Mary Giunta has been named Director of the Social Sciences Libraries at Columbia University. Giunta’s career spans three decades and is distinguished by her commitment to the betterment, growth, and technological advancement of academic libraries.
Giunta began her career as a reference librarian at Barnard College in 1980 and has since served in a wide range of capacities at Columbia University and abroad at Richmond, The American International University in London. Giunta, who served as Acting Director of the Social Sciences Libraries since August 2009, played a lead role in the renovation of Lehman Library, worked to open the Social Work and Journalism Libraries, and supported and promoted numerous service improvement initiatives across the four Social Sciences libraries. Additionally, she led the planning and implementation of the Digital Social Science Center (DSSC), a hi-tech center offering scholars access to a vast repository of numeric and geo-spatial data, quantitative analysis software, and collaborative computing environments.
"Mary Giunta's longstanding service and dedication to Columbia University's libraries made her an ideal choice for the role of Director of the Social Sciences Libraries,” James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University said. “Her expertise in planning and implementing strategic initiatives, partnered with the strong relationships she has cultivated over her years with the academic units will be integral in maintaining the Business, Journalism, Social Work, and Lehman Social Sciences libraries as agents of innovative service in support of research and learning."
Giunta holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute and a B.A. in English Literature from Mary Washington College. She served as co-chair of the LLAMA MAES Using Measurement Data for Library Planning, Assessment and Communication Committee within the American Library Association; and has actively participated in numerous conferences and symposiums over the course of her career.
As Director of the Social Sciences Libraries, Giunta brings a forward-thinking approach to incorporating technology into library services. She will provide leadership in expanding the libraries’ digital centers and in redefining library support for the social sciences while planning new library facilities for the new Manhattanville campus. Giunta also intends to continue cultivating Lehman Library’s identity and reputation as an important research center for social sciences at Columbia University.
“I am fortunate to be working with an outstanding staff in the Social Sciences Libraries and look forward to taking on new challenges to enhance our services. It will be important for us to engage our faculty and students in conversations about the rapidly changing academic environment so that we can meet new needs, as well as be flexible and adaptable as we identify new roles for the libraries to assume within the University,” Giunta said.
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.