Sarah E. Thomas came to Cornell University in August 1996 as the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. In a career spanning over 25 years, Dr. Thomas has cataloged books in Harvard University's Widener Library, taught German at The Johns Hopkins University, managed library coordination at the Research Libraries Group (RLG) in California, held a Council on Library Resources Management Internship at the University of Georgia, served as the Associate Director for Technical Services at the National Agricultural Library, and directed both the Cataloging Directorate and the Public Service Collections Directorate at the Library of Congress. At Cornell, she provides leadership for the 19 libraries that make up the University's library system, managing a staff of over 500 employees and 600 students. The Cornell University Library holds over 6.8 million volumes and acquires and catalogs over 100,000 titles annually. Its cultural holdings include a copy of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand, an outstanding collection on the French Revolution, the Samuel May AntiSlavery Pamphlet Collection, and 65,000 cubic feet of manuscripts and archival materials, including a wind-up football that plays the Cornell Alma Mater.

Dr. Thomas has had a long-standing interest in information technology. She currently serves on the Executive Steering Committee of the Digital Library Federation, and she frequently speaks or writes on the topic of digital libraries. In May 1998, she was appointed a member of the New York Regents Commission on the Future of Library Services. She is a member of the Council on Library and Information Task Force on the Role of the Artifact in Libraries, and she sits on the Policy Board of the Cultural Materials Initiative of the Research Libraries Group. She is a life member of the American Library Association and serves as the chair of the Access to Information Resources Committee of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) as well as a member of the ARL Board. She has the good fortune to serve on advisory councils to several university libraries, including Harvard, MIT, and Washington University. Dr. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in German literature from The Johns Hopkins University in 1983, writing her dissertation on the topic "Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the Insel-Verlag: A Case Study of Author-Publisher Relations." She received her bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1970 and an MSLS from Simmons College in 1973.

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