Texas Tech Names New Dean of Libraries

Bella Karr Gerlich is an active researcher with an extensive background in university libraries.

Bell Karr Gerlich

Bell Karr Gerlich
Photo credit:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Photo by Todd Paris

Bella Karr Gerlich will begin a new chapter at Texas Tech University as professor and dean of the University Libraries. Gerlich is currently dean of libraries at University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and will assume her new role March 1.

She replaces Donald Dyal, who retired in August after serving as dean since 2001. Earnstein Dukes is serving as interim dean.

“The contributions of our libraries are critical to Texas Tech's educational mission and its research and scholarly activity,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech provost and senior vice president. “I am confident that Dr. Gerlich will provide leadership that will build on the strengths of the TTU Libraries that advance our ambitions to be a great public research university.”

Gerlich has decades of experience in library work. She received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a masters of public management from Carnegie Mellon University and her doctorate in library and information sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.

“As university libraries continue to evolve with the ever-changing technological landscape, it is imperative that we maintain a program that benefits our students and faculty in their academic endeavors,” said Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis. “Dr. Gerlich's academic pedigree and extensive background in university libraries will greatly benefit Texas Tech University.”

Gerlich gained experience from prior appointments as university librarian at Dominican University, associate university librarian at Georgia College and State University and head of Arts & Special Collections at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research has resulted in publications in the areas of assessment, organizational behavior and valuation of services. She also is a frequent guest lecturer and presenter at professional venues, both in the U.S. and abroad.

“It is an honor to be the next Dean of Libraries for Texas Tech, knowing I will be working with such amazing faculty, staff, students and administrators, building on the successes of Dean Dyal,” Gerlich said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity and to help the institution reach its goal to become a tier-one research university.”

University Libraries

Texas Tech University Libraries provide the latest technology-based services for the Texas Tech community.

Extensive collections include more than 2.5 million volumes, subscriptions to major periodicals and several hundred specialized, online databases, e-journals and e-libraries.


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