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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: April 25, 2000

UI names Nancy L. Baker as new UI librarian

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa has named Nancy L. Baker the next UI librarian to lead the UI's main and 11 branch libraries, effective Aug. 15.

Baker has been director of libraries at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. since 1991. There she led the overall administration of operations and personnel at 11 libraries, including branch libraries in Spokane, Vancouver, Olympia, and the Tri-Cities area of south central Washington.

Prior to becoming director, Baker was associate director of Libraries for Public Services, University of Washington-Seattle from 1984 to 1991. As associate director, she was responsible for the major services units in the Suzzallo Allen (Main) and Odegaard Undergraduate Libraries, and personnel consisting of 36 librarians and 54 staff.

Baker is associated with several professional library organizations, including the Association of Research Libraries, the Coalition for Networked Information, and has been a planning committee member for the Center for Research Libraries. She is also an active member of the American Library Association and has served as the chair of the University Libraries Section.

Baker has published in a number of publications, including the "A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students: English and American Literature," Fifth Edition, which she co-authored with Nancy Huling, and is due out later this year by the Modern Language Association of America.

University of Iowa Provost Jon Whitmore said Baker comes to the UI with 27 years of experience in library science and administration, including excellent leadership experience, which has spanned nearly a decade at Washington State University.

"As the new UI librarian, Nancy will continue to direct an already well-regarded library system. She brings to the UI an outstanding combination of management ability, library science experience and ideas that will benefit students' learning and the UI campus community," Whitmore said.

Baker said she is pleased to have been named the next UI librarian.

"I'm delighted to have been appointed university librarian and to have this opportunity to work with the University of Iowa community to build on the many existing strengths of your library programs. Iowa has distinguished itself by its creative use of technology and excellent collections.

"When I visited the university campus, I felt that UI was an excellent match for me."

Baker received a master of arts in library science degree in 1973 from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a master of arts in English literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton, N.Y. in 1978. She also earned a graduate certificate in public administration from the University of Utah-Salt Lake City in 1983 and a bachelor of arts in English (with honors) from the University of Connecticut in 1972.

Baker has taught at the University of Washington Graduate School of Library and Information Science in the Library Management Continuing Education Certificate Program. She's also taught at the University of Kentucky College of Library Science, and at the State University of New York, Binghamton.

Publicly, she has presented papers at various forums, including meetings of the Association of Research Libraries and a number of annual conferences of the American Library Association.

The UI libraries system consists of a main and 11 departmental branch libraries, excluding the independently operated UI College of Law Library. The main and 11 libraries contain more than 3.5 million volumes. The UI libraries make up the largest library system in Iowa and is among 109 research libraries in the United States and Canada. The system ranks 27 in number of volumes held and 35 in expenditures for library materials.

Baker's appointment concludes a nearly year-long national search to replace Sheila Creth, former UI librarian, who resigned in December 1999 to start a consulting business in the Iowa City area. Barbara Dewey, director, Information and Research Services, has served as interim university librarian since January 2000.