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January 15, 2020

Robert Schwarzwalder to retire from Stanford Libraries

Robert Schwarzwalder, Stanford Libraries

Stanford, CA--Robert Schwarzwalder, associate university librarian, is retiring effective March 3, 2020 after 12 years at Stanford Libraries overseeing the Science and Engineering Resource Group (SERG).

Schwarzwalder has been a stalwart and strong leader of the Science and Engineering Libraries as well as the person giving direction to the Libraries IT support team.  Among Schwarzwalder’s remarkable achievements for Stanford are the number of highly qualified librarians and other staff who have joined the SERG team during his tenure.

Many significant library transformations occurred under Schwarzwalder’s leadership. He was the Libraries’ executive responsible for the development of the Engineering & Physics Library, which included moving that library towards a bookless state. He spearheaded and managed combining the university’s biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and chemical engineering collections, moving to the new Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library in the renovated old Chemistry Building. The split-level space located in the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning’s uppermost floors opened to rave reviews and continues to be a relied-up resource for faculty and students in the field.

“Creative work on the physical facilities of each of those new libraries along with the masterful marshalling of the creative capacities of the librarians and staff in each is another hallmark of Bob’s contributions to Stanford through its Libraries,” said Michael Keller, vice provost and university librarian.  “Bob has also been a serious and well-informed negotiator in the battlefield of licensing STM and other e-journals, e-monographs, and data sets. He deserves great credit for all of that work for us and with us for the past dozen years.  We will miss Bob and we wish him the very happiest of retirements."

Julie Sweetkind-Singer, currently head of Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections and the assistant director of Geospatial and Cartographic Services for SERG, will assume the role of interim assistant university librarian for SERG while a national search is conducted. Sweetkind-Singer will also continue her leadership role in the Branner Library, which now includes initial deep planning for expanded roles and programs at the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences.  University Librarian Keller observed “Julie is well qualified to step into this interim role.  She has been a major contributor at Stanford in SERG and nationally.”

In addition to her 20 years at Stanford, Sweetkind-Singer is well known nationally and abroad for her expertise in maps, mapping, cartographic services, and geospatial information services, having served as a member of the U.S. National Geospatial Advisory Committee for six years, three of those years as committee chair.  She has recently been appointed to the NASA Socioeconomic Data & Applications Center (SEDAC) User Working Group and sits on the Board of Review for the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.  Sweetkind-Singer has also been a major contributor to the development and successful operations of the two map collections under the aegis of the Stanford Libraries: The David Rumsey Map Center and Branner Library Map Collections.  “Working with Bob has been a true privilege and one of the highlights of my career,” said Sweetkind-Singer.  “He is a consummate librarian.  He managed the transformation of the science and engineering libraries during a decade that saw a tremendous amount of change in how we do our work.  I look forward to continuing his legacy of innovation, outreach, and responsiveness to the faculty, students, and staff at Stanford.”