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Matthew J. Sheehy. Photo courtesy of NYPL.

Matthew J. Sheehy. Photo courtesy of NYPL.

NYPL's Matthew J. Sheehy Will Lead Harvard Depository

October 7, 2010—Matthew J. Sheehy, acting director for reference and research services at the New York Public Library (NYPL), has been chosen to lead the Harvard Depository (HD). The announcement was made by Helen Shenton, deputy director of the Harvard University Library, following an extended national search.

"Matthew Sheehy is recognized by his colleagues as an innovator and a change manager," Shenton says. "The hallmarks of his work are insightful thinking, careful analysis, and collaborative leadership that enhance the experience of library patrons."

At the New York Public Library, Sheehy is responsible for all operations relative to ReCAP, the high-density off-site storage facility that NYPL shares with Columbia and Princeton universities.

While overseeing all ReCAP operations, Sheehy also led NYPL's virtual reference team, merged a disparate set of interlibrary loan (ILL) departments into a single comprehensive ILL service, and shifted digital imaging operations from a collection-focused program into a public-facing, print-on-demand program. Significantly, Sheehy defined the library instruction and digital literacy program as a core resource for teaching.

The Harvard Depository was created in 1986 to promote effective use of space on the Harvard campus and to provide a secure, reliable, and cost-effective archival environment for paper-based materials. Today HD houses more than a third of Harvard's 16 million library books.

"Since its inception," Shenton states, "HD has provided the blueprint for many of the world's high-density library storage facilities, including ReCAP. As a storage and retrieval operation, HD has an excellent record.

"With Matthew Sheehy's leadership," Shenton continues, "HD will capitalize on its excellence in storage and retrieval while expanding into new and innovative areas of service. We are delighted to welcome him to the senior management team of the Harvard Libraries."

Sheehy joined the NYPL staff in 2006 as chief of access and reader services in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. He was named NYPL's assistant director for reference and research services in 2008, assuming his current position in 2009.

Prior to his service at NYPL, he served as associate dean for technical and access services at Adelphi University (2004–2006), assistant head of access/collection services for the New Brunswick libraries at Rutgers (2003–2004), technical services librarian and assistant professor at Dowling College (2001–2003), and music cataloger and assistant head of the Music Library for SUNY at Stony Brook (2000–2001). Sheehy holds a BM in music composition from the University of Hartford/Hartt School of Music, as well as an MA in music history and an MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Matthew J. Sheehy, who will hold the title of Assistant Director of the Harvard University Library for the Harvard Depository, assumes his duties on November 15. He will divide his time between HD in Southborough and Harvard's central campuses in Cambridge, Boston, and Allston.


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