Edward Van Gemert, vice provost for libraries and university librarian, will retire from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries in May 2018, Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf announced Tuesday.
A nationwide search will be launched in the near future to fill the position upon Van Gemert’s departure.
Van Gemert’s retirement follows 46 years of work with libraries, and 2018 will mark 36 years of continuous employment with the General Library System. Van Gemert came to the Libraries as a student assistant in Memorial Library in 1971. He has held a number of positions over the years, including serving as the first person at UW–Madison to hold the title of vice provost for libraries and university librarian.
Van Gemert accepted the position of vice provost for libraries under then-Provost Paul De Luca in 2013, with instructions to rethink how the UW–Madison Libraries would advance their role on campus into the future, specifically: growing campus partnerships to assist the fundamental ways the university educates students; creating a strategic plan that encompasses the needs of stakeholders and leadership across campus; and creating a more focused effort to develop a philanthropic fundraising plan with the UW Foundation.
Van Gemert has served as chair of the Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries, was on the steering committee of the Coalition for Networked Information, served in leadership roles with the Association of Research Libraries, the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and served as chair of the HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Board.
Van Gemert says he looks forward to spending more time with his family, traveling, embarking on several cycling trips, reading, and engaging even more in his volunteer work for adult literacy.