Welcome, Maura A. Smale, New Executive Chief Librarian

June 22, 2022

Dr. Smale, currently the chief librarian at City Tech, begins her appointment on July 18.

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Dear Graduate Center colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that following an extensive search, Maura A. Smale has been appointed executive chief librarian of the Graduate Center, effective July 18. Currently the chief librarian at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), Dr. Smale brings extensive leadership, research, and teaching experience to her new role. I am confident that she will build on the successes of her predecessors, Interim Chief Librarian Emily Drabinski and former Chief Librarian Polly Thistlethwaite, as she leads the Graduate Center library to new heights.

Through her many accomplishments, Dr. Smale has demonstrated an abiding commitment to access, equity, and inclusion and to strategic and collaborative leadership. At City Tech, she spurred a drive to make faculty and student research available in open access formats. She was the project director for the grant-funded development of City Tech OpenLab, an open digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration as well as faculty development.

She is the founding chair of CUNY’s Council of Chief Librarians’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, and at City Tech she created a working group to develop annual goals to ensure accountability in anti-oppression work in the library. She was also invited to serve on the advisory board and selection committee for the Metropolitan New York Library Council Equity in Access Grant program, to fund digital projects that focus on antiracist practices and marginalized communities.

From 2018 to 2021, Dr. Smale chaired the CUNY Council of Chief Librarians, coordinating the group’s work to develop policies for all 21 CUNY libraries in conjunction with the CUNY Office of Library Services.

Dr. Smale is familiar with the Graduate Center, having served as a faculty member in the Digital Humanities master’s program and the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program.

She co-edited the book Academic libraries for commuter students: Research-based strategiesand co-authored Digital technology as affordance and barrier in higher education, and she has published extensively in academic journals.

Prior to joining City Tech in 2008, she was the reference and instruction librarian at Brooklyn College. She has held roles in digital publishing and led archeological fieldwork in Ireland.

Dr. Smale has a Ph.D. in anthropology from New York University, an M.L.I.S. from Pratt Institute, and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

I want to thank Emily Drabinski for generously serving as our interim chief librarian and seeing the Graduate Center library through the tumult of the pandemic. She will remain a valued member of the library faculty as our critical pedagogy librarian.


Steve Everett
Provost and Senior Vice President