Boston Library Consortium Appoints Charlie Barlow as Executive Director

The Boston Library Consortium (BLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Charlie Barlow as its next Executive Director, beginning July 1, 2020. Mr. Barlow will succeed Susan Stearns, who has led the consortium since 2013. The consortium appreciates the outstanding and ground-breaking leadership Susan Stearns provided for the consortium during a time of growth and great change, and warmly welcomes our new Executive Director.

“We are very excited and honored to welcome Charlie Barlow as our new Executive Director,” said Anne Langley, Dean of the UConn Library and President of the BLC Board of Directors. “He brings curiosity about improving upon library practices, experience building and leading innovative programs and partnerships, and a powerful and proven collaborative spirit to the position.”

Mr. Barlow joins the BLC from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), a consortium of 14 liberal arts colleges across five states. As ACM’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Programs, he led strategic planning, the development and launch of new programs, institutional data reporting, partnerships and engagement, as well as related communications, operations and grants management.

“I am thrilled and energized to join the Boston Library Consortium,” said Mr. Barlow. “I look forward to building upon the BLC’s vibrant history and cultivating deeper modes of collaboration through projects and initiatives that strengthen the consortium’s collective work across New England.”

At the ACM, Mr. Barlow strengthened the value of the consortium’s 55-year partnership with the Newberry Library by catalyzing a new competitive faculty fellowship program and enriching the student experience through new mentorship opportunities with library staff. He also cultivated collaborative relationships with the Field Museum and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to design immersive programming opportunities for faculty and students. In collaboration with faculty and staff, Mr. Barlow advanced a range of grant-funded initiatives including projects to deepen the culture of assessment, institutionalize high-impact educational practices and create more equitable civic engagement between colleges and their communities.

Prior to the ACM, Mr. Barlow served as the Director of the Policy Research Collaborative at Roosevelt University. Drawing upon a rich history of engaged scholarship and experiential learning, he increased opportunities for civic partners and the university community to address interdisciplinary policy issues including racial equity, housing and economic mobility, health justice and youth development.

An alumnus of the University of Chicago and Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, Mr. Barlow held academic appointments in geography and public policy studies at the University of Chicago in addition to research positions with the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, the Chicago Consortium on School Research and the Metro Chicago Information Center. He began his career in financial services with Friends Provident International and Royal London 360.

“Charlie’s entrepreneurial approach to consortial administration along with his capacity to lead complex collaborations and launch strategic initiatives will be highly advantageous to the BLC,” added Tara Lynn Fulton, Dean of the University Library at the University of New Hampshire and chair of the search committee.

Mr. Barlow currently serves on the boards of directors for the Association for Institutional Research in the Upper Midwest, Friends of the Parks, Housing Choice Partners of Illinois and the National Public Housing Museum. In 2018, he was selected to join the inaugural class of Equity Fellows with Chicago United for Equity.


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