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Janice Welburn, dean emerita of Marquette University Libraries, has been appointed director of the UCLA Library Senior Fellows Program, an immersive leadership development program for existing and prospective senior leaders in academic libraries and archives. Effective August 1, she succeeds Brian Schottlaender, who is retiring after serving as director since 2017.

Among Welburn’s responsibilities are curriculum development, programming, strategic planning, fiscal oversight, cohort recruitment and communications. 

A prominent academic library leader, Welburn most recently led Marquette University Libraries from 2006 through her retirement in 2021. Her decades of experience include leadership positions at University of Arizona and University of Iowa libraries, and librarian positions at New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Princeton University and Bishop College, where she first began her career. 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to direct the Senior Fellows Program and to collaborate with members of our exceptional academic library community,” said Welburn, a member of the 1999 senior fellows cohort. “It is an exciting and critical moment for academic libraries as we consider emerging trends, and rethink and reimagine how best to innovate and lead in a world that is rapidly changing.” 

The three-week residential intensive gathers a diverse group of 20 academic librarians from the U.S. and Canada, empowering them to better address the issues confronting academic libraries and preparing fellows to pursue advanced leadership roles in the field. Selected fellows learn about management perspectives and tools for strategic thinking in combination with practical and theoretical approaches through lectures, reviewing case studies, attending field trips and engaging in group study sessions.

The longest-running leadership development program in the library profession, since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 275 fellows have attended the biennial program and about 100 have gone on to become library directors, including more than 60 at Association of Research Libraries institutions.

Among her current professional activities, Welburn serves as the senior endowment trustee for the  American Library Association (ALA) and is an ALA councilor-at-large. She is also a member of ALA’s Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL); Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures; the Rainbow Round Table (RRT); and of its Black Caucus. Additionally, she is a member of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and of the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).

In 2011, Welburn was selected by her peers in the Association of College & Research Libraries as the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, a national award recognizing her contributions to the profession of librarianship.

The next fellows program will begin on July 8, 2024. A call for nominations will be issued in early September, followed by a call for applications in November. More information(opens in a new tab) can be found on the UCLA Library website.