William Garrity Named University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship

William Garrity Named University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship

William Garrity, deputy university librarian and the library’s chief operating officer, has been selected as the next university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship for UC Davis. Garrity, who has served as interim university librarian since July 2023, will officially start on May 15, 2024.

William Garrity
William Garrity has been selected as the next University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship for UC Davis.

“UC Davis has a highly respected Library with a dedicated, exceptional team, and its reputation attracted candidates from across the country,” said Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor. “Bill has been doing a stellar job in the interim role since last year. He is highly collaborative and innovative, and dedicated to serving our campus community with excellence. We are thrilled he will continue in this leadership position.” 

UC Davis launched a nationwide search in 2023 upon the retirement of MacKenzie Smith, who was the university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship for 11 years. 

Garrity, who joined UC Davis in 2014, has decades of experience elevating the role of libraries in the research, teaching, healthcare, and service missions of higher education. As deputy university librarian and the chief operating officer, he oversaw most of the library’s 160 academic and non-academic employees and held broad responsibility for divisions focused on faculty and researcher support, student learning and success, space and capital projects, and communications, human resources, and administrative operations. 

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to continue working with our brilliant and dedicated library team, and to deepen our collaboration with colleagues across the campus,” Garrity said. “I see the role of the library as a catalyst for engagement, learning, and discovery — a ‘third space’ where our users can connect, discuss, and enrich their understanding of what they have learned in the classroom and discovered in their research, scholarship, and patient care. My goal is for every person on campus to be able to say, ‘Yes, the library has helped me.’” 

In partnership with Smith, Garrity reshaped library operations and management to meet several waves of transformative change: greater integration of digital and traditional library services; renewed focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a sea change in how people work, teach, and connect as a community in the “hybrid” post-pandemic world. Davis was the first UC library to emerge from the pandemic lockdown in 2020 and, from the day the library reopened its doors, Garrity cultivated new, more flexible ways of working — as colleagues, with other campus units, and with the faculty, students, staff, and healthcare professionals who use the library. 

Under his leadership as interim university librarian, the library has continued to expand its work beyond its own walls to integrate more fully with other parts of campus and meet students and faculty where they are. Garrity remains focused on steady growth of the library’s strengths — continuing to build strong physical and digital collections and supporting the library team. He has fostered collaborative efforts with Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs to redesign strategic areas of Shields Library to advance a shared commitment to student success by providing space for instruction and tutoring, without disrupting access to books and other library physical materials. 

Garrity launched his career in librarianship at the University of Chicago, followed by library and IT leadership positions at Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining UC Davis.

Garrity earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Siena College in New York and a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of Chicago. In between his degrees, he served for two years in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica.

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