The New York Public Library has named William P. Kelly — former interim chancellor of the City University of New York and president of the CUNY Graduate Center, and the current chairman of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation—its Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries.
Kelly will lead the Library’s four research centers and their 460 staff members: the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Science, Industry and Business Library; the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
He will be charged with preserving and expanding the use of the most democratically accessible of research collections, which includes approximately 45 million items and is growing by about 150,000 books per year.
Kelly will begin his tenure at NYPL in January 2016.
Kelly’s responsibilities will include collection strategy, acquisition, and accessibility; researcher engagement; preservation; long-term and short-term fellowships; and taking a lead role in several important research initiatives happening in the next few years at NYPL. Specific projects will include:
- The recruitment of new curators and additional staff.
- The completion of a second story of underground materials storage at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Construction on the second level of the Milstein Research Stacks will be complete in April 2016.
- The Midtown Campus renovation, which will open approximately 40 percent more of the Schwarzman Building to researchers and the general public.
- An $18 million renovation of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which will increase public space and improve collections storage, the exterior, and reading rooms.
- Leading the Researcher Advisory Group, a team of scholars and researchers who advise the Library on all matters.
- The continued growth of the Library’s collections and the preservation of these treasures for future generations.
Kelly most recently held the position of interim chancellor at CUNY, a university system that serves 270,000 students in credit-bearing programs and 226,000 adult and continuing education students at 24 senior and community colleges in the five boroughs. He has also served as chairman of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. The foundation manages private and government-sponsored programs at CUNY; last year, the Foundation managed more than $400 million of new research awards.