Message from University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks on her departure from Carolina

March 4, 2022

Portrait of Elaine Westbrooks in the Fearrington Reading Room

Dear members of the Carolina community:

As Chancellor Guskiewicz has announced, I will be leaving Chapel Hill effective May 31 to become the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University.

These last five years as Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian have been some of the fullest and most energizing of my career.

I have always believed that UNC-Chapel Hill’s libraries have what it takes to set the standard for the public research library in the digital age. This age has certainly been beset by challenges, but one of the remarkable things about Carolina is our commitment to tackling those challenges for the greater good.

You should know that Carolina’s libraries are considered a national leader in the transition to open access and sustainable scholarship. This is not something we take on for its own sake. Rather, it is the path to ensuring that the world-changing research that happens on our campus can reach its largest audience and have its fullest impact without breaking higher education budgets.

The University Libraries’ Reckoning initiative is an exemplar in the profession and has led to deep and lasting change as we strive to become a more inclusive and more just organization. The work we do here creates a better library experience for Carolina’s faculty, students, staff and clinicians today and ensures that tomorrow’s library will be even better positioned to meet the needs of a vibrant, diverse, and evolving society. I could not be more proud of the work the Library’s staff has done in this regard.

María Estorino, associate University librarian for special collections, will be assuming the responsibilities of interim University librarian effective upon my departure. María is already working closely with me to prepare for a smooth transition. We would both be happy to answer questions that you may have. I look forward to staying in touch with Carolina.


Elaine L. Westbrooks

Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian

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