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Message from AVP / Executive Director

It’s early days for a message of deep substance, but never too early to say hello! I started work at CDL less than two weeks ago when a small ad-hoc greeting committee opened the door at 415 20th street.

You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve already initiated the first CDL-wide program: my own ingenious plan of getting to know the deep bench of CDL talent, as well as the best neighborhood lunch-spots in Oakland. I made a promise during my first CDL all staff that I’d have lunch with every single one of them during my first three month if they pick the place. (I’ll be reporting in future message on the results of this program, including any weight gained.)

What I’ve encountered during my first two weeks is a vibrant workplace where coffee and food get debated with the same verve as user interface design and shared digital library services. I’ve taken a first pulse of CDL work culture, and every day, I feel I am diving deeper into the interconnected web of services, technologies, projects and relationships which make up the fabric of the California Digital Library. The array of offerings is remarkable, from long-standing services like running UC’s systemwide catalog and negotiating shared licensing agreements, to the support for UC’s open access policies and scientific research data. My calendar is starting to fill up with appointments to participate in the Council of University Librarians (CoUL), the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC), the Boards of the UC Press as well as the HathiTrust Digital Library. I will relish all of these early opportunities to learn more about the place of CDL within the University of California and beyond, and will take particular note of the hopes and dreams all of the stakeholders hold for a thriving CDL that enriches their community.

Having been chosen as the leader of CDL, and the steward of the many relationships it embodies, is a deeply meaningful experience for me. The UC Berkeley Art Museum, where I started my career, was one of the earliest museum contributors to the fledgling Online Archive of California, and to this day, the EAD finding aids I helped to encode can be found in the OAC; take a look here and here, for example. The rigor and depth of the discussions in the OAC Working Group and other CDL subcommittees ultimately inspired me to work in the library community, and have led to a fulfilling career devoted to library and museum organizations.

I am grateful to the search committee, UCOP, the UC University Librarians and CDL leadership for their vote of confidence, and allowing me to now lead an organization which has had such a formative influence on me, and been such a force for good in the UC, national and international library community. Having been on the outside, I understand the high esteem in which CDL staff and the UC library system are held. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Laine Farley, CDL’s longest serving Executive Director. Laine has presided over many CDL signature accomplishments, including building and empowering this remarkable team that I am now inheriting. Ivy Anderson, who served as Executive Director in the interim, deserves a huge thank you as well. She has almost been allowed to return to her previous duties as Director of Collection Development and Management – “almost” because she continues to support me as I am finding my feet.
In closing, I’m committing myself to working with all of you in the spirit of the following message, which I found tucked away on the CDL website:

“1 California Digital Library serving the power and promise of all 10 UC campuses”

Thank you,

Günter Waibel
Associate Vice Provost & Executive Director, California Digital Library