Lauren Di Monte in new Yale Library leadership post for research and learning
Lauren Di Monte, associate dean for Learning, Research, and Digital Strategies at the University of Rochester, will join Yale University Library in March in the newly created position of Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning. Di Monte will be responsible for bringing together and building research services and expertise across all disciplines, and for collaborating with campus partners to provide a new level of research support across academic disciplines.
“Lauren has a history of taking on new challenges, breaking new ground, and supporting the research enterprise with collaborations across campus,” said Barbara Rockenbach, the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian. “Her ability to connect our current services with newly imagined services will be key to the success the library’s contributions to Yale’s research enterprise.”
At Yale Library, Di Monte’s portfolio will include Area Studies and Humanities Research Support, the Divinity Library, the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, the Gilmore Music Library, the Marx Science and Social Science Library, and the Haas Family Arts Library. In addition, she will lead Computational Methods and Data, a newly formed library department encompassing digital humanities, statistical and data analysis support, research data services, and GIS services. This integrated, interdisciplinary unit will support Yale’s strategic emphasis on continuing research excellence in the sciences, engineering, medicine, data-intensive social science, and the humanities.
The scope and organization of the position reflects the evolving role of libraries at research universities. “Yale Library is changing from a place where knowledge is consumed to a place where new knowledge is created and produced,” Rockenbach said. “More and more, library staff are providing services, such as computational methods, GIS training, and assistance with data management, which help library users access and activate library resources in new ways. We want researchers to be as familiar with our staff expertise as they are with our amazing collections.”
At the University of Rochester, Di Monte leads the libraries’ user-facing services, including fulfillment, research, learning, digital scholarship, service design, innovation, and information technology. She coordinates research data management programs and services; leads initiatives that foster critical and creative engagements with data, data science, and new technologies; and has collaborated with the university’s chief data officer to create a conceptual model for institutional data. Her service to the university includes co-chairing the global rankings committee and representing the library on university strategic planning groups for research, education, and global profile and reputation.
Di Monte is looking forward to putting her experience to work at Yale Library. “There’s a stellar team already in place, and all these pockets of expertise that haven’t been fully working together,” she said. “A lot of good work has been done, and it feels like the library is approaching a tipping point,” she said. “This is an ambitious and essentially transformative undertaking.”
Di Monte holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Studies and a master’s degree in Information from the University of Toronto, where she wrote her thesis on biometrics and the technologization of privacy. She has a second master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University, also in Toronto. After starting her career as a research librarian at North Carolina State University, she joined Rochester as director of research initiatives. She has held multiple positions at Rochester, including interim vice provost and dean of libraries.
At Yale, Di Monte will also contribute to Sterling 2031, an initiative to sensitively renovate and reimagine aspects of Sterling Memorial Library before its 100th birthday in 2031. “It’s extraordinary to think about what it means to carefully blend beautiful, historic, inspiring spaces with more modern technologies and new spaces,” Di Monte said. “What does it mean, as a researcher, to be in a space where you can call back hundreds of years from the archives, while at the same time you are being launched into the future with something like, say, virtual reality equipment? I’d love to see more of these exchanges, these moments of intersection between past and present.”
Looking toward the future of Yale Library, Di Monte already has a vision of what success might look like. “I hope that the library will truly be the first stop for research support,” Di Monte said. “I want people to see the library as a user-focused, problem-solving place, where they can find the same level of excellence in research expertise as they do in collections. I hope that when people say, ‘I have a really gnarly problem’ or ‘I have this wild idea,’ that their next thought will be, ‘I should take this to the library because they will be able to help me.’”
—Patricia M. Carey