Joint Introduction

Tuesday, June 16, 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Sarah E. Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • James L. Mullins, Dean of Libraries and Esther Ellis Norton Professor, Purdue University


Sarah E. Thomas

Sarah Thomas joined Harvard as vice president for the Harvard Library in August 2013. In this role, she has overall responsibility for the Harvard Library in close collaboration with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team. She also serves as the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Thomas previously served as Bodley’s Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries—the first woman and non-British citizen to hold the position—as well as pro-vice-chancellor and member of the faculty of modern languages at the University of Oxford. Previous to Oxford, Thomas was the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell. She served as the president of the Association of Research Libraries, and also held posts at the Library of Congress, where she led in the establishment of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, the National Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries Group at Stanford University and Harvard’s Widener Library, among other positions. She also served on the Harvard University Library Overseers’ Committee and is currently a member of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Board, the Oxford Limited Board, the Research Libraries UK Board, the Smith College President’s Council and the University of Cambridge Board of Electors for the University Libraries. She is a member of the Grolier Club and a life member of the American Library Association. Read more.


James L. Mullins

Purdue's dean of libraries, James L. Mullins, has over 35 years of library experience. He came to Purdue in 2004 from MIT, where he was associate director for administration. Prior to MIT he held senior administrative positions at Indiana University and Villanova University. He received BA and MALS degrees from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Indiana University.

Mullins has served in leadership positions within the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and is a member of the ARL board of directors and is chair of the e-Science Working Group. He serves on the editorial board of College and Research Libraries. He is also on the board of directors of the Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI), Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries (IATUL), and Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and is a delegate to the Science and Technology Section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). He was a signatory on behalf of Purdue University to the formation of DataCite in December 2009, the international consortium to assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to datasets for citation. Mullins has been a member of the IFLA Science and Technology Section since 2009, and prior to that was a member of the Marketing and Management Section (M& M) of IFLA. Read more.

Watch the panel on Harvard University’s YouTube channel