More than a decade ago, Zachary Baker joined the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources as the Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections. He came to us after a career of responsible positions and promotions at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the Jewish Public Library in Montreal. From January 2006, Zachary has led the Humanities and Area Studies Resources Group in SULAIR and in the recent half year, he has led collection development in the humanities and area studies. His work for Stanford has been terrific, bringing in numerous special collections, overseeing the expansion of the general collections, preparing exhibits, and, especially, working most productively with faculty and students engaged in Jewish Studies. In addition, he has been elected to leadership roles in the Association of Jewish Studies, The Association of Jewish Libraries, and the Council of Archives and Research Libraries in Jewish Studies. He has made numerous presentations, including endowed lectures, served well on several internal and external committees, taught or co-taught courses, led the development of web sites, and curated exhibits. Zach Baker has published many articles in peer reviewed and other publications. Among the collections he has brought to Stanford that have materially assisted and stimulated advanced research are the Samson Copenhagen Collection of rare books and the Tel Aviv Collection of ephemera relating to the history of that important city.
Zach's work in the past few years as a department head and then as a coordinator of the efforts of numerous curators and bibliographers across several departments has been impressive and effective.
After a national search to fill the position of Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development in the Humanities, Area Studies, and Social Sciences, those involved in the interview process unanimously, though separately, advised me to appoint Zach to fill that position. Because appointing him was my preference too, it was as easy as ever to accept good advice from good colleagues. It is my pleasure to announce that Zachary Baker has accepted this appointment and will start work on it 1 July 2010. He will retain the title and responsibilities of the Reinhard Family curatorship, leading others in all but the most advanced of those duties while undertaking his new responsibilities. I am delighted to add Zachary to the senior leadership of SULAIR, where he will work closely with me and the other AULs.
A few lines from the conclusion of Zach's letter of application for this position illustrate very well indeed why he will be an excellent AUL:
'I like to describe myself as a “conservator,” in the dictionary sense of “a person who conserves or preserves.” As such, I marvel at and embrace the technological transformations that continue to sweep over the academic enterprise, and am also an advocate for those collecting practices and research and discovery tools that – in a pragmatic sense – work best for our constituents.
SULAIR offers an excellent environment to explore the new and the cutting edge, while at the same time documenting and conserving the human heritage in all its diversity. I feel privileged to be a member of this superb team, and would be gratified by the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of this enterprise as a member of its core management group."
Please join me in welcoming Zach to his new post. And attached please find a press release that will be sent to the world.
Director of Academic Information Resources
Founder/Publisher HighWire Press
Publisher Stanford University Press