Diane Dallis-Comentale Named As Interim Dean of IU Libraries

NISO Member News

Bloomington, IN | June 1, 2021

Diane Dallis-Comentale of IU-Bloomington Libraries

Diane Dallis-Comentale, currently the Associate Dean for Planning and Administration at IU Libraries, will serve as Interim Dean of IU Libraries starting July 1, 2021. Carolyn Walters, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University, announced that she will retire June 30, after more than three decades serving in leadership positions at what is recognized as one of the nation's largest and most innovative university libraries. A committee has been appointed to identify candidates for the dean position.

“Diane has the strong administrative experience to effectively lead IU Libraries during this interim period,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “Throughout her nearly 30-year career, she has successfully tackled challenges to traditional library spaces, helping our own IU Libraries to maintain a vibrant, essential presence on campus, while having a thorough understanding of the budgetary and facilities issues that are critical to the smooth functioning of the libraries.”

For the majority of her career, Dallis-Comentale has been dedicated to IU, an institution that recognizes and expects thoughtful leadership, innovation and collaboration. In 2017, Dallis-Comentale briefly served as Associate University Librarian for Research and Instruction at the University of Chicago Library. In her current role she oversees Planning and Assessment, Communications, Libraries Human Resources, and overall leadership of facilities projects. Her most recent successes include leading IU Libraries in adapting services during the pandemic and overseeing the Lilly Library Reading Room Mural project, part of a once-in-a-generation renovation of one of the world’s great libraries. Previously she has led transformative organizational changes and renovations of three significant spaces in the iconic Herman B Wells Library. This resulted in the popular Learning Commons, Moving Image Archives and Collections and Scholars’ Commons spaces that undeniably recast perceptions of academic libraries.

“Dean Walters' leadership at IU Libraries and the IU Press established a strong foundation that allows us to continue our innovations in the ways we advance, collect, publish, and preserve knowledge into IU’s third century, ” Dallis-Comentale said. “I am excited and honored to have this opportunity. I am proud of the commitment Libraries’ staff and librarians demonstrated through the difficulties of the pandemic. Campus appreciation of their work is evidence of what I have always known: the library is central to the life of our campus. We will continue to build on our successes, and depend on our partnerships, as we prepare for the new Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries.”

IU Libraries is ranked 12th among public academic libraries in North America, and 6th in the Big Ten Academic Alliance by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Its librarians are leaders in national conversations in areas such as digital preservation and associated technologies, the changing role of area studies librarianship, and integrating information literacy and primary sources into curriculum.

In Bloomington, IU Libraries now holds 11,260,449 items in its catalog, in 450 languages, and offers more than 7 million items electronically. Its Moving Image Archive contains more than 120,000 items. The Libraries’ partnership with University Information Technology Services (UITS) to complete the Media Digitization Preservation Initiative (MDPI) is the country’s most ambitious academic audio, video, and film digitization preservation project to date. Users can access more than 7 million items electronically. IU Libraries is prolific in open access publishing, hosting 40 open access journals, and the proud home to Indiana University Press, an academic press serving the world of scholarship and culture as a professional, not-for-profit publisher.

Dallis-Comentale is a demonstrated leader in academic libraries and on the IU campus. She has presented at national conferences, published (co-edited) the textbook Planning and Implementing Resource Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries, and serves on the editorial boards of two highly regarded peer-reviewed journals: Library Leadership & Management, a journal of the American Library Association, and portal: Libraries and the Academy, published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press. Dallis-Comentale earned her Master of Library Science and Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University Bloomington.