Selection of Dr. K. Matthew Dames as Boston University Librarian

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Last fall, we launched a national search for a new Boston University Librarian to succeed Robert Hudson, who is retiring from the University after more than 40 years of service. Following a competitive search process, President Brown and I are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. K. Matthew Dames as the next Boston University Librarian, effective July 1, 2018.  

Dr. Dames comes to BU from Georgetown University, where he has served as Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Services since April 2016. In this role, he has overseen curating use, placement, and access strategies for the library’s 3.8 million volume principal research collection, stewarded a sizable segment of the university’s library staff and $29M budget, and represented the university library both internally and in national, regional and local associations and consortia. A nationally-recognized scholar in copyright law and innovator in library sciences, Dr. Dames has led his library’s large-scale digitization of archival materials chronicling Georgetown’s history with slavery, while driving additional key initiatives aimed at modernizing, preserving, and archiving the university’s collections.  

Prior to Georgetown, Dr. Dames spent eight years at Syracuse University, initially as the founding director of the Copyright and Information Policy Office, then as Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, and finally as Interim Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. While at Syracuse, he launched new digital preservation programs and led the establishment of a library student employee scholarship fund, as well as a fund to develop new library spaces and services.

Dr. Dames is a graduate of City University of New York, Bernard M. Baruch College. He received his Master of Science, Library & Information Science from Syracuse and holds a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and a PhD in information studies from Syracuse. He has received or served as a replacement principal investigator on six grants and awards, published over 60 articles, presented more than 70 conference sessions and lectures, and provided federal testimony in response to a U.S. Copyright office inquiry into the desirability and means of bringing sound recordings fixed before 1972 under federal jurisdiction.

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Dames to Boston University. He brings exceptional capability in the leadership and management of elite research institution libraries, as well as deep experience in the field of copyright and intellectual property. In an age of digital transformation, he brings enormous energy and expertise in the modernizing of collections, resources, and services and in the development of library staff in emerging areas.

Following extensive conversations with Dr. Dames, we strongly believe that his scholarly and professional portfolio, track record of leading collaborations within universities, and strategic vision for advancing innovation and enhanced value are an ideal fit for the BU Library as it looks excitedly to the future. We are confident that under his leadership, the library will play an essential role in the production, publication, and preservation of new knowledge and as a focal point of the student and faculty experience for many years to come.

I want to thank you for your support and engagement with the search process and to recognize the members of the Search Advisory Committee, including Tracy Schroeder, Vice President for Information Services & Technology, who served as chair.  Please join us in welcoming Dr. Dames to Boston University.  

Cc:     Robert A. Brown
           Provost’s Cabinet

Boston University Librarian Search Advisory Committee


Tracy Schroeder, Vice President for Information Services & Technology


Daniel Abramson, Director of Architectural Studies; and Professor, Department of History of Art & Architecture, College of Arts & Sciences

John Baillieul, Distinguished Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Division of Systems Engineering, College of Engineering

Anita DeStefano, Professor, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health; and Professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine
Jeffrey Henderson, William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Greek Language and Literature, Department of Classical Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Susan Mizruchi, Director, BU Center for the Humanities; William Arrowsmith Professor of the Humanities; and Professor, Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences

Fallou Ngom, Director, African Language Program; and Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences

James Traniello, Professor, Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Rachana Vajjhala, Assistant Professor of Music, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, School of Music, College of Fine Arts

Ronald Wheeler, Jr., Director, Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries; and Associate Professor of Law and Legal Research, School of Law

Catherine Yeh, Professor of Chinese & Comparative Literature, Department of World Languages & Literatures, College of Arts & Sciences

Vika Zafrin, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Mugar Memorial Library

Selection Dr. K. Matthew Dames as Boston University Librarian – 5.15.18