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Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville

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Provost Maria Pallavicini announces retirement of University Librarian Mary Somerville

Jul 7, 2020

Provost Maria Pallavicini has announced that University Librarian Mary Somerville retired from University of the Pacific July 6. Somerville joined Pacific in 2015 and led the design, concepts and restructuring of the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center renovations and operations. Through an interactive and iterative design process, the library underwent a physical transformation to create a more open design and support digital learning and creation. 

The renovation divided the library’s first and second floors into four commons: Learning, Innovation, Academic and Reading. In response to students’ requests, the Reading Commons added more than 100 additional spaces for students to study, learn and meditate. Additional features include the Cube, The Muir Experience, the Media X Experimental Exhibition Space and modern study spaces such as the Sanji Muto Study Room. Through a $1 million gift from John and June Rogers, the library’s north entrance was turned into an open, airy space that greets library visitors.  

Pallavicini said, “We will miss Mary’s leadership, her warmth, her vision for the library of the future and her commitment to Pacific’s students and employees. Under her leadership, the library transformed into a beautiful and modern center supporting research, learning and creativity for all Pacificans.”  

Pallavicini announced that Edie Sparks, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, will serve as Interim University Librarian, effective July 7, in addition to her current role. This appointment recognizes the strong relationships among the library and learning center occupants, including the Student Academic Support Services Hub and the Center for Teaching and Learning. It promises to enhance the collective impact of integrated services in support of student learning and faculty teaching in the months ahead.

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