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Toby Graham named head of UGA Libraries

Toby Graham

Athens, Ga. – Toby Graham, who has served in a variety of leadership roles at the University of Georgia Libraries for more than a decade, has been named university librarian and associate provost following a national search, Provost Pamela Whitten announced today.

His appointment is effective Sept. 1.

“Toby Graham is an outstanding choice to lead the University Libraries,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “He has the background, personality, drive and dedication to move the libraries forward in the coming years.”

Graham has served as deputy university librarian since 2009, a role in which he supported strategic planning, administration and resource allocation for the libraries and oversaw fundraising. He also directs the university’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library and oversees the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries, which holds 70,000 cubic feet of archives, 200,000 volumes and 200,000 media items.

“Dr. Graham has been at the forefront of making the resources of our libraries-both in physical and digital forms-available to support our teaching, research and service mission,” said Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “He brings an outstanding record of leadership to the position of university librarian, and I am confident that he has the skills to make the UGA Libraries a national leader among academic libraries.”

Graham came to UGA in 2003 as director of the Digital Library of Georgia, which provides free and open access to educational materials and receives more than 4.5 million page views annually from users across Georgia, in each of the 50 states and abroad. The Digital Library of Georgia also serves as one of six regional hubs for the Harvard-based Digital Public Library of America, which connects users to more than 7 million holdings from libraries, archives and museums. As director of the Digital Library of Georgia, Graham co-directed the Civil Rights Digital Library, an award-winning nationwide portal on the Civil Rights Movement.

He previously served as head of special collections at the McCain Library and Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi. As a graduate assistant at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library at University of Alabama, he developed the University of Alabama Libraries’ first digitization project, a collection of documents and images on the Confederate warship known as the Alabama.

Over the course of his career, Graham has garnered $5.4 million in grant support, including serving as principal proposal author for three National Leadership Grants from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services for the digitization of civil rights materials in Mississippi, the founding of Mississippi’s statewide digital library program and the development of the nationwide Civil Rights Digital Library at UGA. Since 2013, three private foundations have awarded the Digital Library of Georgia $450,000 to support its participation in the Digital Public Library of America.

Graham has delivered nearly 100 invited and juried presentations and is the author of the book “A Right to Read: Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama’s Public Libraries” (University of Alabama Press, 2002), winner of the 2004 Alabama Author Award for Non-Fiction. His additional awards include the Schwartz Prize from the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the Chancellor’s Customer Service Award and the University Librarian’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award.

Graham has served in leadership roles in national organizations such as the American Library Association and has served on review panels for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He was appointed by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby to serve on the Georgia Archives Transition Working Group and was appointed by former Gov. Sonny Perdue and later by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Georgia Records Advisory Council, which he now chairs. His on-campus service includes membership in the UGA Arts Council and leadership of the student technology fee committee.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead the UGA Libraries, a strong organization with an excellent staff, extensive print and digital collections, and a network of supporters who care deeply about our part in fulfilling the mission of the University of Georgia,” Graham said. “It is an exciting time to work at UGA under the leadership of President Morehead and Provost Whitten and a key period in the ongoing transformation of the modern research library.”

As university librarian, Graham will oversee the four principal facilities of the UGA Libraries-the main library, science library, Miller Learning Center and Russell Special Collections Building. The director of the award-winning UGA Press, which was founded in 1938 and is the state’s oldest and largest book publisher, and the editor of The Georgia Review, the highly regarded quarterly literary journal founded in 1947, also report to the university librarian.

Graham earned his doctorate in library and information studies, as well as master’s degrees in library service and history from the University of Alabama. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and history from James Madison University.

The search committee was chaired by David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program, and was assisted by the UGA Search Group in Human Resources. Graham succeeds William Gray Potter, who will retire on Aug. 31 following a 25-year career at UGA.

UGA Libraries
The university librarian and associate provost is the chief executive officer for the UGA Libraries and reports to the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. The UGA Libraries includes four principal facilities: the Ilah Dunlap Little Memorial Library (main library), the science library, the Zell B. Miller Learning Center and the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. The UGA Press and The Georgia Review literary journal also report to the university librarian and are housed in the main library. The UGA Libraries comprises 16 departments, with approximately 70 librarians, 160 staff members and 190 student assistants. For more information about the UGA Libraries, see