Duke University Libraries Announces Leadership Team Changes

A number of senior leadership changes are under way at the Duke University Libraries, reflecting the emphases of our strategic plan—Engage, Discover, Transform—and aligning our operations with evolving developments and directions in academic libraries, scholarship, and publishing.

Dracine Hodges

In January 2018, Dracine Hodges, Assistant University Librarian for Technical Services, was promoted to Associate University Librarian for Technical Services, serving as a member of the Libraries’ Executive Group.

Hodges came to Duke in March 2016 as Head of Technical Services, a newly created position. In that role, she oversaw the broad structural reorganization of the Libraries’ Technical Services departments, working with staff to define challenges and identify ways to meet those challenges strategically. That work resulted in the restructuring of Technical Services into the new departments of Continuing Resource Acquisitions, Monograph Acquisitions, Metadata and Discovery Strategy, Serials and Retention Management, and Resource Description. The new structure is better able to meet the evolving demands of a modern research library. In her new role as AUL, Hodges also oversees the Libraries’ Conservation Services department. This recognizes the breadth of responsibility of Conservation Services, which like other Technical Services departments works with both general and special collections.

“We are very pleased that Dracine has agreed to join the Executive Group,” said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “This appointment is a recognition of the broad scope of responsibility she has in overseeing multiple departments as well as the complex and vital role that Technical Services plays in supporting the research enterprise.”

Prior to coming to Duke in 2016, Hodges was a tenured Associate Professor and Head of the Acquisitions Department at the Ohio State University Libraries. She has published several book chapters and well-cited peer-reviewed articles related to collection development models and diversity in libraries. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the IMLS-funded Institute for Research Design in Librarianship and an active member of the ALCTS division of the American Library Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Wesleyan College and an MLIS from Florida State University.

Hodges’s appointment comes just as another member of the Libraries’ Executive Group prepares to step down. In May 2018, Robert L. Byrd, Associate University Librarian for Collections and User Services, will retire after 40 years of service to the Duke University Libraries.

“An account of Bob’s professional contributions to the Duke University Libraries, and to the university, would go on for pages,” said Jakubs. “Perhaps most notably, he has been the force of quiet persistence behind our special collections. It was his vision, beginning decades ago, that ultimately led to the creation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.”

Robert L. Byrd

Byrd was educated at Duke (BA, 1972), Yale (M.Phil., 1975), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MSLS, 1978). He first worked at Duke as a library clerk in the Manuscript Department. After receiving his MSLS degree, he was appointed Assistant Curator of Manuscripts for Reader Services, then Manuscripts Librarian, then Curator of Manuscripts. In 1989-90, Byrd spearheaded the union of the separate Rare Book and Manuscript departments, creating the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, which he continued to direct until 2010. In 2015, Duke formally dedicated the Rubenstein Library, bringing Duke into the company of its peers as the home of a named special collections library.

In the four decades he has worked at Duke, Byrd has negotiated the acquisition of some of the Libraries’ most noteworthy and distinctive collections. He has also contributed much beyond the Libraries, serving on numerous university committees and important initiatives, including the reaccreditation process, the launch of Duke Kunshan University, and the Perkins Project, a 15-year-long effort to renovate and re-imagine Duke’s West Campus library complex. A celebration of his career and many contributions to the University will be held on May 7 in the Gothic Reading Room at 4 p.m. His last day at Duke will be May 11.

When Byrd retires in May, he will be succeeded on the Libraries’ Executive Group by David Hansen, Director of Copyright and Scholarly Communications. Hansen’s new title will be Associate University Librarian for Research, Collections and Scholarly Communication. This model highlights a focus on the research lifecycle, from research/instruction to publication and access to scholarship, and also reflects a major theme of the Libraries’ strategic plan, Engage, Discover, Transform.

David Hansen

“Although we will clearly miss Bob, I am excited at the prospect of Dave’s leadership in this expanded role, and his participation in the Executive Group,” said Jakubs. “As the head of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications, Dave has forged important relationships with faculty across campus and reinforced the broad and essential role of the Libraries in the research and publication process. We will have the benefit of a smooth transition over the coming months.”

Hansen is a widely-read and respected expert on copyright and libraries. He has worked at Duke since November 2016. Since that time, Hansen and his staff have led efforts to increase Duke’s open access footprint and expand the accessibility of Duke faculty publications through Duke’s open access repository. Working with partners across campus, he has also helped to expand financial support for Duke researchers who wish to publish their work in open access journals. And he has been deeply involved in efforts to include rightsstatements.org metadata into digitized library collections in order to more clearly communicate the copyright status of library holdings. “Dave is a thoughtful, experienced, and committed leader who recognizes the complexity of the Libraries’ relationship with the university and the broader academic community,” Jakubs said.

Finally, Hansen and his staff have strengthened the Libraries’ role in campus copyright issues by developing the Copyright Consultants Program. The program provides copyright training for front-line library staff to better assess and resolve copyright questions in their interactions with faculty, students, and other researchers.  His office also oversees the Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute (SCI).

Prior to coming to Duke, Hansen served as Clinical Assistant Professor and Faculty Research Librarian at the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library at the University of North Carolina’s School of Law. He has also worked as a Digital Library Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law. A graduate of UNC-Charlotte’s Belk College of Business/Department of Economics, Hansen earned his JD and his MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Timothy M. McGeary

With the retirement of Robert Byrd and the promotion of Dracine Hodges and David Hansen to the Libraries’ Executive Group, one final leadership change will also take effect. Timothy M. McGeary, Associate University Librarian for Information Technology, will have a new title—Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Technology. Under McGeary’s leadership, the newly reorganized division of Digital Strategies and Technology will take on a broader engagement with Duke’s campus on digital strategies and the impact the Libraries have in areas such as user experience, research data and scholarship, digital preservation, open source library systems, strategic assessment of library data and services, and technology collaboration and governance.

The other members of the Libraries’ Executive Group include Ann Elsner, Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services; Tom Hadzor, Associate University Librarian for Development; and Naomi Nelson, Associate University Librarian and Director of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.