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Announcing Emerson’s New Executive Director, Library and Learning

Dear Emerson Community,


McGrath headshot
Cheryl McGrath

I am delighted to announce that Cheryl McGrath, Director of MacPhaidin Library and the Collaboratory for Innovative Design at Stonehill College, has accepted the position of Executive Director, Library and Learning at Emerson College.  She will begin at Emerson on July 1.

Since 2012, she has served as the Director of MacPhaidin Library at Stonehill College, where she led the library team in adding more than 50 new systems, services, and collections. Under her leadership, the library was awarded over $500,000 in grants to renovate the library’s Discovery and Collaboration Space (The DisCo) and the Digital Innovation Lab. She also guided the Library’s strategic planning process, resulting in the reimagining of the MacPhaidin Library’s curriculum to address the ARCL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.  Librarian-created guides for the Frameworks-based Information Skills training used in The DisCo have been implemented in colleges across the country. As Director of the Collaboratory for Innovative Design, she has guided the development of the Digital and Information Skills curriculum for first-year students and faculty-focused programs that were recorded for WGBH radio stories.

Cheryl’s previous experience also includes her work from 2007-2012 as the Head of Access Services for the Widener and Lamont libraries of Harvard College Library. While at Harvard, she provided direction and vision for the reorganization of her department and collaborated in the development of the Research, Teaching, and Learning division of the Harvard College Library. Cheryl’s software developed through Harvard’s Library lab was created to maximize patron access and experiences and is in place at several academic libraries.

Before joining the Harvard College Library, McGrath held the position of Head of Access Services and Senior Librarian at Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR), where she is also remembered as a creative and forward-thinking colleague.

Cheryl began her career at Emerson, where she helped move the library to its current location and piloted the textbooks on Reserves program.  Cheryl holds degrees from St. Petersburg College, the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MFA from Emerson College, and an MLIS from San Jose State University. When not in the library, Cheryl loves swimming and kayaking in Florida’s natural springs.

I want to thank the search committee who worked tirelessly to bring Cheryl to our campus: Dean Amy Ansell (chair), Brenna McCormick (chair of Library and Technology Committee), Yu-jin Chang (Asst. Dean SOA), Lu Ann Reeb (Asst. Dean SOC), Eric Schaefer (VMA), Beth Joress (Library), and Patti Ambrosia (Academic Affairs).

Michaele Whelan
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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