May 25, 2022

From New York to New Haven: Barbara Rockenbach Appointed Yale’s Next University Librarian

From a Statement by Yale University President, Peter Salovey:

Barbara Rockenbach

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Barbara Rockenbach as the next Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian, effective July 1, 2020, pending the approval of the board of trustees at their next meeting. She is currently the associate university librarian for research and learning at Columbia University. Ms. Rockenbach has spent her career developing innovative library services in support of education and scholarship. She brings to Yale deep expertise and a commitment to ensuring that our libraries will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of faculty and students.

Ms. Rockenbach believes strongly that university libraries must balance a dedication to supporting emerging areas of research and scholarship with a commitment to maintaining and increasing collections in all formats. For nearly nine years at Columbia University, she has demonstrated an ability to strike that balance. For example, she built a digital humanities program in close collaboration with faculty members and library staff — this effort was funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Arcadia Foundation. At the same time, she enhanced existing collections. As interim director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, she helped bring special collections, such as the Arthur Mitchell archive and materials for the Latino Arts and Activism Archives, to the university. She also formed partnerships with schools and units on campus to provide research tools and methods for students and faculty, and she created training programs to enhance the capabilities of library staff.


Ms. Rockenbach is familiar with the distinct strengths of Yale’s libraries and their importance to the core mission of the university. Prior to leading efforts at Columbia, she served at Yale as the director of undergraduate and library research education and as an instructional services librarian for the arts library. She has also worked at the digital library JSTOR and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.A. in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh, and M.A. in art history from Hunter College.

Learn More, Read the Complete Statement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.