Bard College is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Topcik as dean and director of libraries. In this role, she will be responsible for developing, articulating, and implementing a vision for expanding collaboration among all of the libraries across the Bard network. She will also continue to serve as director of research collections at Bard Graduate Center (BGC) and will be dividing her time between Annandale and New York City.

Since joining Bard Graduate Center in 2001, Topcik has worked to investigate and advance the role of libraries as centers of academic, artistic, and civic life, with a focus on engaging a diverse constituency of patrons in the generative practice of research. As director of BGC’s library, she has collaborated with faculty to develop and adapt collections to evolving curricula and design a program of bibliographic instruction to support graduate researchers. In addition to initiating and overseeing the development of Blacklight, a custom discovery tool built on open-source software, she spearheaded the integration of BGC’s object collection into the library’s search interface along with the creation of an archive documenting the institution’s exhibition history. In 2017, she created the BGC library’s artist in residence program, inviting visual and performing artists whose practice is grounded in research to use the library collection as a resource and incubator for new work.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Topcik graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in art history and studied textiles and fiber arts at the Oregon School of Arts & Crafts before going on to earn dual master’s degrees in library science and art history from Pratt Institute. Prior to joining Bard Graduate Center as a research librarian, she began her library career at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.