The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith announced Monday (Nov. 15) that Jason Byrd of New York will head the university’s Boreham Library beginning Jan. 18. At UAFS, the library director is a faculty member and the Boreham Library administrator. His annual salary will be $84,600.
Byrd is the associate dean of research and user engagement at Adelphi University Libraries in New York and has spent more than 12 years of working in libraries in higher education. As the dean of research and user engagement with Adelphi, he is responsible for leading strategic planning for the libraries, participating in the libraries’ operating budget, and building and maintaining relationships with student success centers and faculty development centers on campus.
Dr. Margaret Tanner, associate provost for academic affairs and director of graduate studies at UAFS, headed the search committee to fill the position left open by the retirement of Anne Liebst in September.
“I was pleased with the caliber of candidates in our search and am even more thrilled to have been able to bring Jason Byrd into the UAFS family,” said Tanner. “I believe he will be an excellent addition to the university community and will provide positive leadership in Boreham Library as we move the library forward.”
In his interviews, Byrd expressed commitment to many of the university’s core values, Tanner said, including creating inclusive spaces, supporting student success, and helping all students achieve academic excellence.
“He will be able to work with the library faculty and staff to refine their strategic plan and level of services on this campus,” she said.
The director of library services provides the overarching vision and strategic direction for the library in its mission to support and advance teaching, learning, and scholarship on campus, a news release said. The director supervises eight full-time employees including five full-time library faculty and three full-time staff members, and leads library efforts to support enrollment, retention, graduation, and overall student success.
“I am humbled to be the next director of the Boreham Library at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith,” Byrd said. “I met so many amazingly talented and dedicated people during my visit to campus, and I am honored to join this community. I am excited to continue the work of centering student learning as the focus of the library and to expand support for faculty scholarship and creative activities.”
Byrd has master’s degrees in history and library and information studies from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and completed the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.