository Network Steering Group.

“As someone who has long appreciated the power of research in finding solutions for the problems of our time and believes in the role of public universities to provide opportunities for all, I am thrilled to join the University of Utah as the dean of libraries,” Shreeves said. “I am humbled and eager to begin collaborating with the campus community.”

After serving for nearly a decade at the U, Comer will continue as dean over the J. Willard Marriott Library for several months to assist Shreeves in transitioning to her new role.