Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow recently announced that Law School professor Jonathan L. Zittrain ’95 and Suzanne Wones, the Law School Library’s assistant director of research, curriculum, and publication services, will take on the positions of vice dean of library and information services and acting executive director, respectively
These two positions were initially joined under the responsibilities of the vice-dean of library and information services, a role vacated by Law School professor John G. Palfrey ’94, who accepted the position of Head of School at Phillips Academy Andover. Their leadership at the library will take effect on July 1.
Wones will assume the role of acting executive director, in addition to her current library responsibilities. Zittrain, who is also a co-founder and faculty co-director at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, will act as vice dean of library and information services. Both will serve in these roles for one academic year, at which point the library’s leadership will be reevaluated.
“The HLS library is an extraordinary institution, and I’m excited to work with Suzanne and the staff on current projects and new ventures both within and outside the University as she takes the helm,” Zittrain said in an email.
Wones said that one of the greatest challenges in the coming year would be overseeing the library’s reorganization. While some divisions will become part of the University’s shared services program, the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory, co-directed by Associate Director for Collection Development and Digitization Kim Dulin, will remain local to the Law School.
“Kim and I will be working with the staff here to think about how to shift some of the responsibilities and reporting structures as we go forward,” Wones said.
“It’s going to be a really challenging year with having the central reorganization, so I’m very focused on having our staff get through that successfully, having us all adapt to the new world order and succeed in it,” she added.
Zittrain and Wones will also expand upon work Palfrey began, such as the library’s open access initiatives, according to Womes. This initiatives are intended to make more faculty publications available in public repositories. In addition, Womes said that the library will encourage student journals to publish content online.
“[Palfrey] really put us on a good path for being a library of the future instead of one of the past, so I think we definitely want to keep moving in that direction,” Wones said.
Zittrain similarly praised Palfrey’s forward looking approach.
“John has pioneered HLS’s embrace of technology to advance the exchange of ideas,” said Zittrain in a press release. “Suzanne and I hope to advance his vision for the development of a vibrant digital scholarly and teaching environment.”
Zittrain’s new role will have him serving as the primary liaison between faculty members and the library. In addition, he will act as the chair for the Law School Library Committee, and as the Law School’s representative on the Harvard Library board. Wones will be responsible for all daily Law School library activities and strategic planning.
Palfrey said that he was looking forward to the work that Zittrain and Wones will do.
“I am extremely pleased to know that the Harvard Law School Library will be in such capable hands in the coming year,” Palfrey said in a press release. “Jonathan and Suzanne are both extraordinary and they will complement one another in very effective ways...I’m excited to see what they will be able to accomplish, on behalf of the HLS community and the world of legal information at large, in the years to come.”
Until July 1, Zittrain and Wones will prepare to assume their new roles. Wones said that over the next few months she will focus on learning from Palfrey.
“For me, it’s going to be trying to get as much wisdom out of John Palfrey as I can before he leaves,” she said.
—Staff writer Juliet R. Bailin can be reached at email@example.com.
This article has ben revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: March 21
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article reversed the new titles of Jonathan L. Zittrain ’95 and Suzanne Wones. Zittrain has been appointed vice dean of library and information services, and Wones will serve as acting executive director.