Claire Stewart is the new dean of University Libraries. She will also hold a continuous appointment as professor in the libraries.
Stewart will officially begin the position on Aug. 1, pending Board of Regents approval. The university conducted a national search for this position. Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, made the announcement May 14.
“I am excited to welcome Claire to Nebraska. She is an innovative, strategic leader with a solid foundation in the traditional aspects of academic libraries and a keen vision toward the future,” Plowman said. “Her experience with Big Ten and land-grant universities will serve her well as she advocates for the libraries on campus, in the state of Nebraska, across the nation and around the world. I am confident she will do great things as dean.”
Stewart is the associate university librarian for research and learning at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She represents the libraries on campus and nationally, building partnerships and pursuing university goals around student success, equity and inclusion, and research excellence. She is responsible for the education and research support programs of the libraries and operational services within 10 library facilities. She leads staff who provide general and specialized information services, including discipline liaisons, curators, archivists and functional specialists responsible for programmatic engagement in research, teaching and learning on campus.
Prior to working at Minnesota, Stewart held several positions at Northwestern University over a 21-year period, including director of the Center for Scholarly Communication and Digital Curation and head of Digital Collections. She provided leadership, directed projects and offered services and support in areas that included research data management, digital humanities and digital publishing.
Stewart’s scholarly interests include information policy and curation structures. She has written about and given presentations on data management, curation and preservation in journals, online publications and at conferences. She is active in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and is chair of the Geoportal Strategic Leadership Group. She has also served on committees and working groups focused on digital library initiatives and data storage. She is a member of the American Library Association and has served on multiple committees, including the Google Books task force. She was also a 2016-17 Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellow.
“Research libraries at land-grant institutions have a special calling: to be an exceptional partner to faculty and students pursuing groundbreaking research and creating new knowledge, and to welcome and serve the citizens of the state, and by extension, the world,” Stewart said. “I look forward to working with the libraries faculty and staff to achieve the ambitious goals of Nebraska as it celebrates 150 years of excellence.”
Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a minor in humanistic studies from St. Mary’s College and a Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University.
Nebraska’s University Libraries is a national leader in creativity and knowledge development. It creates and promotes resources and tools for transformative teaching, learning and research, and it develops spaces and technology that inspire lifelong learning. Stewart will guide the transformation of the libraries’ physical and virtual spaces, lead major content initiatives and position the libraries’ faculty and staff at the center of teaching and research for Nebraska.