Past President's Page

Jon E. Cawthorne
ACRL Past President

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Speaking engagement topics:

  • Organizational Development and Leadership
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; ACRL Diversity Alliance
  • Future of College and Academic Libraries


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Biographical Information

Jon E. Cawthorne is dean of Wayne State University Library System and the School of Information Sciences, a position he has held since 2017. Prior to this, Cawthorne served as dean of libraries at West Virginia University (2014-2017), as associate dean of public services and assessment at Florida State University (2012-2014), and as associate university librarian for Public Services at Boston College (2011-2012).

During his 24 years of ACRL membership, he has served as a chair of the ACRL Diversity Alliance Steering Committee (2016-Present), and as a member of the ACRL President’s Program Committee (2015-2017). Previously, he was a member of the ACRL New Publications Advisory Board (2015), the ACRL Friends’ Fundraising Committee (2007-2010), the ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee (2006-2008), the ACRL Poster Sessions Committee (2003-2005), and the ACRL President’s Program Planning Committee (2002-2004). Additionally, Cawthorne’s work within ALA includes being a mentor for the LLAMA Mentoring Program (2018), a member of both the ALA Nominating Committee (2006-2008) and the Office of Diversity Director Search Committee (2007) and he served as chair of the ALA Spectrum Advisory Committee (2006-2007) and the ALA Lippincott Award Committee (2006-2007). He was a member of the Spectrum Initiative Institute (2004-2008 and 1999-2000), served as a member of the ALA Awards Committee (2003-2006), and the Peggy Sullivan Awards Committee (2004-2005).  He served on the ALA Publishing Committee (2000-2002), the 5th National Conference Site Selection Committee (1999-2001), as a member of the ALA/PLA New Leaders Travel Grant Committee (2001), and the Dr. John C. Tyson Scholarship Committee (1996-1999). Cawthorne developed and co-managed the BCALA home page from (1995-1999), served as chair of the 4th National Conference New Member Orientation (1998), and sat on the BCALA Executive Board (1995-1997).

Cawthorne’s publications include: "On Becoming: The ten thousand hours towards positive leadership", in Crucible Moments: Inspiring Library Leadership, Edited by Steven Bell, Mission Bell Media: Santa Barbara, CA, 2015; "Scenario planning to create future scenarios: A Guidebook for Librarians” co-authored by Joan Giesecke,  American Library Association: Chicago, 2015; and "Leading from the Middle: An Examination of Shared Leadership in Academic Libraries", for  Journal of Academic Librarianship, (Volume 36, Issue 2, March 2010).

Cawthorne holds a M.L.S. degree from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in managerial leadership in the information professions from Simmons College.