Ellen Marks Named University Librarian and Library Director

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Ellen Marks, past director of the Shiffman Medical Library and Learning Resource Center, part of the Wayne State Library system, has been named university librarian and director of the J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library by Provost Max Seel. Marks’ will start on Aug. 1, 2010.

“The library provides essential services and resources for research and teaching, core to the University’s mission,” said Seel. “Marks’ 15 years experience as a library director in a research university and her proven ability to bring a vision into being will serve this library and the University well.”

While at Shiffman Medical School Library, Marks developed the vision statement for a $35 million renovation and expansion of the library and information commons. She led a staff redesign of services, initiated a health information outreach program in the Detroit metro area, and taught library administration and management in Wayne State’s Library and Information Science graduate degree program.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Michigan Tech community and especially working with the library’s outstanding staff to offer innovative and effective services to the University’s stellar students and faculty,” Marks said.

Marks holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University. She has worked at the University of Cincinnati Medical Library, State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign. While in Ohio, Marks was involved in early library technology projects, including OhioLink—the pioneering effort in statewide library resource sharing and collection development. At Wayne State and the University of Cincinnati, she was co-investigator in National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health-funded projects.

In 2007-2008 Marks served as an Association of Research Libraries Fellow. The prestigious fellowship program is designed to engage participants in a two-year exploration of issues facing research libraries. Her selection enabled her to explore her interest in the library’s role in e-science and support for research across the disciplinary spectrum.

Since Phyllis Johnson retired as Michigan Tech library director in 2007, Christa Walck, a professor in the School of Business and Economics, and Ellen Seidel, head of library collection management, have served as interim directors.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.