Posted April 10, 2013

Joseph P. Lucia appointed dean of Temple University Libraries

  • Lucia

Temple University President Neil Theobald has announced the appointment of Joseph P. Lucia to lead Temple's library system as the university's dean of university libraries.

Lucia, who has served as university librarian and director of Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University since 2002, will assume his new position on July 1, 2013.

As dean of university libraries, Lucia will oversee all of Temple's nine libraries — including those at Temple University Japan and Temple University Rome — as well as Temple University Press. Lucia has been charged by President Theobald with leading a major program of library development, including the construction of a new signature building at Temple's Main Campus that will connect the university with the greater Philadelphia community.

"With renewed momentum and the prospect of a bold new library, this is a critical moment for Temple and for University Libraries," said President Theobald. "Joseph Lucia is a deep thinker who has spearheaded the refurbishment of an award-winning library at a world-class institution. He has the right experience to lead and grow our library system."

"Joe Lucia has been a highly respected leader in the field of library science," added Temple Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Hai-Lung Dai. "The 2013 Academic Libraries Award to Villanova's Falvey Memorial Library this year from the Association of College and Research Libraries is a testament to his superb vision and leadership."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of a university and a library system that are in such a dynamic moment in their institutional development," Lucia said.

"Libraries stand for how culture is created, how culture is shared. That has symbolic power and practical force, especially as we engage what a library is in the digital age," he continued. "We need to 'future-proof' libraries. We need to articulate that the library's mission goes beyond collections of physical stuff. The prospect of building a new library resting on these principles — especially at an urban university with Temple's mission of civic engagement — is hugely exciting."

As university librarian and director of Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova, Lucia spearheaded a number of initiatives that earned national attention, including the establishment of a campus-wide community reading program, the development of open source discovery software; the creation of a substantial digital library (hosted on locally built open source digital library software); the establishment of open access publishing initiatives featuring university-sponsored journals supported by library development teams; the creation of a multi-disciplinary Learning Commons in Falvey as part of a series of renovations ("effectively reinventing the library facility over time from the inside out," he said); and the development of an active cultural and intellectual events agenda.

While at Villanova, Lucia served as a member of the board of trustees of Lyrasis — the nation's largest non-profit regional membership organization serving libraries and information professionals — from 2009 to 2012. He was Lyrasis' founding president from 2009 to 2010. He currently serves on both the board of Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. and the board of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance.

Prior to his arrival at Villanova in 2002, Lucia served as director for library technology and access services within Information Resources at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He holds an MLS from Syracuse University, an MA in English from the University of Toronto and a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal.

Lucia also has an active life in the arts. A published poet, he taught creative writing for seven years at Lehigh, where he also published an independent small-press literary magazine. More recently, Lucia has rekindled a life-long interest in the guitar. Many professionals in the library community know him as the guitarist in Marc Fields & Bad Data, an all-librarian band that plays at national conferences.

Lucia's appointment follows a national search led by consulting firm Isaacson, Miller and a Search Advisory Committee comprised of Temple librarians, faculty, students and administrators.

Search Advisory Committee Chair Dennis Silage, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Temple, said that Lucia demonstrated to the committee "that he can make things change for the good, and that he has forward-thinking ideas about what a library system should look like to users and how libraries can be a gathering place for scholars."

Provost Dai thanked Carol Lang, who has served as interim dean of university libraries since August 2011.

"Carol has served Temple Libraries faithfully for more than two decades," said Dai. "It is because of her strong leadership that our library system has continued to flourish in the last 20 months."

The Temple University Libraries system has an aggregate budget of $24 million (including $13 million for collections) and employs approximately 50 professional staff, 70 support staff and 40 full-time-equivalent student assistants. From 2004 to 2011, Temple University Libraries rose from No. 83 to No. 57 in the Association of College and Research Libraries rankings.