January 21, 2022

K. Matthew Dames Appointed Chief Librarian of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries

From the University of Notre Dame:

K. Matthew Dames (Source: U. of Notre Dame)

K. Matthew Dames, university librarian at Boston University, has been appointed the Edward H. Arnold University Librarian at the University of Notre Dame by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., effective Aug. 1. Dames succeeds Diane Parr Walker, who is retiring after serving 10 years as university librarian.

Dames has been integral in Boston University’s strategic planning process as chief librarian, chairing a faculty-led, provost-appointed committee charged with developing the library system’s 2030 priorities. Dames led the merger between Boston University’s library and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, a special collections and archives unit. He also served as the center’s acting director after the merger. Dames launched the digital ventures unit to develop enterprise-level digital scholarship capacity, a move that resulted in a Boston University partnership with Boston Public Library to professionally digitize the papers of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Prior to joining Boston University, Dames was associate librarian for scholarly resources and services at Georgetown University and interim dean of libraries and librarian for Syracuse University. In these roles, he helped develop a comprehensive digital preservation vision and strategy for Georgetown and established a fund at Syracuse to develop new library spaces and services.


Dames is nationally recognized as an expert in copyright law, holding a faculty appointment in Boston University’s School of Law. He has conducted research focused on copyright law, policy and history — emphasizing culture and norms of the media industries. Dames began his academic library career as founding director of Syracuse University’s Copyright and Information Policy Office, one of the nation’s first full-time university copyright offices. Syracuse’s copyright policy, which he authored, has been copied in full or in part by more than 20 other U.S. universities.

As the Edward H. Arnold University Librarian, Dames will lead a team of more than 175 faculty and staff members at the flagship Hesburgh Library — which houses the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, the Medieval Institute Library, the University Archives, and Rare Books and Special Collections — and four specialty libraries located on the Notre Dame campus. The library system holds more than 3.5 million monograph and subscribes to more than 35,000 serials, all in support of learning, teaching and research.

Dames earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from City University of New York and a master’s degree in information studies and a doctoral degree in information science and technology from Syracuse University. He earned his juris doctorate from Northeastern University. Dames also serves as vice president and president-elect of the Association of Research Libraries, the nation’s leading association for research libraries in academia and government. He has served on the board of directors executive committee for the NERL Consortium of academic research libraries.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement from the University of Notre Dame

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.