University Librarian Artemis G. Kirk will retire in October 2017 after almost 16 years at the university, according to a campus-wide email sent by University Provost Robert M. Groves on Wednesday.
“I am grateful for the multitude of ways that Artemis has expanded and deepened the University Library’s engagement with the Georgetown University community,” Groves wrote. “I am grateful for her service to Georgetown and her work over the past sixteen years to advance the University’s prominence in research, teaching and learning.”
Groves will appoint a search committee to lead the search for the next university librarian in the coming weeks, according to the email.
During her time as university librarian, Kirk has undertaken a number of projects and programs to improve the library and its resources and collections. Kirk led the planning and funding of the newly renovated Booth Family Center for Special Collections, home to Georgetown’s rare book and manuscript collections, the Georgetown University Archives and the University Art Collection. Under her leadership, the library raised close to $24 million in the For Generations to Come campaign, which in total raised $1.67 billion for the university’s programs.
Kirk said her favorite endeavors have been those that have expanded the library’s collections and resources.
“I have so many favorite projects. Working with a great library staff; adding new resources – -especially the finest collection in private hands in the world, of rare materials on Wordsworth and his Circle — a gift of Professor Emeritus of English Paul Betz,” Kirk wrote in an email to The Hoya.
According to Groves, Kirk has led Georgetown to become a member of multiple national and international higher education and information associations. Kirk has worked to develop the Lauinger Library in London program, which arranges author events for Georgetown alumni in London, and relationships with the Pontifical Institute libraries in Rome and the proposed Jesuit Liberal Arts College for Hong Kong.
Kirk recalled many fond memories of her time at Georgetown, including her trip to Doha, Qatar, to create a plan for the library at SFS-Q, as well as working with architects to create the library’s Master Space Plan.
“I think one favorite [memory] would be the first-ever ‘Party at Club Lau’ in 2007, which was attended by students, senior leaders, and two Jesuits — Fr. Francis Schemel, Chaplain to the staff, and Fr. Christopher Steck, who brought Jack the Bulldog to the party,” Kirk wrote.
Kirk has not yet made plans for her retirement. She said looks forward to the future progress the library will make.
“No one could ask for a better group of people to work with, and I owe them a great debt of gratitude,” Kirk wrote. “Collaborating with remarkable friends and colleagues at the university makes it difficult for me to relinquish the satisfaction that such work brings, but I hope that my successor in this exciting position will lead the library brilliantly into the next segment of the 21st century.”