Will Also Direct the Sheridan Libraries
Winston Tabb, who has had general oversight for all services and programs at the Library of Congress since 1995 and is widely known and well-regarded among librarians nationally and internationally, has been named dean of university libraries and director of the Sheridan Libraries at The Johns Hopkins University.
Tabb was the clear choice of the search committee that conducted a nationwide search after the former dean, James Neal, left last year for Columbia University. "We knew it would be a challenge to find another national leader to follow in the footsteps of Jim Neal, but the search committee has succeeded brilliantly in that task," Provost Steven Knapp said. "Winston Tabb is ideally suited to the task of balancing technological innovation with the key traditional mission of service to our faculty and students."
As associate librarian at the Library of Congress since 1995, Tabb has overseen 53 divisions and offices and managed more than 2,400 employees, while overseeing cataloging, circulation, the reading rooms, special collections, archives, preservation and the presentation of digital materials online.
"I'm very excited about this, because I've worked my entire career thus far at a very different kind of library, a national library, a large library and a government library," Tabb said. "I think one of the things that will be extremely different is there is a very clear user community," he said, adding that he's looking forward to managing a library system with a "very clear and focused mission."
Initially, Tabb said, his mission at Hopkins will simply be to really get to know his colleagues and support them. "This is one thing I think I've been very good at--I like working with people."
Tabb said he's especially interested in learning about Hopkins' digital collection and preservation efforts and will be looking for opportunity for synergies. He also said he has a special interest in rare books and manuscripts.
Born and raised in Tulsa, Okla., Tabb graduated from the Oklahoma Baptist University and went to Harvard as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, earning a master's degree before serving as an instructor in English in Thailand in the U.S. Army. He earned his library science degree from Simmons College in 1972 and was chosen as one of six outstanding library school graduates recruited to join the professional staff of the Library of Congress.
"While I've been here 30 years, I've had 13 jobs," said Tabb. "That's the reason I've been able to be satisfied for so long."
A self-described workaholic, Tabb has a soft touch personally and is described as a diplomat with outstanding people skills and a great sense of humor. He also has a voracious curiosity that led him to work in all three of the Library of Congress's branches: Copyright, Congressional and the National Library.
"When you think of his portfolio, it's so broad," said Sara Thomas, university librarian at Cornell University, and a former colleague of Tabb's from the Library of Congress. "It covers the collections, those wonderful, rich collections. And yet he would be knowledgeable about authors and artists. And at the same time, he's knowledgeable about preservation techniques and about digitization. So he has this enormous breadth of knowledge."
In addition to his work at the Library of Congress, Tabb has served on a variety of national and international professional library associations, including the Association of Research Libraries.
He begins work at Johns Hopkins on Sept. 1.
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