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UNT Insider | September 2009 Issue | Martin Halbert

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UNT names dean of university's libraries

From a UNT News Service press release

Martin Halbert

Martin Halbert, director of digital innovations for the Emory University Libraries in Atlanta, has been named dean of UNT Libraries. He will begin his position Oct. 1.

Halbert also will become an associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Sciences in the College of Information, pending approval by the UNT Board of Regents.

Halbert replaces Donald Grose, who retired from the dean position in July after serving 21 years with the UNT Libraries. Judith Forney, dean of UNT's School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, will continue as interim dean of the libraries until Halbert arrives at UNT.

In his position with Emory University Libraries, Halbert has served as the principal investigator for digital library services and research projects totaling $6.1 million, including the Transatlantic Slave Trade Voyages and Origins projects, which offer comprehensive access to primary data from four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade.

Halbert also is president of MetaArchive Cooperative, an international consortium of research libraries and institutes that preserve digital archives in partnership with the Library of Congress, as part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

"Dr. Halbert's strengths lie in digital library services, innovative ideas, strategic planning and management of multiple libraries on one university campus," says Wendy K. Wilkins, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We are delighted that he also has a national reputation among funding agencies and leading digital and technological library organizations, and we look forward to welcoming him to UNT."

Halbert, a native of Houston, says the UNT Libraries' national reputation as a leader in digital projects and services attracted him to the university.

"Libraries are changing with the times, and UNT is at the forefront of that. I am looking forward to being part of the growth of the UNT Libraries, and I'm delighted to be part of the UNT community," he says. "I'm also happy to be returning to Texas, where I grew up."

At Emory, Halbert is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, where he developed a doctoral certificate in digital scholarship and new media, an interdisciplinary credential that provides graduate students with expertise in new forms of research and publication using digital media.

He also is the principal investigator of the Librarians for the Digital Age Master of Library Science program for north Georgia, a partnership with UNT's College of Information and the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of four historically African-American colleges in the city.

Before being named to his current position with Emory University Libraries in February 2007, Halbert was the libraries' director for digital programs and systems for 11 years. He also was head of networked systems for libraries and head of the Computing Resources Library at Rice University, taking a semester off from Rice in 1994 to work for the U.S. Information Agency in Tartu, Estonia, as an American Library Association fellow, advising the national university library in automation planning.

Since 2001, Halbert has successfully applied for many grants for collaborative projects, receiving funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Historic Publications and Records Commission and National Science Foundation.

He has served the National Science Digital Library, the U.S. leading online library for education and research in science, technology and mathematics, as chair and vice chair of the policy committee, co-chair of the technology standing committee and a member of the planning committee. He was chair of both the Emerging Technologies Interest Group and the Digital Library Technologies Interest Group for the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, and has served as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Halbert received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Rice University, master of library and information science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and doctoral degree in liberal arts from Emory University.

Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at nkolsti@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

September 2009

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