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Harvard University Library Notes / September 2006 / No. 1333
A Letter from Derek Bok
Sidney Verba to Retire as University Library Director
On Tuesday, September 26, 2006, Harvard President Derek Bok issued the following letter:
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
A scholar of high distinction, Sid has been a pioneer in comparative research on civic culture and is recognized as one of the world's leading political scientists. His incisive analysis has made significant contributions to his field of scholarship and greatly enlarged our understanding of participatory democracy and civic life. His scholarship has been felt in both academia and policy circles.
Closer to home, Professor Verba has led the Harvard libraries during one of their most transformative periods in the University's history. I have greatly valued his friendship and counsel over the years. When I appointed him more than 20 years ago, we were only beginning to realize what the revolution in information technology would mean. Sid's foresight has helped to preserve our valuable collections and opened Harvard's vast resources to scholars, researchers, and students throughout the world. I believe that generations of students will benefit from the doors that Sid has opened.
Identifying a successor to Professor Verba will be a matter of high priority. I intend to appoint an advisory committee this fall to assist me in the search, with the goal of identifying a successor before Sid steps down.
For now, I hope that all of you will join me in thanking Sid for everything he has done for scholarship around the world, but especially for what he has meant to Harvard.
Directors of the University Library
Since 1910, eight individuals have held the title of "Director of the University Library." On June 30, 2007, when Sidney Verba completes his tenure as Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, he will have served longer than any of his predecessors.
Archibald Cary Coolidge—18 years
Robert P. Blake—9 years
Keyes Metcalf—18 years
Paul H. Buck—9 years
Merle Fainsod—8 years
Douglas W. Bryant—7 years
Oscar Handlin—5 years
Sidney Verba—23 years