January 24, 2022

Winston Tabb, Longtime Sheridan Libraries Dean at Johns Hopkins, Announces Plans to Retire

From JHU Hub:

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Winston Tabb, who has served as Sheridan Dean of University Libraries, Archives and Museums at Johns Hopkins University since September 2002 as part of a distinguished libraries career that has spanned five decades, plans to retire next year, JHU President Ron Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar announced today in a message to the university community.

Tabb will remain at Johns Hopkins until a successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition, Daniels and Kumar wrote. The university is in the process of forming a search committee to identify a new leader for the libraries.

“Please join us in thanking Winston for his service to all the scholars who use our library resources,” Daniels and Kumar wrote. “His embrace and stewardship of new projects and his deep commitment to sharing information, history, and public art with the university community and beyond has made a tremendous impact on Johns Hopkins and those we serve.”

In his role, Tabb—who joined Johns Hopkins after a 30-year career at the Library of Congress—oversees library services in the five Sheridan Libraries and coordinates library services provided by all schools of the university through the University Library Directors Council, which he created and chairs. He is also director of Johns Hopkins’ two historic house museums, Homewood Museum and Evergreen Museum & Library.

Early in his time at Johns Hopkins, Tabb led the unification of several major library systems into a single system to offer better and more seamless service to all library users across the institution. He also set up the libraries to operate more efficiently and economically by sharing all electronic resources as one university.

He led adoption of JHU’s first “open access” policy, supported the development of PASS (public access submission system) to make compliance simple for JHU authors, and he worked with faculty across the university to develop a proposal for a JHU-wide Open Scholarship Committee. He also oversaw creation of the first Open Scholarship Programs Office at an American university.


Tabb is a past president of the Association of Research Libraries and also serves on numerous boards, including as the official representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. In 2012 he was named an Honorary Fellow of IFLA, the association’s highest honor.

Celenza, who has served with Tabb on the Council on Library and Information Resources, said Tabb is widely respected, nationally and internationally, and “seen as a leader and as a facilitator of important conversations and initiatives.”

“Finally,” he added, “there is something less tangible, perhaps, but no less important: the culture he created in the library, leading by example. Librarians are highly trained experts, to be sure; but they also need to be creative, service-oriented, and outward-facing to their communities. I think that one of the reasons our library works so well is that Winston has led the way on that front: he is generous, kind, and thoughtful, and he has set the tone accordingly.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement (approx. 860 words; via JHU)

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.