Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Martha Whitehead is Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In this role, Martha leads a library network of more than 25 libraries employing more than 700 staff. Martha joined Harvard University in June 2019 from Queen’s University, where she served most recently as Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) and University Librarian. She was appointed University Librarian in 2012. Prior to joining Queen’s University as Associate University Librarian in 2004, Martha held various positions at the University of British Columbia Library for 19 years, including head of its information services division from 1997 to 2004. Martha holds a BA in English and an MLS from the University of British Columbia.
As a library leader, Martha has worked to ensure that research libraries are deeply embedded in their teaching, learning and research communities, and that they are deeply engaged in developing an open, sustainable, global knowledge commons for the benefit of those communities and society as a whole. Martha has a long history of service, with active engagement in regional, national, and international initiatives to advance digital research infrastructure and open scholarly communications. She currently serves as chair of the Executive Board of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), an international association with 156 members and partners from around the world. She is also chair of the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC) and is a member of the Board of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. In past roles, Martha has served as president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), and chair of numerous groups: Canada’s National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Steering Committee, CARL’s Policy Committee, CARL’s Open Repositories Working Group, the Executive Committee of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and the Executive Committee of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure, and the Programs and Quality Committee of the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Martha played a lead role in the development of Portage, a research data management network launched in 2015 by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries in collaboration with other research stakeholders. In 2019, Martha was awarded the CARL Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship Award.