KT Vaughan Named Hal F. and Barbra Buckner Higginbotham University Librarian at Washington and Lee
KT Vaughan, associate dean of libraries at James Madison University, has been named Hal F. and Barbra Buckner Higginbotham University Librarian at Washington and Lee University.
Vaughan holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University, a master’s degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate from Arizona State University. She succeeds John Tombarge, who will step down on June 30 after serving in the role for seven years.
W&L Provost Marc Conner announced the appointment, which follows an extensive national search chaired by Owen Collins, professor of theater.
“I am excited for KT to join Washington and Lee as our university librarian,” said Collins. “We have libraries filled with excellent faculty and staff, and she is the ideal candidate to lead them forward. KT brings a knowledge of the diverse range of issues associated with the library sciences, including facilities, subject liaisons and collections. Deeply committed to serving the needs of faculty and students, she will thrive at W&L.”
“W&L’s library has so many great programs that support the university mission – including the Digital Culture and Information and Special Collections programs, collaborative partnerships with academic technology and CARPE, and well-loved spaces for study and engagement,” said Vaughan. “I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and students at W&L, and to leading the next phase of the library’s long history at such a great institution.”
Vaughan worked as a libraries fellow at North Carolina State University and as pharmacy librarian and clinical professor of pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined James Madison as director of Rose Library in 2013, becoming director of research and education services in 2016 and acting associate dean of libraries and educational technologies that same year. She assumed the role full time in 2017.
As associate dean, Vaughan serves as a member of the Dean’s Executive Council and contributes to strategic planning, policy and partnership development; resource allocation and prioritization; and program development. She manages a unit of 50 full-time faculty and staff and over 25 student workers in the Metadata Strategies, Music Library, Public Services, Outreach and Partnerships, Research and Education Services, and Scholarly Resources and Discovery departments, in addition to overseeing public and staff facilities and spaces.
She is a member of the JMU Accessibility Committee. She helped found the Libraries’ Alternative Summer Break/Academic Library Summer Internship Committee and Student Athlete Interest Group, and served on JMU’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee and Research and Scholarship Task Force. Vaughan is an active member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), currently serving on the Josey Spectrum Scholarship Mentor Committee, the ACRL 2021 Conference Scholarships Committee, and the ACRL/LLAMA Interdivisional Academic Library Facilities Survey Editorial Board.
Vaughan has participated in the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Libraries, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s U-LEAD: University Leadership Education and Development program, and the Triangle Research Libraries Network Management Academy on the Business of Libraries. She is a past winner of the Medical Library Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award for Professional Excellence by a Health Sciences Librarian and two awards from the Association for Information Science and Technology: the Watson Davis Award for career service and James M. Cretsos Leadership Award for early career leadership. She is a member of Beta Phi Mu International Library and Information Science Honor Society.
Her research interests focus on asking questions about – and driving change in – the future of libraries. She is currently focused on building inclusive and equitable library environments for people with disabilities, scholarly and digital communication in resource-constrained contexts, and the career advancement and professionalism of library staff and faculty. Her recent dissertation, “Building an Inclusive Library through Staff Accessibility Training,” is available via the JMU and Arizona State University institutional repositories. A member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Librarians, and the Virginia Library Association, she is the author of numerous articles in professional journals and has presented her work at conferences around the country.
“KT Vaughan brings impressive leadership and curatorial experience to the role of University Librarian,” said Conner. “She has an energy and collaborative zeal that will fit in perfectly with the W&L library and W&L as a whole. We look forward to KT’s leadership as the library continues to move forward in the 21st century in delivering and supporting the university’s teaching and learning mission.”
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