Berkeley alum, library aficionada takes the helm of Library Board

President of the Library Board, Marily Howekamp
Marily Allen Howekamp is the incoming president of the Library Board. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the UC Berkeley Library)

In the fall of 1962, when Marily Allen Howekamp first arrived at Cal, it was all “bobby socks and skirts.”

Two years later, the Free Speech Movement swept through campus, redefining Berkeley — and the decade.

“We were here at Cal for two different eras,” Howekamp says of the Class of ’66. “It was a great time to be here.

“Cal is a wonderful place — it always has been.”

In fact, Howekamp stayed on campus for more than 30 years, moving between schools and departments like a bee among flowers. She worked for the Cal Alumni Association before starting the College of Engineering’s development office, then moved to the university’s central development team before spending time at the business school and the public affairs office.

Now, Howekamp turns her attention to the “the heart of the university” as incoming president of the Library Board. In that role, she plans to broadcast the value of the Library across campus and beyond, and bring more people into its mission.

“The Library today is like a community center,” Howekamp says, pointing to the Library’s evolution since her days as a student. “Some people thought libraries wouldn’t last — they really haven’t been to the campus libraries lately.”

In 2016, Howekamp and her graduating class raised money for a substantial endowment to the Library, as a way to “give back to the academic mission.”

“The Library helps the whole campus — all students, all faculty, and people across the world,” Howekamp says. “It needs to be supported. I feel fortunate that I have that opportunity.”