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University Libraries' head at Rutgers elected to lead national library organization

University Librarian at Rutgers University, Marianne I. Gaunt, was elected vice president/president elect of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), at the organization's fall 2006 membership meeting.

Gaunt has served as University Librarian at Rutgers since 1997. She oversees the Rutgers University Libraries system, comprised of twenty-six integrated libraries, centers and reading rooms located on campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected by my peers to serve our association in this capacity," stated Gaunt. "ARL's priorities reflect the greatest strengths and most pressing concerns of hundreds of leading research libraries across North America. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the public policy and advocacy initiatives so important to our libraries."

Gaunt will work with ARL's newly elected president, Sherrie Schmidt, University Librarian, Arizona State University. ARL presidents are elected to one-year terms.

Based in Washington, DC, ARL is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve.

ARL pursues its mission by providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities and fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise. ARL tracks the activities of legislative, regulatory, and government agencies and related organizations in North America and abroad that impact research libraries. ARL has been particularly active on issues relating to copyright and intellectual property and its leaders have testified before Congress on pending legislation that addresses these concerns. Under Gaunt's leadership, the Rutgers University Libraries have played a leading role in revising the university's copyright policies. Gaunt co-chaired the university-wide copyright policy review committee, which drafted a policy statement that was approved unanimously by the University Senate in October 2005.

The Libraries conducted a university wide symposium and teleconference, "Reframing Copyright Issues for Rutgers Users and Creators," in spring 2000. The Libraries maintain a thorough subject guide webpage on copyright information, created by Associate University Librarian for Planning and Research Jeanne Boyle. This guide can be viewed here: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/rr_gateway/research_guides/copyright/copyright.shtml

The Rutgers University Libraries also exercise leadership in drawing attention to scholarly communication concerns. In spring 2002 the Libraries held a symposium, "Scholarly Communication: New Challenges, New Directions," that attracted over 100 Rutgers faculty and administrators. The Libraries maintain a "Scholarly Communication and You" website, created by librarians, for reference by Rutgers personnel.

Gaunt is the chair of ARL's Working Group on Fair Use and previously chaired the Scholarly Communication Committee. She is the founding chair of VALE, the Virtual Academic Library Environment of New Jersey, and is currently a member of the VALE executive committee. She was president of the board of trustees of PALCI, the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc., and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of PALINET, a membership organization of libraries, information centers, museums, archives, and other organizations throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. She is a member of the board of directors of the New Jersey Center for the Book. In April 2000, Gaunt received the Distinguished Service award from the College and University Section of the New Jersey Library Association.

Gaunt previously served as a board member of the Center for Research Libraries, a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries. She also served as an advisory board member of OCLC, an international nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization.

The Rutgers University Libraries' website may be viewed at: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu. ARL is located on the Web at: http://www.arl.org/.

Posted December 18, 2006