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Director of Libraries to leave the University

Joseph McMahon | Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Director of Hesburgh Libraries Jennifer Younger will step down from her position at the end of the academic year to take a new position with the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), the University announced Monday.

“We are indebted to Jennifer for the vital role she has played in the many advances in the Hesburgh Libraries over the past 13 years,” Provost Tom Burish said in a University press release. “She has provided the leadership and made the strategic decisions that have enabled the Libraries to experience substantial growth and improvement.”

Younger, who has held the position since 1997, was praised by Burish for advancing access to electronic materials, renovating the lower level of the Hesburgh Library and expanding the University’s collections.

“Since 1997, it has been my great pleasure to have led the Hesburgh Libraries in a period of sustained growth and success, made possible by expanded University support and the achievements of an outstanding library faculty and staff,” Younger said in a press release. “We have been inspired by the extraordinary vision of [University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh] 40 years ago in building a great library for Notre Dame.”

Younger’s vocational change comes on the heels of a petition for Library reform that garnered 1,200 student signatures during the fall semester. The petition, which was organized by graduate student David Morris, called for an increase in the number of collections and the Library faculty, as well as the renovation of the entire building.

“It provides a fresh start, allowing us to find a scholar-librarian who will fully support our mission and who will implement the strategic plan for the Library that is being drawn up by the Provost’s Office,” Morris said of the University’s search for a new Library director.

Younger will take a new position in the CRRA, where she has represented Notre Dame. The CRAA is a collaborative effort between 11 member schools to help increased partnership and share electronic resources.

“I am very pleased to continue my involvement in this collaborative initiative to share resources with scholars in all fields interested in the Catholic experience,” Younger said in the press release. “As a founding member of the CRRA, Notre Dame has played a key role in creating global access to the vast array of materials held by Catholic institutions in North America.”

CRRA board member Artemis Kirk, who is the university librarian at Georgetown, said the CRRA was fortunate. Younger would be able to devote more of her time to the organization.

“Jennifer has been the driving force behind the creation of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance, and all of its members are indebted to her for her leadership,” Kirk said. “We’re delighted that she can devote even more of her energy and expertise to strengthening the alliance, and we appreciate Notre Dame’s commitment in understanding the importance of the CRRA.”