SILS selects winter commencement speaker

Release date: 
November 19, 2004

Susan Tarr, executive director of the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) at the Library of Congress, has been selected as the speaker for the 2004 winter commencement at UNC's School of Information and Library Science. The ceremony will be held Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library.

“We are delighted to have such a distinguished alumna of the School as our winter commencement speaker,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, SILS dean. “Susan Tarr has made significant contributions to the advancement of both the federal libraries and our profession as a whole. She is well qualified to speak to our new graduates about the opportunities and challenges in our field, due to the work she herself has done as well as her knowledge of library and information services activities across the U.S. in her position as executive director of FLICC. We are very much looking forward to her participation in our winter commencement ceremony.”

Tarr (MSLS '74) has served since 1994 at FLICC where she works to improve federal library and information services through interagency cooperation. During her tenure, she has directed the expansion of education programs, including Library Technicians Institute, American Management Association classes and performance assessment workshops; initiated government-wide awards programs to honor librarians, library technicians and libraries/information centers; and established a working group of libraries for the Department of Homeland Security to help the agency provide professional information to its staff.

“In her most recent position, Susan has been an extraordinary leader in the federal library community,” said Deanna Marcum, associate librarian at the Library of Congress. “It is her leadership in spotting trends and developing mechanisms for coping with change that have been most remarkable.”

In addition to her duties at FLICC, Tarr also directs the FEDLINK program, which helps federal libraries and information centers acquire resources and training.

This year, Tarr received an Achievement Award, the highest accolade from ALA Federal and Armed Forces Librarians Round Table for promoting library and information service in the federal government.

Tarr has spent her professional career at the Library of Congress, starting in 1974 as an intern. After one year, she began working with Congressional Research Service and later climbed the ranks at Processing Services. In 1986, she became chief of the Cataloging Distribution Service and worked there until 1994 when she was promoted to her current position.

Tarr received her bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn.; a master's in political science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and a master of science in library science from UNC at Chapel Hill. Tarr was inducted as a member of Beta Phi Mu, the international information and library science honor society.