Emory will be losing another top administrator to retirement
at the end of the academic year. After 14 years as vice provost
and director of libraries, Joan Gotwals announced her retirement
to her staff last week. She intends to remain in her position through
Gotwals, 68, said she is leaving Emory to tend to family obligations
in her hometown of Philadelphia.
“If I didn’t have family responsibilities, I wouldn’t
be doing this. There are too many exciting things happening,”
she said. “My experience at Emory has been very satisfying.
I’ve had wonderful support from the University administration
and from faculty. It’s been a good time.”
A search committee is currently being set up to look for a replacement
to fill Gotwals’ position.
Gotwals’ time at Emory has seen the libraries expand in intriguing
and innovative ways. The Center for Library and Information Sources
(CLAIR) came online in 1998, bringing together the academic side
of information technology with the library. The InfoCommons area
of Woodruff Library is one of the campus’ focal points of
research and service.
“We’ve made Emory Libraries much more visible on the
national scene, as well as within the Emory community,” Gotwals
said. “I think the libraries are becoming much more central
to everything people do.”
Gotwals’ tenure also witnessed the opening of the Marian K.
Heilbrun Music and Media Library in 2001 and the math and science
library (located in the Math and Science Center) this past August.
Next year, the renovation of Candler Library will be complete, giving
administrative space to several Emory College offices as well as
a grand reading room for all members of the Emory community.
The past 14 years also have seen the libraries’ holdings rise
from 2 million to 2.7 million volumes, and Emory’s Special
Collections in the areas of modern English language literature and
African-American collections are among the finest anywhere, Gotwals
Prior to coming to Emory, Gotwals spent 26 years working in the
library system of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned
bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in political
Emory Libraries encompasses the central library, health sciences,
law, theology, math and science and Oxford libraries and covers
299 staff positions. About 170 people are employed by the Woodruff