Today, Jeff MacKie-Mason, UC Berkeley’s university librarian, announced his retirement plans.
In addition to overseeing the UC Berkeley Library system — comprising nearly two dozen locations — MacKie-Mason is a professor in UC Berkeley’s School of Information and an affiliate professor in the Department of Economics. MacKie-Mason will retire in June 2024.
In a message to UC Berkeley faculty and staff, Benjamin E. Hermalin, executive vice chancellor and provost, praised the Library’s achievements under MacKie-Mason’s leadership. These accomplishments include doubling the Library’s annual philanthropic funding; establishing the Library’s scholarly communications office, which provides the campus community with more than 3,800 copyright, intellectual property, and information policy consultations a year; dramatically ramping up the Library’s digitization efforts, connecting scholars everywhere with digital versions of the Library’s treasures; and initiating the Library’s data services program, supporting the data-related needs of students and faculty.
Among the hallmarks of MacKie-Mason’s tenure at the Library has been his commitment to open access. As co-chair of the University of California’s publisher negotiation team, he was instrumental in the university system securing a groundbreaking deal with publishing giant Elsevier. To date, UC has struck open access deals with 15 publishers, including all of the top five publishers of UC-authored articles. Together, these agreements make it possible for 54 percent of all UC-authored articles to be published open access, so they are freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.
“We are … extremely grateful to Jeff for his efforts to reform academic publishing, which have succeeded in lowering the cost of accessing academic scholarship, thus making it more accessible, not only to students and scholars at the University of California, but around the globe,” Hermalin wrote.
“Jeff’s dedication, insights, and unique sense of style will be missed,” he added.
In a message to Library staff, MacKie-Mason said that he looks forward to diving more deeply into his classical piano playing and education, and spending more time with his grandchildren.
“It has been an honor to serve with you as we fulfill our mission to help people everywhere find, evaluate, use, and create knowledge to better the world,” MacKie-Mason wrote, “and I am excited about the meaningful things we will accomplish in the coming year.”
Information about the search for a new university librarian will be announced in the coming weeks.