The University of Pennsylvania Libraries proudly announces the appointment of Brigitte Weinsteiger as Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications. In this role, Weinsteiger directs the strategy, advancement and growth of the Penn Libraries’ preeminent collections while promoting academic engagement both on campus and with the Greater Philadelphia community. Weinsteiger also collaborates both nationally and internationally in the fields of collections and scholarly publishing.
“We are extremely delighted that Brigitte has accepted the inaugural position of the Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications,” said Constantia Constantinou, H. Carton Rogers III Vice Provost and Director of Libraries. “Collections are a pillar of our strategic plan, and under Brigitte’s leadership, we will make great strides in our goals to advance information equity and ensure access to the scholarly and cultural record in all forms. Her extensive knowledge of scholarly publishing, coupled with her presence on national committees, brings invaluable experience and expertise.”
In her new role Weinsteiger oversees the Libraries’ $23 million budget for collections, its 8.5 million print and electronic volumes, and a rich array of digital resources. She leads the Collections and Scholarly Communications division of the Penn Libraries, and supervises the collections-related functions of over thirty librarians across the system. Departments under her purview include Collection Strategy; Preservation; Acquisitions, Access, and Licensing; Scholarly Communications; Academic Engagement; and Community Outreach. She is responsible for ensuring that the selection, acquisition, management, and preservation of the Libraries’ collections meet the diverse needs of the Penn community; and for overseeing outreach to faculty and students at Penn, in Philadelphia, and beyond.
“I am tremendously honored to take on this expanded role within the Penn Libraries,” says Weinsteiger. “The skills and expertise of librarians are more important than ever as we address immediate information needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, we continue to build and provide long-term access to collections that contribute to global scholarship and that fuel Penn’s academic and research enterprise.”
Weinsteiger has been instrumental in shaping the Penn Libraries’ response to COVID-19. When the University announced in March that classes would go online for the remainder of the semester, the Libraries swiftly invested in additional digital resources and shifted major services online. Between March 12 and April 2, Weinsteiger led teams of librarians working nearly around the clock to provide virtual support to students and faculty returning from spring break, including licensing 36,000 additional e-books, doubling the number of streaming films offered, and fielding more than twice as many virtual reference contacts as the same period last year.
Weinsteiger’s prior leadership roles at the Penn Libraries include Associate University Librarian for Collections and Assistant University Librarian for Collections and Liaison Services. She began her career in libraries, working in archival processing at the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at the Pennsylvania State University. Weinsteiger then joined the staff of Penn’s Biddle Law Library. Before moving into Penn Libraries’ administration in 2016, she served as a collections analyst and a subject specialist for medieval studies and Germanic languages and literatures. Weinsteiger holds a master’s degree in liberal arts, focusing in medieval studies, from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University, and two bachelor’s degrees from the Pennsylvania State University, where she concentrated in medieval studies, the history of art, and German literature.
Weinsteiger continues to contribute as a leader to the scholarly community. She is outgoing Chair of the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation Collections group, a group charged with the development of collaborative collections and web archiving programs. She is on the executive committee of the Northeast Research Libraries Consortium Program Council (NERL) and the collections advisory council of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI). Weinsteiger also serves on the advisory boards for a number of prominent publishing and distribution vendors, including most recently her appointment to the advisory boards of Project MUSE and JSTOR.
Weinsteiger’s collaborations with colleagues at Penn and beyond, and her leadership in collections, are motivated by a commitment to enabling innovative research and scholarly communications, and building, preserving, and sharing distinctive cultural heritage collections. “Libraries are central to, even inseparable from, academic research and pedagogy and continue to serve a critical mission to preserve and steward extraordinary research collections,” Weinsteiger said. “At the same time, they also have an opportunity to advance societal efforts to support diversity, equity, and social justice causes through collections and engagement with the community, contributing to our local, national, and global good.”