The University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Library Consortium is pleased to announce the hiring of its first Executive Director, Charles "Chuck" Thomas. He comes to the consortium with an extensive background in academic libraries and consortial services, and brings an expert knowledge of both the challenges facing today's academic libraries and emerging innovative responses to those challenges. He gained much of this knowledge working for the past five years as a program officer managing the largest competitive grants program offered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the federal government's primary source of support for libraries and museums across the U.S.
Before joining IMLS, he worked for nearly twenty years in positions of increasing responsibility within college and university libraries at institutions such as Duke University, Louisiana State University, the University of Minnesota, and Florida State University, and for a statewide consortium that centrally managed library technology infrastructure for the ten institutions of Florida's state university system.
With specializations in archives administration, library technology, and building digital libraries, Chuck has played an important role in recent years as a primary IMLS liaison with groups such as the National Academy of Science's Board on Research Data and Information, the Interagency Working Group on Digital Data, and on international initiatives such as the Digging Into Data Challenge. He served previously in leadership and governance positions within multiple statewide and regional library and archives collaborations and consortia, and led a statewide archives training program that was recognized for superior outcomes.
He earned his baccalaureate degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, a Master's degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has completed all doctoral coursework and comprehensive exams in pursuit of a Ph.D. from Florida State University's College of Information. His primary areas of research interest are changing modes of scholarly communication, and evaluation frameworks for the digital services and infrastructure enabling those changes.
Thomas will be headquartered in the USM system offices in Adelphi, MD, as of April, 2013.
University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) is a consortium of 16 libraries at the public universities and colleges in the State of Maryland. Our mission is to provide unified, cost effective and creative approaches to the acquisition and sharing of information and knowledge resources across the 16 libraries. We support the shared mission of our member campuses to contribute to the intellectual and cultural growth of our students, faculty and staff.
USMAI maximizes resources through a robust patron-initiated borrowing program, a shared integrated library system and discovery layer, and consortial licensing of database and e-journal subscriptions. Our services are supported by the ExLibris products, ALEPH, MetaLib, and SFX.
The consortium is governed by the Council of Library Directors, which consists of the Director of each member library. This body develops policies, guidelines, and strategic directions for the consortium. Management and administration of the consortium is coordinated by the University of Maryland Libraries Information Technology Division, located on the College Park campus.