Yolanda Cooper has been appointed Emory University Librarian, a recently redefined role heading the Robert W. Woodruff Library and its affiliate branches. She will begin in this position Jan. 15.

Cooper is leaving her role as dean and university librarian at the University of Miami to join Emory, where she will handle areas of content, services, scholarly communication, external affairs and library administration, according to an Oct. 3 University press release. The oversight of the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Books Library (MARBL) also falls under her jurisdiction.

Rich Mendola, enterprise chief information officer and senior vice provost of library services and digital scholarship, said in the press release that the new role will include working with library governance groups, implementing operational plans for the libraries and articulating ways library services, digital scholarship and informational technology can all come together.

Both Mendola and Cooper could not be reached by press time.

Cooper brings with her 25 years of library administration experience, according to her staff profile on the University of Miami Libraries website. The website also states that she holds a Bachelor’s in General Studies (B.G.S.) degree and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) degree from Indiana University.

The selection of Cooper for this position was the result of a national search that was headed by Michael Elliott, senior associate dean for faculty in Emory College.

Cooper was a standout in the field of candidates, Elliott said in the release. Cooper stood out because of her “experience, leadership qualities and enthusiasm for our new direction,” Mendola said in the press release. “I am very excited she will be joining Emory and my leadership team.”

The experience Mendola mentioned spans a wide range of library administration, including research library systems, programming and operations, according to Cooper’s website.

Cooper is affiliated with a number of national library associations, including the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Society of American Archivists (SAA), according to the website.

Mendola’s redefinition of the University Librarian role emerges from his vision as the new vice provost of library services of merging library services with technology and information, according to a Jan. 13 University press release.

“An increasing proportion of resources is being targeted at innovative applications and process improvements to support excellence in Emory’s core missions,” the press release states. “[The appointment of Mendola] is a move that reflects the increasingly close relationship between digital technologies and research libraries.”

Mendola said in the Oct. 3 press release that he is confident in Cooper as well as the future of the Emory libraries system.

“I think we have found the ideal candidate to lead the Emory libraries,” Mendola said in the press release. “[Cooper] is well positioned to take on this important role.”

– By Stephen Fowler