President Obama appoints Suzanne Thorin to National Institute of Museum and Library Services board

thorinSuzanne E. Thorin, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at Syracuse University, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Museum and Library Services Board.  Thorin was sworn in by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg at a ceremony at the Supreme Court on Nov. 15. She is one of eight individuals newly appointed to serve as advisors to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The board advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service.

IMLS Director Susan Hildreth said, “I am delighted to welcome our new board members. Through their service, they will help libraries and museums throughout the United States contribute to the educational, cultural and civic life of the nation. Each is a well-recognized expert and we are looking forward to having their strategic advice to strengthen IMLS’s grant making, research and policy.”

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute works to create strong libraries and museums through programming at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations. The board includes the IMLS director and deputy directors and 20 presidentially appointed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services.

Thorin’s accomplishments at SU include: construction of an offsite library facility with a capacity of 1.2 million volumes; the merger of the Syracuse University Press into the library; renovation of the Carnegie Library and the return of its reading room to library use; the creation of the first Library Board of Advisors; resurgence of the Belfer Audio Archive and a significant increase in library grant income. She is a member of the Northeast Research Libraries (NERL) Executive Committee and formerly served on the board of the Association of Research Libraries.

Between 1996 and 2005, Thorin was the Ruth Lilly University Dean of Libraries and associate vice president for digital libraries at Indiana University. Her experience also includes 16 years at the Library of Congress, where she served in numerous capacities, ultimately serving as chief of staff to the Librarian of Congress. Thorin holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from North Park University in Chicago and master’s degrees in music history and literature and in library science from the University of Michigan.