University Libraries at Virginia Tech Dean Tyler Walters was elected to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) 2020-21 Board of Directors during its Fall 2020 Association Meeting. 

While on the eight-member Board of Directors, Walters joins research library deans from the University of Delaware, University of Louisville, Temple University, University of Colorado Boulder, The University of British Columbia, Northwestern University, and UCLA in guiding, advising, and leading the organization with ARL’s executive director and staff. 

“While it’s a recognition of one’s record of leadership and honor to serve,” said Walters, “it’s primarily a working appointment where one applies both tactical and strategic actions for the betterment of the member research libraries and the association itself.”

Founded in 1932, ARL is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the U.S. whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. ARL is a leadership organization that has concentrated on change issues related to organizational transformation, public policy, and inclusion, diversity, and equity. Virginia Tech has been a member of ARL since 1976.

Walters brings his experiences and leadership surrounding data and information policy to ARL’s public policy work. Throughout his professional career, he has served on working groups, organization boards, and committees dedicated to promoting and creating open technologies, and making research, data, and other scholarly outputs available to the public. 

His latest endeavor, leading the merger of international nonprofits DuraSpace and LYRASIS, continued his professional influence in the areas of open data, open source software, and open scholarship to benefit future advances in the sciences and humanities.

“Being based in Washington, D.C., an important part of ARL’s portfolio is to influence public policy on matters related to data and information,” said Walters. “I have worked with agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce National Technical Information Service as well as the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. These experiences will help ARL contribute to these policy discussions and their outcomes.”

Written by:  Ann Brown