By Noa Maltzman ’18, News Editor
Skidmore College recently announced that Marta Brunner would be the new college librarian. Brunner will be replacing Ruth Copans, who will be retiring this year. Copans has been at Skidmore since 1991 and has served as the college librarian for over a decade.
Brunner, who is originally a graduate of Goshen College in Goshen Indiana, is coming to Skidmore from the University of California Los Angles. Currently, she is the head of Collections, Research, and Instructional Services at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA.
Brunner was one of forty people who applied for the job. The search committee—made up of students, faculty, and staff—worked with Storbeck/Pimentel to conduct a national search and narrow down the list of forty candidates. Out of the forty candidates, ten were invited to do Skype interviews. “We spent more than an hour talking to each candidate,” said Linda Hall, professor of English and member of the search committee. Four of the ten candidates, including Brunner, were invited to campus this past December. Ultimately, of the four of them, the search committee choose Brunner to be the new librarian.
Everyone on the committee was looking for something different in the new librarian, but Sam Harris ’15, a student member on the committee, said that “it was clear that the new head librarian needed to be someone with a strong vision of where libraries and academia are going, someone who works very well managing others, and someone who really fits into our very specific community.”
Bringing a student perspective to the committee, Harris said that he and Shannon Keane '15 “were focused on finding someone who prioritized student involvement in the direction of the library, as well as someone who was invested in student research. The library is an incredible resource, and we wanted someone who wanted to help students utilize the library in the best way possible.”
Copans had the unique opportunity of meeting one-on-one with each of the four candidates who were brought to campus, and when asked if she had any advice for Brunner she said, “I guess my one piece of advice would be to take whatever time she needs to understand the local culture, and what our students, faculty, and staff expect of the library.”
Though Brunner is coming “from a large university system, she has a keen interest in the digital humanities that will serve her well at Skidmore,” said Bill Duffy, the Chief Technology Officer.
“Despite my rewarding experiences at UCLA and other large universities over the past fifteen years or so, the prospect of continuing my career at Skidmore College feels like coming home for me,” said Brunner in her cover letter. Brunner will officially be joining the Skidmore community in July. “Marta has some rather large shoes to fill, though everyone on the search committee is confident in her ability to even exceed our expectations,” said Harris.