Runkle to retire from Library directorshipBy Seth Sanders
Martin Runkle, Director of the University Library since 1980, will retire on Oct. 1, 2004. In his near quarter century as Director, Runkle has overseen the construction of the John Crerar Library in 1984, and the merger of the collections of the formerly independent Crerar Library with the University’s collections in science, technology and medicine.
Runkle also has balanced the push for digitization and the need for space with the desire to keep millions of print volumes accessible to readers.
Provost Richard Saller said, “In so many ways, the Library has stood as the central symbol for the University, in the sense that it represents the preservation and growth of knowledge. Martin has been the tireless advocate for this precious resource over more than two decades, developing the Library’s extraordinary collections and maintaining its reputation as one of the most user-friendly research libraries in the world. We simply cannot thank him enough for all he has done for the University.”
Runkle began his service to the University Library system in 1969, when he began his studies at the University’s Graduate Library School. Runkle was working as a Library Systems Analyst when he earned an A. M. in Library Science from Chicago in 1973. He served as a Senior Lecturer, teaching such topics as library automation and administration, and has spoken on topics such as “Synergy: Collaborations between Librarians and Faculty Members” and “How Research Libraries Can Help Their Changing Universities.”
Runkle earned a B.A. in English from Muskingum College in 1959, and an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965, before spending two years teaching English in Greece on a Fulbright Teaching Grant.
He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Research Libraries Group and president of the Association of Research Libraries. He also has served on the board of the Center for Research Libraries, and he has been a member of the visiting committee or advisory council of the libraries of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Case Western Reserve University.
Anne Robertson, Deputy Provost for Research and Education and the Claire Dux Swift Professor in Music and the College, is chairing a search committee that has been appointed to find Runkle’s successor.