VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has announced the appointment of Millicent Gaskell as University Librarian and Director of the Falvey Memorial Library, effective May 29, 2015. This key appointment, the result of an extensive national search, will enable Villanova to build upon Falvey Memorial Library’s impressive legacy as a cornerstone of learning at the University.
Ms. Gaskell comes to Villanova with broad experience in both higher education and the private sector. For the past 10 years, she held a number of leadership roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Most recently, Ms. Gaskell served as Department Head of Collections Strategy and Management, with oversight of collection development, analysis, acquisitions and metadata and had responsibility for MIT’s $10M collections budget and a 36-member staff. She was honored twice at MIT for outstanding communication and collaboration, as well as for innovation and creativity.
“We are pleased to welcome Millicent Gaskell to Villanova University and to this important position at Falvey Memorial Library,” said the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Ms. Gaskell brings to Villanova a thorough knowledge of current and future technological trends impacting library and information services, as well as extensive experience in implementing digital content management initiatives.”
Falvey Memorial Library plays a central role in ensuring the interdependence of teaching, research and scholarship at Villanova. As University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library, Ms. Gaskell will oversee a facility that supports research and scholarly activities for faculty and students. Its collections include 1.68 million items with 551,236 stack items, 35,297 electronic journals, and 3,596 print journals. In addition, its digital library initiative assembles, presents and preserves digital collections that support the teaching and research of the campus and the global community of scholars. Gaskell will oversee a staff of 50 employees at Falvey Memorial Library, including the University Archivist and software development programmers.
“The academic library of the future should be creative and agile as pedagogy continues to evolve,” said Gaskell. “The academic library needs to ensure the long-term preservation of scholarship. We should lead not only in preserving collections, but also in improving the discoverability of these collections. Libraries must engage with faculty, students, and administrators to ensure that the community has the information resources, services, spaces, and tools required in a rapidly changing educational environment.”
Prior to her tenure at MIT, Ms. Gaskell served as Librarian, Senior Librarian and then Manager of Information Services during a 10-year career at QVC. Previously, as Environmental Information Specialist at the South Jersey Environmental Information Center, she built the only public environmental collection and research service in New Jersey. Gaskell earlier served as Paralibrarian for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. Gaskell earned a Master’s of Science in Information Science and Technology from Drexel University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Ursinus College.
“Ms. Gaskell’s unique background and expertise will allow Villanova to not only build upon the Library’s national recognition by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Award for Excellence 2013, but also to successfully position the institution for the future,” Fr. Ellis added.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.