Winston Tabb, longtime Dean of Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins, announces his intention to retire

Winston Tabb, who served as Sheridan Dean of Academic Libraries, Archives and Museums at Johns Hopkins University since September 2002 as part of a distinguished career in libraries that spanned five decades, plans to retire l next year, JHU President Ron Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar announced today in a message to the university community.

Legend: Winston Tabb

Picture credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Tabb will remain at Johns Hopkins until a successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition, Daniels and Kumar wrote. The university is forming a search committee to identify a new leader for libraries.

“Please join us in thanking Winston for his service to all academics who use the resources in our library,” Daniels and Kumar wrote. “His membership and management of new projects and his deep commitment to sharing information, history and public art with the academic community and beyond have had a tremendous impact on Johns Hopkins and those we serve. “

In his role, Tabb, who joined Johns Hopkins after a 30-year career with the Library of Congress, oversees library services at the five Sheridan Libraries and coordinates library services provided by all schools in the university through the through the Council of University Library Directors, which he created and chairs. He is also Director of the two historic Johns Hopkins House Museums, Homewood Museum and Evergreen Museum & Library.

Early in his tenure at Johns Hopkins, Tabb led the unification of several large library systems into one system to provide better and more transparent service to all users of the institution’s library. He also set up the libraries to operate more efficiently and economically by sharing all electronic resources in one university.

He led the adoption of JHU’s first “open access” policy, supported the development of the PASS (public access submission system) to simplify compliance for JHU authors, and worked with faculty from the university to develop a JHU-wide open scholarship proposal. Committee. He also oversaw the creation of the first Open Source Programs Office, or OSPO, at an American university.

“When I think of Winston, a number of his great qualities come to mind,” said Chris Celenza, dean of the university’s Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. “First, he’s a leader who trusts others and emancipates others. Recognizing the value of even a nascent project, he gets the best out of people and helps things happen.”

Celenza also noted that an enduring part of Tabb’s legacy is his efforts to build the university’s special collections and to acquire, in partnership with many friends of the library, dozens of important research collections.

“Especially in today’s environment, with electronic resources and rapid interlibrary loan systems erasing some of the traditionally focused differentiators on collection size between libraries, it is really the special collections that make a library unique,” ​​said Celenza. “Winston understood this early on, and he led some fantastic acquisitions.”

Tabb was also instrumental in planning the construction of several large library projects, including the Brody Learning Commons, the Library Services Center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, and renovations to the George Peabody Library and the Hutzler Reading Room. . He is currently leading planning efforts for a renovation of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library on the Homewood Campus and a new JHU Library in the 555 Penn Building in Washington, DC, as JHU Libraries look to the future of the service. in a changing information landscape. .

Winston Tabb with laptop and stack of books in construction footprint

Legend: Winston Tabb is pictured in the footprint of the construction of the future Brody Learning Commons in this photo from December 2010.

Picture credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

As chairman of the university’s Art Review Panel, Tabb has overseen the acquisition of artwork on campus over the years. He has also worked with community groups to support internships, educational opportunities and improving public access to information.

Tabb was joined in his commitment to Johns Hopkins Libraries by his wife Marilyn, who was twice elected President of the Johns Hopkins Woman’s Club and also served for many years as a volunteer at the Barclay School Library.

Tabb is a past president of the Association of Research Libraries and also sits on numerous boards of trustees, most notably as the official representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions to the World Intellectual Property Organization. in Geneva. In 2012, he was named Honorary Member of IFLA, the association’s highest honor.

Celenza, who served with Tabb on the Council on Library and Information Resources, said Tabb is widely respected, nationally and internationally, and “viewed as a leader and facilitator of important conversations and initiatives.”

“Finally,” he added, “there is something less tangible, perhaps, but no less important: the culture he has created in the library, by leading by example. Librarians are highly skilled experts, to be sure, but they also have to be creative. , service-oriented and outward-looking from their communities. I think one of the reasons our library works so well is that Winston has led the way on this front – he’s generous, kind, and caring, and he’s set the tone accordingly. “

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