Jon E. Cawthorne, PhD.
Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne (he/him) is the dean of Wayne State University Library System in Detroit, Michigan, where he provides administrative leadership and vision for five libraries, including the medical and law libraries, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, which houses the world’s largest labor archives. Cawthorne also leads the ALA-accredited Wayne State School of Information Sciences. He began his leadership career in Detroit in 2002 as director of the Detroit Public Library’s flagship branch, where he was later named interim deputy director to lead the entire 24-branch system through an organizational transition. He went on to hold leadership roles at Florida State University, Boston College, San Diego State University and West Virginia State before joining Wayne State in 2017.
At West Virginia University (WVU) Libraries Cawthorne extended digital knowledge resources to seven regional campus libraries to create a virtually integrated library system. He also established the WVU Digital Publishing Institute to advance open-access scholarship through new digital pathways for academic publication and dissemination of knowledge. In 2015, Cawthorne’s helped to found the Library Diversity Alliance, a four-institution residency program comprising WVU, American University, the University of Iowa and Virginia Tech. Today, Cawthorne chairs the ACRL Diversity Alliance program, which unites 36 academic libraries that share a commitment to growing the hiring pipeline of qualified, talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. In 2020, Cawthorne served as ACRL president, focusing on issues around organizational development; equity, diversity and inclusion; and the future of academic libraries. Cawthorne’s published research bridges the realms of diversity, libraries, organizational culture and leadership with a shared focus on models that anticipate and plan for rapid change and the future through strategic capacity building and workforce development. Jon’s Curriculum Vitae.