Torsten Reimer appointed University Librarian and Dean of the University Library

Torsten Reimer, Head of Content and Research Services at the British Library, has been named University Librarian and Dean of the University Library, Provost Ka Yee C. Lee announced on Dec. 10. His appointment will begin later this academic year.

In his current role at the British Library, Reimer ensures that contemporary collections and research services meet the needs of in-person and online international users of one of the world’s largest research libraries. A member of the strategic leadership team, he oversees content and research services strategies, contemporary acquisitions, content processing (including legal deposit), digital collection preservation and management, and related scholarly infrastructures. Reimer is the British Library’s strategic expert for scholarly communications, including open access, research data, and alternative publishing models.

Previously, Reimer served as Scholarly Communications Officer at Imperial College London, where he oversaw the development of open access and research data services. He also worked as a Program Manager for digital infrastructure at Jisc, the United Kingdom’s digital service provider for higher and continuing education, managing programs and innovation projects including the National Grid Service and National Centre for Text Mining. Prior to that, Reimer held several positions at King’s College London and coordinated an international network supporting digital scholarship in the arts and humanities.

As University Librarian and Dean of the University Library, Reimer will partner closely with individuals across campus to build upon the University Library’s exceptional service-oriented culture in order to advance the University of Chicago’s rigorous academic goals. He will lead the process of developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic vision for the future of the University Library and elevate its prominence across the nation and around the world.

“The Library is known for its ability to work closely with scholars, students and all members of the University community in the pursuit of intellectual discovery, rigorous learning and global engagement,” Lee said. “Torsten’s breadth of experience in library and information management, digital innovation and higher education makes him the ideal person to lead the Library into the future.”

Reimer holds a Magister Artium and Ph.D. in history, both from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He currently serves as an executive board member of DataCite, a global nonprofit organization that provides persistent identifiers for research data and other research outputs. Reimer is also chair of the digital shift working group of Research Libraries UK, chair of the advisory board for the library system of the University of Cologne and vice chair of the Open Repositories conference.

“University libraries are increasingly becoming partners in the creation and open dissemination of knowledge, adding to their established role as information providers,” Reimer said. “I am delighted to work with the academic and library community at the University of Chicago to position the Library at the heart of this transformation, contributing to the ongoing success of one of the world's pre-eminent academic organizations.”

Reimer’s appointment was informed by a committee chaired by Melina Hale, Vice Provost and the William Rainey Harper Professor in Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College; and William Howell, the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at the Harris School of Public Policy and professor in the Department of Political Science and the College. Storbeck Search was retained to manage the search. Lee expressed deep gratitude to Elisabeth Long, interim Library Director and University Librarian, and Brenda Johnson, Senior Advisor to the Provost for the Library, for their leadership during the transition.