Marjorie Hassen has been named director of the Bowdoin College Library, effective July 29, 2013.
Hassen currently serves as director of teaching, research, and learning services at the libraries of the University of Pennsylvania. She succeeds Sherrie Bergman who retired as Bowdoin’s librarian in 2012 after 20 years of service to the College. The announcement, which follows a national search, was made today by Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
“We are delighted to welcome Marjorie to Bowdoin,” said Judd. “Her wide-ranging experience at Penn Libraries demonstrates vision and breadth, along with a proven ability to work successfully with students, faculty, and staff.”
Hassen earned her undergraduate degree in music at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and her master’s degree in library science at the University of Chicago. She completed additional graduate study in music at Rutgers University. In her new position, she will oversee the Bowdoin College Library, comprising Hawthorne-Longfellow (the main library building), the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, and four branch libraries: the Pierce Art Library, the Beckwith Music Library, the Hatch Science Library, and the Language Media Center. The library’s staff includes 30 full-time employees and 90 student assistants.
The extensive holdings at Bowdoin include more than one million volumes in the print collection, 600,000 e-books, more than 42,000 print and digital periodical and newspaper subscriptions, and 300 online indices. As college librarian, Hassen will guide the continuing evolution and adoption of technology.
“Marjorie is a strategic leader who ensures that the experience of library patrons is as productive and pleasurable as possible,” said Judd. “She has worked across the range of disciplines at Penn, and has gained valuable leadership experience through extensive collaborations in the areas of residential life and information technology, and with academic support services through Penn’s Learning Resources Center. She has a knack for offering creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems and knows well the challenges facing libraries in the twenty-first century. We are confident that she will serve as a ready resource at Bowdoin and as a passionate advocate for the library, its mission, and its staff.”
Hassen came to Penn from Princeton in 1988 initially to head the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library. Since 2000 her work has focused more broadly on support for teaching and learning. In her current role at Penn, and previously as assistant director for research and instructional services and as director of public services, Hassen has developed collections, facilities, and services and led a broad array of programs and initiatives to support the academic work of students and faculty.
“Academic libraries are in the midst of a challenging period, straddling the traditional and the new order of digitization, instant access, and emerging technologies,” said Hassen. “This period also presents an unprecedented opportunity for libraries—in the provision of digital resources, physical and virtual spaces for students and faculty, and the staff expertise to support strategic development of new initiatives—to exploit their role as the intellectual center of campus. In this vein I take note of Bowdoin’s self-identification as a learning community, a descriptive phrase that resonates deeply, not only in relation to the tenets of a liberal arts education but to the mission of a library that supports those educational values. I am excited by the prospect of leading the College library and working with its dedicated staff to explore new opportunities of support for the Bowdoin community.”