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University of Utah Names Dean for Marriott Library

Alberta Davis Comer, new dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

June 24, 2013 – The University of Utah has named Alberta Davis Comer as dean and director of the J. Willard Marriott Library and University Librarian effective August 19, 2013.

Comer holds a master of library science degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and has served as dean and associate dean of library services at Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University since 2004.

“Alberta Comer has a national reputation as an inspiring and thoughtful leader,” says Michael Hardman, interim senior vice president of academic affairs at the U. “She brings to the U an expansive knowledge of libraries, as well as a strong focus on students, faculty collaboration, and the cultivation of positive community and donor relations. We welcome her to Utah and the university.”

Under her leadership, Indiana State University developed a number of innovations, including an academic library consortium across three universities (Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College) in partnership with a county public library to establish an integrated online library catalog system. She has served as editor of Indiana Libraries, published by the Indiana Library Federation, as well as editor of Cognotes, the daily paper of the American Library Association Conference.  She is a member of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Indiana Library Federation.

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Utah at such an exciting time,” says Comer. “The Marriott Library is one of the nation’s premier academic libraries, and I am looking forward to leading its impressive team.”

Comer replaces Joyce Ogburn, who served as dean until 2012 and recently accepted a position with the Appalachian State University libraries.


The J. Willard Marriott Library is the flagship academic library for the Utah State System of Higher Education and the largest state-funded academic library in the six-state region of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. As the primary service hub and destination for students, the Marriott Library is integral to the teaching, research and public life missions of the University of Utah. The library’s mission is to inspire the creation, discovery and use of knowledge for Utah and the world. Library holdings include 3 million volumes and nearly 200 unique digital collections containing countless photographs, maps, books, audio recordings, newspaper articles and other items. Important collections span Utah, the Mormons, and the West to extensive science, engineering, medical and legal archives. The library also holds more than 1 million historical photographs and extensive film collections.