West Point’s Bryn Geffert Named Amherst College’s New Librarian

December 3, 2009                                                                

AMHERST, Mass. – Bryn Geffert, library director and associate professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has been named AmherstCollege’s new librarian of the college. He will start work at Amherst on Jan. 21, 2010.

Particularly interested in research instruction, in libraries’ efforts to guide the changes afoot in academic publishing and in facilitating the digitization of special collections, Geffert was the “unanimous and enthusiastic choice of the search committee,” according to Amherst Dean of the Faculty Gregory S. Call. “In Bryn we have found a very promising new colleague with whom we will learn much and who will enable us to sustain our wonderful library at the center of our work and our community.”

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“Bryn emerged from a strong pool of applicants as an ideal librarian of the college,” commented Carol Clark, William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and American Studies, who chaired the search committee for the position. “He is an accomplished scholar and a seasoned administrator who is deeply knowledgeable about the challenges a college research library like Amherst’s faces. Equally important is his excitement about the opportunities he recognizes in the college’s collections and our culture of student research, as well as in the future of Five College collaboration.”

Added Amherst President Anthony W. Marx: “We are all so excited to have Bryn joining us and providing leadership for the library as the intellectual center of the campus, with all that means and will come to mean in the 21st century.”     

“This is a dream come true,” said Geffert. “Amherst has built one of the premier undergraduate libraries in the nation, and it is well positioned to lead discussions about changes in the production and distribution of information, the shifting assumptions and research habits of those we serve and the place of the academy in a revolutionized media landscape.”

Geffert became the director of West Point’s library in 2008 and went on to help open and oversee the institution’s new library. Prior to that appointment, he served at St.OlafCollege, where he was reference librarian for eight years and the college librarian for seven years, as well as an associate professor of Russian-area studies. He also worked at Lewis and Clark Community College and the Illinois Valley Library System before he assumed his first position at St. Olaf. He has published widely in librarianship, Eastern and Russian Orthodox Christianity and other topics in Russian history. A high school basketball and football official, he also enjoys cross-country skiing and running and expressed delight about moving to a state “that enjoys good snowfalls and the Boston Marathon.”

Geffert earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and Russian from St. Olaf, a master of science degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois and master of arts and doctorate degrees in Russian and modern European history from the University of Minnesota.

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