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Distributed May 16, 2005
Contact Tracie Sweeney

Harriette Hemmasi Will Join Brown University as University Librarian

Harriette Hemmasi, executive associate dean of libraries at Indiana University–Bloomington, will become the Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University. Hemmasi will oversee the six libraries in the University library system and will provide leadership in supporting the University’s Plan for Academic Enrichment.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Harriette Hemmasi, executive associate dean of libraries at Indiana University at Bloomington, will join Brown University in the early fall of 2005 as the Joukowsky Family University Librarian. Brown Provost Robert J. Zimmer announced Hemmasi’s appointment on Monday, May 16, 2005.


As University Librarian, Hemmasi will oversee the five libraries in Brown University’s library system and will provide leadership in supporting the University’s Plan for Academic Enrichment.

“In her tenure at Indiana University, Harriette worked effectively across organizational boundaries, building a strong sense of cohesion and cooperation among library staff,” Zimmer said. “She is a strong proponent of integrating digital library activities into the teaching, learning and research environment. We look forward to the valuable contributions she will make to the University.”

Hemmasi said her primary objective at Brown “will be to translate the University’s goals and directions, especially those outlined in the Plan for Academic Enrichment, into actions for the Library. I also hope to build bridges between digital library initiatives and the broader set of campus technologies; to establish the Library and its staff as active partners in the teaching, learning and research processes; and to contribute to the growing body of open access and specialized teaching and research materials by digitizing select signature collections held in the Brown University Libraries.”

As executive associate dean of libraries at Indiana University since February 2003, Hemmasi has provided oversight for collection development, preservation, public services, technical services and operations of the 16 libraries on the Bloomington campus. She previously was associate dean of libraries and director of technical services, with responsibilities for the arts, humanities and social science libraries on the Bloomington campus. She also served as interim associate university librarian for technical and automated services at Rutgers University (1998-2000) and music librarian at Rutgers (1989-1998).

Hemmasi received her master’s in library and information science from the University of California–Berkeley, a master’s in music from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s in music from Baylor University. She lived in Iran and taught music at Shiraz University from 1971-80.

While at Indiana University, Hemmasi maintained her research interests in online access to music and information about music by participating as an investigator in a research project called “Variations2 – Digital Music Library at I.U.” She has written several papers and given numerous national and international presentations on music metadata, the creation of a music thesaurus, and issues related to form and genre access to music.

The Brown University Library, founded with the University in 1764, is one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished research libraries. The library system contains more than 6 million items, including bound volumes, periodicals, maps, sheet music, digital objects and manuscripts. The number of items grows by more than 100,000 each year. The system includes:

  • the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Brown’s primary humanities and social sciences resource center. The Rockefeller is also the home of the Library’s Center for Digital Initiatives, an ambitious program to produce digital materials for use in research and teaching, based on the Library’s unique resources;
  • the Sciences Library, housing the University’s collection of science and medical information resources as well as the Media Services facility;
  • the John Hay Library, housing special collections, including rare books, manuscripts, and the University Archives;
  • the Orwig Music Library;
  • the Art Slide Library.

The Library has 65 professional, managerial and technical staff, and includes 86 unionized support staff; its budget is more than $17 million annually. Brown University Library is an active member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Boston Library Consortium, the Consortium of Rhode Island Academic and Research Libraries, HELIN (a consortium of nine academic libraries in Rhode Island), the Center for Research Libraries, and participates in several shared resource agreements.

Hemmasi succeeds Merrily Taylor, who last spring accepted the position of university librarian for Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.


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