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NewsNovember 15, 2021

Byrd Tapped to Lead UAFS Library

Written By: Dr. Judith Hansen

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has selected Jason Byrd to head the Boreham Library, beginning January 18, 2022.

Byrd comes to UAFS with more than a dozen years of working in libraries in higher education. He serves as the associate dean of research and user engagement at Adelphi University Libraries in New York. In that position, he is responsible for leading strategic planning for the libraries, participating in the libraries’ operating budget, and building and maintaining relationships with student success centers and faculty development centers on campus.

Dr. Margaret Tanner, associate provost for academic affairs and director of graduate studies at UAFS, headed the search committee to fill the position left open by the retirement of Anne Liebst.

“I was pleased with the caliber of candidates in our search and am even more thrilled to have been able to bring Jason Byrd into the UAFS family,” said Tanner. “I believe he will be an excellent addition to the university community and will provide positive leadership in Boreham Library as we move the library forward.”

In his interviews, Byrd expressed commitment to many of the university’s core values, Tanner said, including creating inclusive spaces, supporting student success, and helping all students achieve academic excellence.  “He will be able to work with the library faculty and staff to refine their strategic plan and level of services on this campus.”

At UAFS, the library director is both a member of the faculty and an administrator of Boreham Library.

The director of library services provides the overarching vision and strategic direction for the library in its mission to support and advance teaching, learning, and scholarship on campus. The director supervises eight full-time employees including five full time library faculty and three full-time staff members, and leads library efforts to support enrollment, retention, graduation, and overall student success.

“I am humbled to be the next director of the Boreham Library at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith,” Byrd said by email Monday. “I met so many amazingly talented and dedicated people during my visit to campus, and I am honored to join this community. I am excited to continue the work of centering student learning as the focus of the library and to expand support for faculty scholarship and creative activities.”

Byrd holds a Master of Arts in History and a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and completed the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

He is currently employed at Adelphi University where he has served since 2017. Prior to his work at Adelphi, he spent six years working for George Mason University Libraries, earning promotions into positions of increasing leadership opportunities at both institutions.