The Library of Congress announced today the appointment of Hannah Sommers as the new Associate Librarian for Researcher and Collections Services in the Library Collections and Services Group. In this role, Sommers will lead the future of the Library's collections and the services it delivers to researchers and users. She will be central to realizing the Library's aspiration to be not only the world's largest, but also the world's most-used library.
"As Associate Librarian, Hannah will bring clear vision, deep expertise and a strong record of accomplishment as a leader," said Robin Dale, deputy librarian for Library Collections and Services. "From her previous positions, she has extensive experience in mobilizing diverse teams, strong agile thinking and project management, and fostering collaboration to increase representation, improve access, create inclusion and broaden the reach and impact of research collections for diverse user groups."
Sommers is currently the senior associate dean and deputy university librarian at the George Washington University Libraries and Academic Innovation. She will assume her new duties at the Library of Congress on Feb. 27. At GW since 2015, Sommers has a wide portfolio of work that includes advising the dean on strategic direction to help GW advance in its research and learning missions and demonstrate its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion more fully.
Sommers' current management portfolio includes research services (collections strategy), resource description and scholarly technology. Overall, she provides leadership in the planning and development of services within a management portfolio that enables the GW community to acquire, explore, create and discover information in new ways, manage research data and serve the research and learning enterprises across all campus locations.
"I am inspired by the unparalleled opportunity to lead Researcher and Collections Services for the benefit of the American people now and in the future," Sommers said. "I think a lot about the opportunity to enable access to the human stories, in all their dimensions and diversity, that make up our cultural record, and what a privilege and awesome responsibility that is. To me, the story of our stewardship matters too — being mindful of the perspectives we bring to our work, of those we welcome into the field, and the learning and sometimes re-learning we do each day."
Before her tenure at the George Washington University, Sommers was the program director for research, archives and data strategy at NPR. From 2004 to 2015, Sommers worked in several positions at NPR where she helped fundamentally shape and manage the implementation of NPR's first digital archive to not only preserve NPR digital assets, but to make sure that music and archived stories were easily accessible to journalists and others who need them. As a part of her work at NPR, she was the co-author of a multiple-year plan for digital stewardship strategy and advised NPR executives in strategies to increase use of NPR digital stories and preserve NPR digital assets.
Prior to NPR, Sommers held several researcher and reference-related positions within special libraries. She earned undergraduate degrees in English and Natural Science at Goshen College and an MLIS degree at the University of Texas at Austin. She brings to the Library a lengthy record of professional publications, presentations, projects and community engagement that have focused on the "people dimensions" of organizational evolution and digital transformation.
The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.