Robert McDonald


Robert H. McDonald is Dean of University Libraries and Professor of Library Administration. He is responsible for leading the Boulder campus library system in fulfilling their mission to inspire learning, research, and discovery by connecting knowledge, information, and people.

His expertise and interests include teaching and learning technologies that enable libraries to better support researchers at all levels, open source software development, scholarly communications, and new model publishing. Robert has also been an active proponent of diversity initiatives in libraries throughout his career and is committed to creating library spaces that are welcoming, diverse and inclusive for all of our Library users.

He frequently presents and writes on a variety of topics, and was editor of the E-Content column for EDUCAUSE Review in 2016 – 2017. In recent years, his research has been centered on digital libraries and large-scale humanities cyberinfrastructure, encompassing large data analysis, storage, and preservation through grant-funded and collaborative projects such as the HathiTrust Research Center. Additional research interests include integration of learning eco-systems, lean and agile frameworks in technology management, data preservation, data cyberinfrastructure, and big data analytics.

He is active professionally with a number of national and international organizations and conferences, having served on the HathiTrust Program Steering committee, as the chair for the Digital Preservation Network Heavy Users committee, and as general co-chair for the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2013 and 2017. His most recent publication, “Research Center as Distant Publisher," was presented as part of the 2017 Digital Humanities Conference, Montréal, Canada. A fuller record of his research & previous academic appointments can be found in his ORCiD researcher profile.

Prior to joining the CU Boulder Libraries in 2018, Robert held positions at Indiana University Bloomington, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Florida State University, and Auburn University. He earned his Master of Library & Information Science degree at the University of South Carolina, and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Georgia. 

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • The M Word: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
    • Article
    • Author

    Libraries know the potential fallibility of metadata created by hand, and as a result, the academic research library has a long history of working with metadata to ensure good storage, maintainability, shareability, and accessibility.

  • HathiTrust Research Center Announced
    • Blog
    • Author

    On Monday of this week Indiana University and the University of Illinois announced the creation of the HathiTrust Research Center.

EDUCAUSE Presentations