Michigan State University

Joseph Salem Named Dean of University Libraries

Cindy Hunter Morgan

Joseph Salem, pictured in the Art Library at MSU Libraries


Joseph Salem was named Dean of University Libraries by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Salem joined the MSU Libraries as Director and University Librarian in August of 2018. The trustees approved the title change at Friday’s meeting. 

“I see this title change as recognition of the role that the MSU Libraries plays at the center of the intellectual life at MSU,” Salem said. “The MSU Libraries makes vital contributions to the MSU community, and I am honored to serve a role on Deans Council as part of our academic leadership here at MSU.”

Salem is responsible for overseeing services, collections, facilities, budgets, personnel, fundraising, and technology at the Libraries. He has led an effort to address all of these areas in a new and comprehensive strategic plan initiated after his arrival at MSU and set for completion later this fall. 

In his previous position, Salem served as the associate dean for learning, undergraduate services and commonwealth campus libraries at Penn State. In that role, he led Penn State’s open and affordable course content program, built the libraries’ assessment program, developed a programmatic approach to teaching and learning, led the Diversity Librarian Residency program, coordinated and expanded undergraduate internships and graduate assistantships within the libraries, led strategic planning and helped to lead space planning. 

Salem has a Ph.D. in evaluation and measurement from Kent State University, where he also earned a master’s degree in literature and writing as well as a master’s degree in library and information science. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Cleveland State University. He has published and presented widely on a variety of topics, including open educational resources, library assessment, teaching and learning and student success.

The Michigan State University Libraries have nearly eight million unique titles. Last year, MSU Librarians conducted 646 instruction sessions and workshops, reaching a total of 27,167 people. The reference staff handled 14,331 questions in person, by phone, and online. The Library borrowed 16,163 items from other libraries for MSU users, and loaned 63,939 items from our collections to other libraries. Digital collections created from MSU Libraries' holdings exceed 100 terabytes.


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