As of July 1, Dan Cherubin will begin his position as the newly selected Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian. Cherubin has a B.A. in Music from Bard College, an M.S. in Library Science from Columbia University, and an M.A. from New York University in Media Studies. The process of selecting this new position was quite thorough as the search committee conducted a nationwide effort to assure that they were considering the most suitable applicants.
The process was especially meticulous because of the role and the responsibilities that come with being the head librarian at the University.
The search committee for hiring a new librarian consisted of faculty, staff, and a student representative. The committee chair Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Joseph Knee partnered with the search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in the process as well.
“The committee presented their opinions of the finalists to the Provost, Joyce Jacobsen, who in consultation with the President made the final selection and hired Dan Cherubin,” Knee said.
Noah Kahan ’19 was chosen for the role of the student representative to assure the concerns of University students were taken into consideration throughout the selection process.
He made sure the committee took into account what the new librarian would do for students, as well as how this individual could make Olin more of a hub for academics. Primarily, he hoped that the new librarian could make sure that the space could be used more effectively.
“One thing I was looking for was if any of the candidates had any strategic planning for Olin,” Kahan said.
Cherubin has been hired as part of a plan to further integrate Olin into the University’s intellectual community.
“[We focused on] how to make Olin a place where students really want to go study and how to make Olin and Exley 21st-century libraries,” Kahan said. “That was one thing that really came up, how do we create a 21st-century library and what is needed in a 21st-century library?”
These concerns were also mentioned by Knee, the committee chair.
“We wanted someone with experience in managing a sophisticated organization, knowledge of recent trends in academic libraries including the fast moving impact of technology on the field, the ability to make the library even more of a center for student learning and faculty research than it already is, and the personal qualities needed to be proactive in the promotion of the library on campus and in the community,” Knee said. “Most important, however, was identifying someone who would have the vision to develop a strategic plan for where the Wesleyan library is headed and the leadership abilities to effectively implement such a plan.”
Cherubin has over 20 years of experience working in libraries and information services, having previously served as the Chief Librarian and Associate Dean at Hunter College.
At Hunter College, Cherubin had the responsibility of looking over four different libraries and he also played a major role in facility and space planning, use of technology, and planning the policies and practices of the library. Because of this, the committee believed that he is ready to help shape the future of Olin.
“Dan will work with the outstanding library staff and seek input from students and faculty to create a vision based on this foundation and to implement that vision,” Knee said.
Knee then mentioned the specifics of what faculty have been considering for revamping the library.
“Things that will likely be considered include re-evaluation of the use of space, particularly regarding student group study space and private study areas and the balance between them, a greater integration of the library into the curriculum, so that the library can be better placed to support new faculty and student-led initiatives like the new African Studies minor, and a larger teaching role for librarians to help students more effectively use the growing array of information tools available,” Knee said. “These are just a few examples of things which will be considered.”
Kahan made sure to stress the importance of getting student input in the plans for Olin.
“[It is important to have] different spaces for students in different parts of the school to study however they choose to in whatever space they want to,” Kahan said. “Trying to gauge what students want and need is very important in this process.”