January 28, 2022

Sarah Thomas of University of Oxford Appointed Vice President for the Harvard Library

From Harvard University Library:

Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber announced today that Sarah Thomas of the University of Oxford has been named vice president for the Harvard Library.

In this role, Thomas will have overall responsibility for the Harvard Library, and will collaborate closely with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team.

Garber noted, “Sarah Thomas is a leader in her field with an exceptional record of success running major academic libraries. She is uniquely capable of building on the progress we have made thus far in responding to the evolving expectations of the 21st century scholar. Working closely with Library staff, faculty, students and school and university leadership, Sarah will help Harvard continue to set the standard for academic libraries worldwide.”

Thomas currently serves as Bodley’s Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries—the first woman and non-British citizen to hold the position in 400 years—as well as pro-vice-chancellor and member of the faculty of modern languages at the University of Oxford . Previous to Oxford, Thomas was the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell. She served as the president of the Association of Research Libraries, and also held posts at the Library of Congress, where she led in the establishment of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, the National Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries Group at Stanford University and Harvard’s Widener Library, among other positions.

“If we conducted a search throughout this world and far off into the galaxy where alien librarians may be charting new paths through cyberspace, Sarah Thomas would be at the top of the list. Having established a reputation as a superb university librarian at Cornell, she did wonders at Oxford, whose library system is both fabulously rich and bewilderingly baroque. She will be even more wonderful at Harvard,” commented University Librarian and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor Robert Darnton.


Thomas’s publications include “The Bod Squad” in Transforming The Bodleian (2012), “The Encouragement of Learning” in Copyright in the Digital Age (2010), Publishing Solutions for Contemporary Scholars” in Library HiTech (2010) and “Advancing Scholarship Through Library Collaboration” in Die Innovative Bibliothek: Elmar Mittler zum 65. Geburtstag (2005).

Some of Thomas’s recent and upcoming presentations include “E-books, Horseless Carriages and the Future of Libraries” at the Royal Danish Library, “A Conversation with Hilary Mantel” at the Times Oxford Literary Festival, “National Library Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future of the Book” at the Library of Congress and “The Bodleian: England’s First National Library Evolves in the 21st Century” at the Ex Libris National Library Meeting.

Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Videos From First International Summit of the Book Now Available Online
Thomas is the moderator of the “National Library Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future of the Book” panel.

See Also: Video: Springboard to a New Model of Access by Sarah Thomas (November 14, 2012)
Presentation at 2012 RLUK Conference

See Also: The Encouragement of Learning
by Sarah Thomas
3 pages; PDF

See Also: Introductory Comments by Sarah Thomas
From “Developing Strong Library Budgets: Information Professionals Share Best Practices”
Issue of Elsevier Library Connect Newsletter (2010)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.