The University of Queensland (UQ) has appointed a new chief librarian Caroline Williams who brings 30 years of experience to the leadership role. Academic libraries have come a long way since the days of index cards, date-stamps and hushed study areas, now boasting e-books, 24-hour access and sleep pods – and Williams has seen it all.

“When I began my career at the University of London we had a card catalogue, and books were stored in glass-fronted cases,” she said. “Now, we are increasingly open and digital and we reach out to our academic communities and collaborate widely.” Williams joins UQ from the University of Nottingham, where she was Director of Libraries, Research and Learning Resources, and led a transformation to improve student experiences and research and data management.

Enhancing UQ students’ library experience is now one of her priorities. “When I arrived here I was delighted to see the work being done to renovate library spaces and to hear about the strong uptake of the Digital Essentials online modules that have been designed to develop digital capabilities in a way that appeals to students,” Ms Williams said. “I’ll also focus on the research space because the library plays a key role in supporting the University’s successful and ambitious research agenda through open access, research metrics, and understanding and tackling the challenges around data.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said she was looking forward to seeing UQ’s library facilities and services evolve under Ms Williams’ leadership. “Caroline brings a wealth of experience to the role, and is the ideal person to help ensure our library services continue to grow to meet the needs of current and future students and staff,” Professor Wright said. “Her commitment to the student experience and her leadership of strategic research projects make her an excellent choice for this important role.”

Readers also enjoyed this story on PhD student Hema Veerapura.