November 12th, 2018
“Karen has been successful in various roles in our libraries because she is a great leader and consensus-builder who has truly earned the trust and support of her talented faculty and staff,” McConnell said. “I know that she will continue to lead in this thoughtful, positive way as the dean, ensuring that the WVU libraries continue to be among our most valuable campus resources.”
Diaz first joined the WVU Libraries as associate dean in January of 2016. She worked extensively with academic department heads and initiated efforts to meet the challenges of a contemporary research library through Open Access initiatives, “engaged librarian” models and cross-functional teams.
Since stepping into the interim dean role in July of 2017, Diaz has lead the launch of the Research Repository @ WVU, an collaboration with the WVU Office of Research that will serve as an open online home for the scholarship, creative work and research of WVU faculty, researchers and students. The project aims to increase the impact of scholarly work, provide free access to federally funded research and offer new opportunities for researchers in the state to collaborate without paying high journal subscription fees.
Also launched this fall, the new Research Commons offers a suite of services to foster interdisciplinary connections and support graduate and faculty research needs. Diaz has also lead initiatives on textbook affordability and keeping the libraries’ collections strong and accessible during difficult financial situations.
In April of 2018, Diaz was among 17 academic library directors to be selected as Library Senior Fellows at UCLA. As a member of this group, she engaged in professional development on management perspectives, strategic thinking and practical and theoretical approaches to issues confronting modern academic institutions and their libraries.
Speaking of her permanent appointment, Diaz said, “I am honored to be asked to continue the role of Dean. I have so enjoyed working with the library staff and with campus administration to advance the mission of this campusI count it as a privilege.”