UC San Diego Names Erik T. Mitchell New Audrey Geisel University Librarian

Erik T. Mitchell, Ph.D. has been appointed university librarian at the University of California San Diego effective April 16, 2018. Mitchell currently serves as associate university librarian of Digital Initiatives and Collaborative Services and associate chief information officer at UC Berkeley.

“Our Library is a premier resource for UC San Diego’s community of changemakers, playing a central role in the university’s mission by serving as a hub of discovery,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Dr. Mitchell has been at the forefront of integrating new information technologies in libraries to find, use and create knowledge, so I am confident that his expertise will continue to help transform the way our academic community teaches, learns and conducts research.”

During his five years at UC Berkeley, Mitchell worked extensively with various leadership teams to advance the mission of the university, drawing on principles of service, shared values and collaboration. He advocated for and led a charge to incorporate preferred name services into the campus’ library systems, worked with vendors and systemwide colleagues to select a digital imaging platform that is ADA compliant and established processes to ensure that all new programs and services include diversity, equity and inclusion considerations at the design and decision-making stages. He also co-led the creation of programs for research data management, the expansion of targeted and mass digitization programs and comprehensive computing services for students. Additionally, he was integral to cross-institutional and nationally shared print initiatives and has served as co-principal investigator on funded research and development activities. 

Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Mitchell served as an assistant professor and senior research fellow with the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland, College Park, and as an assistant director for Technology Services at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library. Dr. Mitchell’s research focuses on the role of information design, technology and literacy in empowering and shaping information communities.

“Chancellor Khosla and I are delighted to welcome Dr. Mitchell to UC San Diego,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Simmons. “Erik is passionate about education and student success, believes library spaces can create transformative experiences and sees many opportunities to partner with the various schools and academic departments across campus in new ways that enable student achievement. His leadership in key library service areas, including digitization, digital preservation, digital scholarship initiatives, data publishing, and information technology is a welcome addition to our university.”

Mitchell will manage the UC San Diego Library’s four locations, its vast collections, and 235 librarians and professional staff. He will also oversee the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, a major effort to transform and revitalize the most heavily used interior public spaces in Geisel Library—the university’s flagship building. The Initiative sets out to dramatically enhance the user experience in Geisel Library by creating modern, technology-rich spaces that advance research and learning to meet the evolving needs of 21st century students and scholars in an increasingly digital world.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to continue leading the UC San Diego Library into an ever-evolving digital age,” said Mitchell. “It is clear from my visits to campus and conversations with staff that the Library is highly valued and I look forward to being part of the Library’s efforts to meet the changing needs of UC San Diego.”

Mitchell is the author of two books, “Metadata Standards and Web Services in Libraries, Archives, and Museums” and “Cloud-Based Services for Your Library: A LITA Guide.” He has served as a columnist for the Journal of Web Librarianship and Technical Services Quarterly, and has published and presented on library IT, metadata use, and pedagogical approaches. Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He succeeds Brian E.C. Schottlaender, who retired in June 2017. Tammy Nickelson Dearie, associate university librarian for Enterprise Services, has served as interim university librarian since Schottlaender’s departure.

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