Vivian Lewis appointed University Librarian

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Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode
Photograph of University Librarian Vivian Lewis

Vivian Lewis, who brings over two decades’ experience in McMaster’s libraries, is the new University Librarian. The appointment follows a global search to fill the vacant position.

“Vivian is a highly-regarded academic librarian and a sought-after expert in strategic planning, library assessment and information literacy who couples her deep knowledge of McMaster with a long-standing commitment to our students, faculty and staff,” says David Wilkinson, McMaster’s provost and vice-president Academic. “A vibrant and robust library is an essential part of our overall success and we are fortunate to have Vivian leading our accomplished team in the Library.”

Lewis first came to McMaster in 1991 as a government information specialist.  She assumed the role of Associate University Librarian in 2003. For the past year, she has served as Acting University Librarian.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Western University, a master's in Canadian History from York University, and a master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Academic Librarians, the Frye Leadership Institute and the ARL Research Library Leadership Fellows programme. She is a former President of the Ontario College and University Library Association. In June, Lewis became the incoming President of the Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Art, Literature and Science, one of Canada’s oldest cultural organizations.

“It is a distinct privilege to be entrusted with this responsibility,” Lewis says. “McMaster is one of the world’s leading research-focused student centred universities. Our Library is central to the successful realization of McMaster’s mission to provide the highest quality education for students while facilitating ground breaking research and discovery.”

Lewis led the highly-successful design, implementation and launch of McMaster’s award-winning Mills Learning Commons. Identifying ways of effectively leveraging technology to aid in learning, teaching and research are key priorities for the new Librarian.

Supporting scholarship in its many forms is also a key interest.  Lewis is currently co-principal investigator on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to explore the knowledge and competencies required to support digital scholarship on university campuses in an international context.

“These are exciting times for the highly-skilled team in the library as we continue to identify new ways of utilizing technology and digital platforms to help advance McMaster’s teaching, learning and research. I look forward to working with the campus community to build on the progress we’ve made together.”